16 June 2012

Japan in Germany 8: Kozue Kodama

Kozue Kodama and animator Atsushi Wada at NC2012

One of the most beautiful and engaging sights at Nippon Connection 2012 was the artist Kozue Kodama (こだまこずえ)  doing live painting.  Dressed in a kimono covered with paint splatters, Kodama spent hours at her canvas every day for the duration of the festival.  At first, the canvas was just black and white, but as she progressed she added more and more layers to the canvas and it soon was awash with bright yellow, pink, and blue hues.  The central image of the painting is a majestic red-crowned crane (タンチョウ/tanchō).  After the festival, the painting was auctioned off and the money raised went to earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in the Tohoku region.

Kodama grew up in Hiroshima and studied oil painting at Hiroshima University.  She is best known for doing paintings on large canvases, but she has also dabbled in acting, animation, and at the Nippon Connection karaoke bar she demonstrated that she has an amazing set of pipes as well.

Some of Kodama’s accomplishments include showing at the Biennale in Venice in 2005, creating concert fliers for the jazz musician Naruyoshi Kikuchi, and a huge 16 meter painting on the wall of a bridge which won her the Design Art Sign Award as part of the project Revitalizing the City of Hiroshima (2008).  Her animated short Suipas Zuirapusa (スイパスズイラプサ, 2009) which she made in collaboration with Yoko Tanabe, was nominated for the NHK Digista Best Selection.  It also featured in the indie film Plum Essence (2009) which Kodama also starred in.

Since early 2011, Kodama has been based in Düsseldorf – the largest centre for Japanese culture in Germany.  Her husband, Seiichi Sato is a professional hair stylist at the chic salon Leo’s Düsseldorf.  Kodama’s next event is another Charity Live Painting.  It will be held at the Tres Chicas Bistro and Café in Düsseldorf next Friday night Friday, June 29th (note the date change!), from 18:00 – 23:00 with all money going to earthquake and tsunami relief.  Learn more about Kodama on her official website and YouTubechannel.

cmmhotes 2012