Although the Magic Lantern was invented in Europe during the second half of the 17th century, it influenced the emergence of 18th century Japan known as Utsushi-e. Utsushi-e was an original hybrid of the ancient Asian shadow play and the Western Magic Lantern show. In Utsushi-e, instead of merely projecting series of pre-fabricated images on a screen, artists created ‘motion pictures’ via a mixture of live art, light manipulation, narration and painted images. Artists built upon audience response; an interaction developed between the two.
Takashi’s Seasons is a sequential live shadow puppet/video performance in which various scenes interpreting the four seasons are performed by a modern Utsushi-e artist.
This piece intends to evoke personal memories that are strongly tied to the four seasons, interpreted through a Japanese cultural perspective. Through the presented vignettes, this piece brings back those personal memories, presenting them as a unified experience.