Focus on Japan
Selfless, Spaceless (I)
The further one goes into a journey of self-discovery, the more real one’s concerns on existential problems. The anxiety brings us to question ourselves, retreating several steps back creating a space to see clearly, of who we are, and how do we matter in society. The films showcased in “Focus on Japan: Selfless, Spaceless” bring individuals in their many states of rest and their contemplations on existence. It also brings into focus its correlation to the surroundings, from imagination, feeling of alienation, social construct, to the presence of family, how these various elements help in shaping what they are today. The Lost Dreams of Naoki Hayakawa (Ane Hjort Guttu & Daisuke Kosugi, 2016) shows a man working in advertising agency who is trapped in trepidation and nonsensical imagination. Forestry (Tetsuichiro Tsuta, 2017) through a female worker in wood industry, denotes the collapse of gender construct that does not immediately eliminate feelings of alienation. In the next film, Sukiyaki – A Conversation Piece (Mayumi Nakazaki, 2005), audiences are shown to an honest family relationship, stripping identity problems at dining table in the face of evening tv shows. Musume (2016), the work of Yogyakarta’s filmmaker, Ima Puspita Sari, blatantly explore the awkward relation between a daughter and a father, with the backdrop of two different country and culture: Japan and Indonesia.
Curated by Ayu Diah Cempaka
Focus on Japan: Selfless, Spaceless (II)
The exploration of forms in documentary film has developed through the years, from the absolute role of narrator as the story lead, expository in examining global issues, observatory that records subject with minimal interference from filmmaker, to hybrid documentary film that cross fiction and documentary. These many approaches, methods, and forms, in the end, center to stories of people and their surroundings. During the progress, however, a lot of documentary films shift its focus from humans, to things outside humans, even immaterial ones such as relationship and emotion. “Focus on Japan: Selfless, Spaceless (II)” invites the audiences to observes documentary films conversing about space and its relation to objects inside or in the surrounding as the subject of the documentary in itself. Touch Stone (Takayuki Yoshida, 2017) exhibits the simplicity in children and adult responding to an abstract sculpture in a public space. A Woman of The Butcher Shop (2016) by Yamashiro Chikako, tries to represent a homeland, Okinawa, through the character of a butcher, in an elaboration of fact and fiction. In Yamashiro’s second work, The Beginning of Creation: Abduction/A Child (2015), we see in the effort of recreating a legendary masterpiece a way to the freedom of self. Last but not least, Dream Box (Jeroen Van der Stock, 2017) delivering us to a space occupied by agitated puppies, getting ready into entering a dream box.
Curated by Ayu Diah Cempaka