Night Stories (Kanashibari), 2013 16 works on paper, water colour and graphite
Night Stories (Kanashibari) is a new set of 16 works on paper that reflect on my personal experiences of kanashibari or sleep paralysis. Kanashibari literally means 'to be bound' and is a phenomena in the in-between state of sleep and wake where one experiences the inability to move or speak. In Japanese culture, they often say you are being visited by a ghost. These drawings are night stories from dream of creatures and spirits experienced by two siblings which will eventually make their way into a bookwork.
mörkö, 2012 interdisciplinary performance
mörkö is an interdisciplinary performance integrating sound by Emma Hendrix and live animation by Cindy Mochizuki with direction by James Long.
Based on a collection of interviews from Vancouver residents around ‘monsters,’ the artistic team builds a landscape using only the audio recordings and objects found in a basement closet of Mochizuki’s childhood home.
The sound and moving images shape a portrait of a city through the ‘monstrous’ – a space, creature or thing of fear that we often conjure in our everyday lives when faced with the unknown.
With financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts. Co-presentation with Vancouver New Music Originally performed at the Russian Hall, 2012.
Lighting: James Proudfoot Technical Direction: Elia Kirby Project Coordinator: Asa Mori/Carmen Lam Animation Assistance: Asa Mori
Kudok, 2012 (in collaboration with Emma Hendrix) claymation 5:30 minutes
This stop motion animated short is taken from an interdisciplinary performance called Mörkö performed by Emma Hendrix and Cindy Mochizuki directed by James Long. The film features one of several interviews that the artists have collected from Vancouver residents on the topic of ‘monsters’. In this short claymation a conversation with Lennox Johnston-Yu leads us into getting to know an imaginary monster by the name of Kudok.
Shiro Yagi, 2013 animation and video hybrid 12 minutes
Shiro Yagi is and experimental animated film that is inspired from the last sheet of existing music of the artist’s maternal grandfather, Sueo Mori. Mori was a poet, composer and high school teacher. The composition and poem was written in 1927. The film is set in a fictional “land of sleep”, where a mother and her two chidlren encounter the haunting music of their late grandfather. Narrated in the style of film telling, the story is part fact and fiction; and traces the imaginary in the place of the gaps and silences that are met in the process of recollection.
Produced with support from British Columbia Arts Council, Cineworks Artist in Residence program through City of Vancouver, and National Association of Japanese Canadians.
Originally part of group exhibition with Raymond Boisjoly, Stan Douglas, Ali Kazimi, Vanessa Kwan, Evan Lee called To | From BC Electric Railway 100 Years at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, curated by Makiko Hara and Annabel Vaughan
As early as the 1880’s, small Japanese businesses existed in Vancouver that catered primarily to the floating labourers along the Powell Street area. The Japanese moved into this area and were gainfully employed working in sawmills, gardening, domestic and hotel service and nearly half were involved in commercial enterprise. Before World War II, this area known as Japantown or Nihonmachi was a concentrated area of Japanese activities including grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, lodging houses, dry goods shops, bathhouses, fish markets and specialty stores like the confectionary shops that sold specialty Japanese sweets. In 1942, over 20,000 Japanese Canadians were forcibly dispersed and uprooted from their homes and lost possession of their businesses and properties to be sold without consent by the Canadian government.
confections is a new and ongoing project that reworks the memory and history of the abundant confectionary shops and kashitens available in the bustling Powell Street area blocks away from the B.C. Sugar Refinery. As of 1941 there were at least 19 Japanese confectionaries, bakeries, and senbei ya that were found along Powell, Hastings, Gore, Dunlevy, Alexander and Main Street. The installation attempts to re-create that and bring forth a site of memory; an interior of a space and time of nostalgic handmade confectionery that has now disappeared. The installation includes audio interviews with those that grew up in and around the Powell Street area and the creation of specialty Japanese sweets with members of various Japanese Canadian community groups that presently still continue the culinary tradition. confections continues the research and memory work that was explored through the Open Doors Project, a series of historic panels presented as a graphic memoir found at the storefront of businesses presently occupying the Powell and Jackson Street area. The panels reflect the history of the Japantown area through the documentation of the businesses and shops that existed before and after the war.
Yokai & Other Spirits, 2011 interactive new media installation
Paranormal phenomena are common in Asian films, literature, and popular culture. In Japanese folklore, for instance, yokai are a class of supernatural creatures that often shape-shift and play tricks on humans. This interactive, animated, and sound-based installation repeats a key moment in the 35mm film, Happy Ghost 3, when the lead ghost calls “home” through various phone booths throughout the city. The animated projection is an accumulation of hand-traced frames of the original film through rotoscoping. The film explores the interiority of the archive and, like an X-ray print, uses light as a means to make visible what we cannot normally see. This work uses the presence of audience members to trigger the projections and sounds; without their actions, the film lies unseen and unheard, leaving only the stark presence of the scenic and museological props.
With sound design by Antoine Bédard, programming and electronics by Bobbi Kozinuk, and construction design by Minoru Yamamoto.
Originally part of the LOST SECRETS OF THE ROYAL. Four newly commissioned works by Louise Noguchi, Daichi Sato, SoJin Chu and Cindy Mochizuki presented by Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto (LIFT), Reel Asian, the Blackwood Gallery, and A Space Gallery. Curated by Ben Donoghue and Heather Keung
The series of 16 panels is designed to tell a non-linear graphic memoir of Powell Street. Each design draws on the aesthetics of traditional Japanese hanafuda flower cards, and in this contemporary rendition repeats the four seasonal B.C. flora motifs of maple leaf, saskatoon berry, cherry blossom, and dogwood flower.
Placed along the 300 and 400 blocks of Powell Street are 12 panels, with an additional set of 4 panels at the 400 block of Alexander Street at the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Hall. The panels become a point of reference; a permanent but short entry point into the historical narratives that make up this neighborhood that was once known as “Paueru-gai.”
Commissioned by the Powell Street Festival, Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, the City of Vancouver's Great Beginnings Program, The Strathcona Business Improvement Association.
Panorama Series I
Panorama Series I, 2012 video installation, photography
Using a collection of miniature family photographs, light and video projection Panorama, Series I explores the first phase of an ongoing work in response to familial remembrances of the Japanese Canadian internment through the process of re-looking and re-imagining the traumatic narratives that are caught in the stillness of a photograph. The small photograph and light installations depict a single moment; the ‘flash’ as the camera captures a single frame now carried forward in this present moment. The miniature landscapes of memory integrate photographs such as one taken with a homemade pinhole camera in the internment camp in Slocan, B.C. despite regulations of confiscating all cameras.
This work was originally part of the group exhibition YO-IN Reverberation featuring artists Nobuo Kubota, Kazuo Nakamura, Emma Nishimura, Louise Noguchi, Jon Sasaki, Aiko Suzuki and Shizuye Takashima at the Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby, B.C.
Slow Trades & The Collections Turtle
As part of the City of Vancouver Parks Board's Field House Residency program, I was one of the 7 artists-in-residence (The Field House Ensemble) at the Strathcona Field House. Our ensemble worked on individual projects around the theme of slow movements, considering the park’s readily available resources: it's community garden and surrounding walkways as a site for special projects.
During my term in residence, I worked on several non-monterary exchange projects with people in the neighbourhood called Slow Trades & The Collections Turtle which documented the various slow services I offered by way of trade. These non-monetary exchanges of skills or services between the artist and community member was only conducted respectively within a 0.5 mile/0.8 km radius from the field house (the rate of speed per hour by the slowest species of land turtle). These services included drawing, cooking, fortune telling, etc. that were offered in exchange for traded goods and gifts. Guest artists were also invited to participate in slow projects at the Strathcona field house.
Bow Wow Saturday (in collaboration with Janice Wu) was one of the services that we provided on our Field House stoop. Bow Wow Saturday is a lazy Saturday, outdoor, dog portrait service made available by way of trade or barter. Participants were able to stand in line to receive an original portrait of their canine pal at the stoop of our Field House every fourth Saturday of the month.
Archive City: Portraits of Lulu Island, 2008 installation, community-engaged project (Images 1-3)
Archive City is “a memory collection agency” composed of three Vancouver based artists, Lois Klassen (www.loiszing.blogs.com), Cindy Mochizuki and Jaimie Robson (www.mediaundefined.ca). For this project Archive City researched and collected various facts and myths about Lulu Island, where the city of Richmond is situated. The exhibition comprised of a memory archive of stories, images, ephemera, tracings and other related research materials, as well as archival boxes which contain the memories of Richmond residents they have interviewed in the form of dioramas.
Archive City explores how memory of a place is preserved and archived. By mimicking bureaucratic procedures and presentation methods, such as creating official-looking documents and an office setting in the gallery, the group members seek to expose the processes involved in translating traces of memory into concrete documents preserved in an archive.
Archive City e-materialized memories surrounding the location of the Richmond Olympic Oval in a series of glass slides.
Originally part of a group exhibition called 27 Drawers curated by Rob Shedden and Lisa Lipton at the Robert Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Oblivion & The Blind
Oblivion and the Blind, 2007 animation 1:42 minutes
the oblivion & the blind is an experimental animation work that is inspired from the Japanese folk story of Miminashi Hoichi and the Hokusai Print Blind Men With Elephant. The piece explores the process of listening and writing and how a single thread can unfold a series of tangled memories and stories; creating its own language without words. Featuring music by mimi's ami. Editing by Marc Hansen.
kanashibari,shadow archive, 2006 installation and interactive website
kanashibari, shadow archive is an interactive website and a sculptural, drawing and light installation that examines the impossibilities and possibilities that exist within articulating and archiving traumatic, collective and personal memories. Both works echo already existing contemporary forms of the archive and the memorial as a means to understand and question the absences within “history.” Each form examines our desires to replace the absences of history with manifestations of material culture. Both projects are equally important components and thus mutually interdependent. Online viewers who visit the virtual “archive” activate the installation by triggering a small light. The illuminated drawings appear from the darkness as a ‘trace’ of what is barely invisible and constantly disappearing within the attempts to articulate the memory of historical traumatic events. The website continues to exist on the web, while the installation’s temporal and spatial manifestation is now a ‘memory’ for audiences who experienced the work.
Max Programmer: Brady Marks Flash animation and programming: mel roth design Web design: Rodney Sanches
MFA graduating exhibition, Bartlett Exhibition and Performance Space, Vancouver, B.C. 2006. Co-presented by the Powell Street Festival Society.
Wake, 2006 3 channel video installation
Wake is a three-channel video installation that revolves around a contemporary, fictional, murder mystery that takes place in Vancouver's Hastings Park (now the Pacific National Exhibition Grounds) . This area was once referred to as "The Pool," a holding pen for Japanese Canadians during WWII.
The short video vignettes in Wake formally utilize the Japanese literary form of the palm-of-hand story: a character-driven, short narrative that has no plot and leaves one with a sense of longing or desire.
A Detective (Hiro Kanagawa), interrogates a Witness (Maiko Bae Yamamoto) who is called forth to make a testimony around the mysterious death of an elderly woman. The unsettling effects of historical trauma haunt both the detective and the witness. They are caught in the paralysis of a subject that cannot be articulated through language .
Wake explores both the limits and possibilities of cultural memory, and the tenuous relationship between remembering and forgetting.
With financial assistance from the NAJC.
An audio version of Wake as a sound walk for Hastings Park is also available.
Curated by Cindy Mochizuki Featuring new works by Kyo Maclear, Julie Tamiko Manning, and Baco Ohama
March to December is an interactive web project created in response to the war journal found in the archives of the late Roy Ito. Within this online exhibition, contemporary artists Kyo Maclear, Julie Tamiko Manning and Baco Ohama create individual web projects based on Ito’s documentation of his time serving in the Canadian army during WWII. The interactive web project provides audiences with three entry points into some of the complex and layered, day-to-day accounts that Ito has taken from March to December 1945. The artists have each carefully crafted media-based work that can be found within the online archive, that range from audio, animation, and video work. Their new works present a glimpse; a temporal snapshot into a particular historical moment, and into the observations of Ito during his time at war as a Japanese Canadian sergeant.