Setsuko Kawahara and Naoki Hamaguchi
video installation. h160cm x w120cm
mixed media: textiles, films and sound 2006
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Contemporary life often makes us forget about the traditions of our own Culture, but there are times when we realize how much we miss those traditions.

In Japanese culture, the Kimono is a typical example of this, today in Japan the Kimono is only worn on special occasions and has increasingly faded from everyday life. Nevertheless, when it is worn its cultural importance cannot fail to be recognised and enjoyed.

This exhibitions presents a collaborative project between Naoki Hamaguchi and Setsuko Kawahara, the artists have developed a dialogue using film, sound and textiles, in order to explore the interaction between the "contemporary" and "traditional" aspects of Japanese culture today.

Naoki Hamaguchi has created a series of short films using the urban sprawl of Japans capital city, Tokyo. The films investigate the relationship between the physical environment of the city and it’s inhabitants; trains, platforms, billboards, lights, evoking the smell, sounds, chaos and fracture of this urban environment.

The manipulation of various media is explored using experimental sampling processes in which sound plays an important part. The films are projected onto a Kimono specifically woven by Setsuko Kawahara using silk and phosphorescent yarn that stores light and emits it to "glow" in the dark (developed by a Japanese company "GOSEN" for agriculture use). This yarn allows the textile to become a transient material.

The weave and pattern of the Kimono is inspired by traditional Kimono’s and translated into a contemporary design, woven by a TC-1 Independent thread controller- sampling Jacquard Loom.

As the projection of the film occurs, the light from the projected images causes the surface of the screen to glow. The glow gradually fades as the image of film moves onto different parts of the screen. This interaction creates a variety of images, changing the appearance of the colour and patterns. This work creates a surprising variety of elements that have been separated and then re-combined, suggesting ways in which we encounter aspects of traditional and contemporary culture.