GALLERY MoMo, Tokyo
Tomoyasu Murata (b. 1974) began his work on producing puppet animations after being inspired by the traditional Japanese puppet theatre, Bunraku. He has consistently strived to express the idea of Mujo or impermanence in English, which is a very beautiful concept to the Japanese.
At VOLTA Basel, Murata will show three video works that, via puppet animations, portray the view of Mujo on the subjects of prayer, chronicling, and faith, as well as some of the puppets featured. For the prologue, Murata produced Okinanami, a Japanese traditional dance prays for agricultural prosperity, used to chronicle the convulsions of nature. In Forest this flower bloom, Murata depicts the nuclear plant accident in Fukushima, Japan that is key factor to start the series.
In the second work of the series entitled AMETSUCHI, which means heaven and earth or the universe in Japanese, Murata describe the Japanese island using Mt. Fuji as a motif. Japan has so many active faults so that many earthquakes happen and make the country an island.
Featuring twin girls as the main characters in the third video entitled A branch of Pine Tied up, Murata depicts the disaster of the earthquake and Tsunami while the story goes back and forth between before and after the earthquake’s occurrence. For the Japanese, who have a deep connection to their land through agriculture, dairy husbandry and via the fishing industry, that accident in which the local people lost so many things, such as their land, also knocked away their spiritual pillar and set the stage for reconsidering their identity as Japanese. Through these three works, Murata presents the fluctuating Japan with the earthquake and the nuclear accident as a jumping-off point.