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Look Up Kyoto

2004 Kyoto, Japan
Coauthor: Sarah Kenderdine, Bernd Lintermann

Photography: Shunji Kamemura

In this installation, projection takes place on a dome screen inside an air-inflated igloo-like structure. Commissioned by and presented at the Kyoto Saga University of Art, this structure invites viewers to lie on the floor and look up at the projection.

The thematic focus of this work was the ceiling architectures of buildings in Kyoto, which are especially rich in traditional, religious and natural associations, in addition to possessing an exceptional formal elegance. The many images, photographed with a fish-eye lens camera by students of the Kyoto Saga University of Art, present a variety of architectonic structures of various scales and identities, both historical and contemporary. Correct geometric mapping of these various ceilings within the projection dome maintained the visual integrity of their varying sizes and proportions, providing dramatic perceptual shifts in scale and form as the sequence of images unfolded.

The digital-image processing techniques used to create transitions between these images and the locations they presented amplified the effect. These transitions deconstructed the internal pixel structure of each image, modulating and blending it in various patterns. This provides a temporal cinematic tromp l’oeil, whose structural conjunctions and iconographic merging of these ceiling architectures creates a dramatic aesthetic re-visioning of the photographed sites. They become extracted from their original contexts and remediated as a narrative sequence that focuses their spatial, formal and pictorially associative qualities. There is also an underlying symbolic dimension, as the architecture and decoration of ceilings often draw correspondences of cosmological significance.

Exhibition Record

2004/11/27 - 12/12:  Future Vision, Kyoto Saga University of Art, Kyoto, Japan

2010/6/26 - 6/29:  ALiVE Inaugural Exhibition, ALiVE, Hong Kong Science Park, Hong Kong, China