- Director: HASEI Kohki
1999 Japanese Subtitled in English Color Video 60 min
Production Company: obscure / Omiya Visual Production / Stance Company
Producer: SAKAGUCHI Kazunao, OMIYA Koichi
Photography: HASEI Kohki
Editing: KASHIMURA Shigeru
Music: FUJINOYA Mai, Kujun
Sound: SHIRAI Tomoki
International Sales: Stance Company
1F, 2-14-11 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0034 JAPAN
[Festivals and prizes] Rotterdam 2000 (Exploding Cinema), Seoul Net Festival (Special Prize of Digital Express)
[Synopsis] A video collage of intimate and vibrant images from a 90s Tokyo squatter’s life, music full blast please.
By an artist who used to live in the legendary Komaba dorm of Tokyo University, the most elite school in Japan. The dilapidating buildings from pre-war times were home to a curious mix of squatters: artists, bums, musicians, alcoholics, and the odd university student. The film captures the essence of the atmosphere in this short-lived “global village” of sorts. The squatters are not political, not very socially responsible, and not unified in any quasi-60s idealism, but there’s a rawness and spontaneity in the images that’s missing in the systemized stressful Tokyo clockwork one step outside Komaba. Includes footage of their forced eviction and standoffs with university officials.
Born in 1975. Started the OBSCURE GALLERY using rooms in the Komaba dorm of Tokyo University in 1996, where he and his friends lived as squatters. They hosted 20 exhibitions despite several forced seizures by government authorities. In 1998, the gallery was shut down by self-important mother-fuckin’ shithead students of the university. In 1999, OBSCURE changed its form from gallery to a compilation book issued every other month. It features the visual and music work of 30 core artists under the single maxim “without words.” W/O is his first film.