Hong Kong 2012 Diary: Specials – Ito Takashi, Architecture of the Mind

Born in Fukuokaand educated at the Kyushu University of Art and Design, Ito Takashi remains one of Japan’s most vital experimental filmmakers. His signature aesthetic of illusory movement, a blend of animation, still photography and live action, was borne out of a fascination with the ability of cinema to animate the inanimate. Mentored at one point by experimental pioneer Matsumoto Toshio, Ito dabbled in filmmaking in the late 1970s before really finding his voice with Spacy, a film created from 700 still photos strung together to create its moving images. “Film is capable of presenting [an] unrealistic world as a vivid reality and creating a strange space peculiar to the media. My major intention is to change ordinary everyday life scenes and draw the audience (myself) into a vortex of supernatural illusion by exercising the magic of films,” he told Image Forum in 1984. Since the release of Spacy, he has consistently investigated the relationship between space and the state of mind, transforming mundane architecture into revealing landscapes of the psyche: from the gymnasium of his debut to the dormitory of Drill and Ghost; from the intimate cityscapes of Devil’s Circuit and The Mummy’s Dream to later works looking at our increasingly troubled world such as A Silent Day and Unbalance. Steadfastly, perhaps defiantly, committed to 16mm film, Ito’s body of work is ultimately as humanistic as it is innovative. Ito is currently a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Ito Takashi’s programme will be divided into two modules: Programme I & II, featuring his 80’s shorts (Spacey, Box, Thunder, Ghost, Photodiary, Photodiary 87, Devil’s Circuit, The Mummy’s Dream) and 90’s works (Venus, Apparatus M, December Hide-and-Seek, Zone); the next, entitled Programme III – The 21st Century (with films Dizziness, A Silent Day, Unbalance, Sweet Life).

(from the site)