Artist Residency 2013 Shodoshima Japan

This was my first Artist Residency, although it was my third visit to Shodoshima. A decade or more ago, a friend and I got a rental car from Kobe and first visited Naoshima (wow!!) then caught the ferry to Shodoshima and spent a few days exploring. In 2012 when I was considering applying for the residency, I spent a weekend on Shodoshima scouting locations and developing my project ideas.

I I love Setouichi – the inland sea of Japan. Its both relaxing and inspiring being out in nature in rural Japan, and the geography reminds me of New Zealand. Shodoshima also has a film history, with the anti-war film Twenty Four Eyes shot there in 1954. There is even a little movie theme park for the film.

My residency was for two months, and fantastic ArtBiotop Residency group provided a house and car for my stay. The house was on an olive farm near Tonosho town, and having the car meant I could travel all over the island, field recording and shooting video and photos. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, and felt my creative abilities grow by the day! A few months before the residency I invested in a Canon 5D3 DSLR camera and I travelled to Japan with 77kg of baggage, including a motion control slider, follow focus rig and my sound equipment. I also rented a pair of studio speakers from TAK System in Tokyo, so I effectively had a little post production suite in my residency house.

My main residency project was to shoot, edit, sound design & score a short film during my stay. But an important part of an Artist Residency is to leave room for new ideas to occur. So my main project, the short film ONE BILLION HEARTBEATS was joined by a fun project EPHEMERAL ISLANDS where I ran a workshop and we formed a ‘found sound orchestra’.
In preparation for the workshop I had shot long exposure photos of some of the small islands surrounding Shodoshima, and then animated a cursor travelling across the outline of the island. We had a lot of noisy fun, performing an improvised score in sync with the video project. I recorded our improv and used it as layers when finally scoring the sequences.

In 2014 I returned to Shodoshima, and installed an exhibition at MeiPam Gallery 2 including the two short films plus work from my NZ residency. After the opening & screenings, I also did a Q&A, and I so loved one of the questions: ‘which came first, the music or film?’ With these projects I thoroughly enjoyed doing both simultaneously. Forming the cut, scene by scene, while writing music & sound, each changing the other like a gentle feedback loop.

MeiPam02 Exhibition

MeiPam 2 Gallery – Tonosho, Shodoshima

One Billion Heartbeats

A Drop Becomes The Ocean

Near Silence series

Near Silence series

Ephemeral Islands