Artist: Ko Sakai & Ryusuke Hamaguchi
video | 120:00 | 2013

From 2011 to 2013, Ko Sakai and Ryusuke Hamaguchi conducted a series of conversations with residents of the northern region of Tohoku, Japan, an area heavily hit by both the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. Their research resulted in three films: Namino oto (The Sound of the Waves, 2011), Namino koe (Voices from the Waves, 2013), and Utauhito (Storytellers, 2013), which have come to be known as the Tohoku trilogy. In Storytellers, inhabitants of Tohoku deliver mukashi banashi (folk tales of rural life, often replete with talking animals), not to the camera but to others present in the room. These tales are mixed with autobiographical reflections and thoughts on the process and function of both telling and apprehending oral narratives. Centering on this rich folk tradition and the dialogic encounter it involves, the film explores the roles established in the complicity between speakers and listeners. The voice emerges as the engine of storytelling practices, constituting a site at which meaning and materiality converge, allowing individuals to make sense of and seize their experience of the world.


The 10th Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory | 2014.11.23 - 2015.03.31 | Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum(Shanghai, China)