‘The Pearl of Tailorbird’ and ‘Memento Stella’: Poetic Video Art From Japan

Why We Recommend it

Tokyo-based artist Rei Hayama and experimental filmmaker Takashi Makino present their thought-provoking moving-image works in a concurrent exhibition at Empty Gallery.


Spread over both floors of the gallery, The Pearl of Tailorbird is a multi-channel installation by Rei Hayama (b. Tokyo, 1987). Shot during a short stopover in Hong Kong, Hayama’s series of luminous, short-form videos are anchored by a haunting soundscape in which the young artist imitates the speech of various local birds and translates it to Japanese. She then lets these bits of ready-made poetry inspire her to find subjects and locations to film. The result is is a poetic work created through the process of multiple translations: from bird songs to human speeches, phonetic to semantic, and textual to visual.

Takashi Makino’s (b. Tokyo, 1978) Memento Stella is a single monumental moving-image work installed in Empty Gallery’s 18/F project space. In this work, Makino superimposes and manipulates footage of snow and water, and foliage and buildings, in order to create dreamlike and formless shimmering clouds of light. The title of the artwork originates from a neologism coined by the artist, meaning ‘remember the stars’ and refers to cosmic dust, which could be the origin of all concrete phenomena.

Image: The Pearl of Tailorbird (still)


When: 15 Dec 2018 - 26 Jan 2019 Where: Empty Gallery – 3 Yue Fung St – Aberdeen