Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Roads to Nowhere

Just 5 minutes from our flat they are currently building some new 'roads in the sky'. Well, that's what I call them anyway, not sure what the proper name is! There seem to be so many of these highways in Osaka, especially in the port area, crisscrossing over and under each other as if its a competition to  reach the sun. In one area one of these actually passes through an office building! Must be a nightmare to work there.

Over the last year and a half I have seen the new roads being built, first isolated towers then skeletal segments of road perched high in the sky. One segment, obviously an access road, forms a ramp off into the ether, I always image a sweaty Bruce Willis driving a vehicle at high speeds up this to make an impossible jump to the other side!

At night, on my way back from the station, I'm always in awe of these structures towering above, looking like giant mechanical beasts unaware of the tiny people below. They probably won't seem quite as impressive when they are complete but for the time being these giants make my journey home all the more interesting!

This new segment towers over the highway seen in the distance. It will eventually bend round to the left and join another part crossing the river behind.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Ishinha Theater Company

We went to see a production by the Ishinha theater company in Kobe yesterday. The performance is titled 'yugao no hana shiroki yuugure' and took place in a converted factory in Kobe's port area.

From what I could gather the story is set in war time Osaka and about life in the city at this time. There isn't too much dialogue but not being able to follow what was being said didn't spoil my enjoyment of the play as it is very visual.

The stage is quite minimal with a forced perspective that gives it depth, and looks vaguely like a street. The performers, dressed in period clothes and with faces painted white, appear from between the 'buildings' often disappearing again the other side and a lot of the time many things are happening at once on different parts of the stage.

The lighting was also impressive, casting interesting shadows and highlighting parts of the stage. At one point the performers use window frames as props, these also cast lights onto the stage creating interesting shapes and movement.

The music was especially good and gave the whole performance a great atmosphere. After the play I bought a copy of the music on CD from the stall outside, luckily enough the composer was on hand to sign it for me!

This was the first time for me to attend a performance of this kind but has left me wanting to see more, I shall be looking out for more from the Ishinha company in the future!

For more information, see their website here

The stage after the performance.

The foyer of the converted factory.

Monday, 9 July 2012

New Work - Bat Cave

Here is some new work I have just completed, entitled 'Bat Cave'. This particular bat cave, however, does not feature any ageing British actors dressed as butlers. (please click image to enlarge):

To see more of my work, please click here