Name of the work: Omote
Created by: Project Omote
Members of Project Omote : Nobumichi Asai, Hiroto Kuwahara, Paul Lacroix
Country: Japan and France
Where: Digital Village
Here’s what Nobumichi Asai has to say about Omote:
[Omote] is a Japanese word for face, or a mask.
Face is considered as [mirror] that reflects human soul, a separation between Omote (exterior) and Ura (interior), and in Nogaku, Japan’s classical musical plays, performers use Omtoe masks to express multitude of dramatic emotions.
As we spent more time on the project, we became more aware of its similarities with Nogaku’s Omote masks, and explored further possibilities through Integration of latest technology and classical Japanese art.
I always considered [face] to be the most delicate yet powerful medium for art.
Make-up artist Hiroto Kuwahara said, ‘Face evolved with a sole purpose of conveying emotions, and it is the only body part that effectively communicates and reacts to the most subtle changes and conditions. It’s not an exaggeration to say that face is one of the most intriguing features.’ I totally agree with him, and got interested in the possibility of face mapping, its potential in expressing something extraordinary.
Face-mapping technology already exists, often used in marketing initiatives. But I wanted to focus on the expression of [beauty] and [make-up art] instead of technological gimmicks and impacts. But this demands a higher level of technological precision. A subtle mismatch in projection would ruin the effect.
The team also wanted to express Japanese beauty to the world. Kuwahara said, ‘When imagining global definition of Japanese aesthetics, philosophy, and virtue onto a face, I thought about the cosmetics commercial featuring Sayako Yamaguchi, which I saw in my childhood. In my mind, Japanese women have bewitching, ethereal, and sophisticated qualities that are unique. To communicate Japanese beauty, I particularly focused on these attributes and chose Ms. Sekimizu as our model, instead of someone else with more structured features and big double-eyelid eyes.’
Project OMOTE is a collaboration between Japanese Media Artist Nobumichi Asai, Makeup Artist Hiroto Kuwahara and French Digital Image Engineer Paul Lacroix.
NOBUMICHI ASAI (PRODUCER / DIRECTOR / TECHNICAL PRODUCER)
HIROTO KUWAHARA (ART DIRECTOR & MAKEUP)
PAUL LACROIX (TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / PROGRAMMER – TRANSIT DIGITAL WORKS)
JIN HASEGAWA (CG DESIGNER – SPADE)
TAKASHI ISHIBASHI (CG DESIGNER – SPADE)
AYAKA MOTOYOSHI (PRODUCTION MANAGER -P.I.C.S.)
AYA KUMAKURA (PRODUCTION MANAGER)
KAZUHIRO NAKAMURA (COLORIST – McRAY)
KENJI NAKAZONO (PHOTOGRAPHER – CREATIVE STUDIO WORKS)
KIMIHIRO MORIKAWA (PHOTOGRAPHER – SHOOTING & LIGHTING)
RHEA TOR’S INC.
K.FURUMOTO (HAIR – &´S MANAGEMENT)
YUKA SEKIMIZU (MODEL – SATORU JAPAN)
SPICE (OPTITRACK MOTION CAPTURE SENSOR)
HIDEAKI TAKAHASHI (MUSIC – mjuc)
HIROSHI SATO (PROJECTOR INSTRUMENTS – AMSA)
Note: The work that will be on display at Art & Algorithms is a video recording of the actual performance of the work, shown with permission of Nobumichi Asai.