Kamuy Symphonia – Animation


Upopoy, The Ainu National Museum, opened in Shiraoicho, Hokkaido July 2020, is Japan’s first national facility that shares the history and culture of the indigenous Ainu people. It consists of a folklore museum, interactive field museum, and an Ainu symbiotic park–a hub to revive and develop Ainu culture.

Working with JKD Collective, it was my great privilege to direct the massive projection mapping & lighting show which happens nightly at the museum. This 14-minute delicate and dynamic animation is almost fully hand-drawn, and perfectly synced to a soul-stirring bespoke music piece composed by Oki of the famous Dub Ainu Band, and Kuniyuki Takahashi, Sapporo-based and internationally renowned Japanese electronic musician and producer. It is a modern interpretation that seeks to make the viewer viscerally feel the genesis myth of Ainu culture.

The main film is projected onto the massive Cultural Exchange Hall, with additional animation and lighting projected onto the surrounding hills, trees, river, and deer sculptures on the site. This is in tandem with the music coming from a world-class sound system and myriad speakers installed throughout the grounds. Moving colored lights and LEDs set up in various places across the vast site are synced tightly with the music and animation to bring about a mystical and immersive spatial presentation that pulls the audience in.

Four hand-animators led by Ryoji Yamada, and including Onohana, Yutaro Kubo, and Tatsuyoshi Ariyoshi–each amazing artists in their own right–joined their considerable talents and styles to create the most astonishing and authentic expression possible through their synergy. The opening and ending animation, inspired by traditional Ainu textiles, was created by Shotaro Tomiyama and Ko Kudo from the JKD visual team.

This video shows the raw animation which is projected onto the hall. To see the whole show in-situ, check out my Kamuy Symphonia – Projection Mapping and Light Show video.

If you plan to visit Hokkaido, make your way to Upopoy and don’t miss it!

Production Companies: JKD Collective, Hatch
Creative Director: Bruce Ikeda

Director / Art Director / Editor: Shane Lester

Producers: Ryoichiro Honma, Bruce Ikeda

Production Manager: Nakaba Futagi

Creative Agency: Drill

Executive Creative Director: Naoya Hosokawa

Creative Director / Content Writer: Jun Nishida

Technical Producer: Keisaku Ibuki

Assistant Producer: Masakazu Otsuka

Music / Sound Design: OKI, Kuniyuki Takahashi

Music Director / Producer: Bruce Ikeda

Lead Animator: Ryoji Yamada

Animators: Onohana, Yutaro Kubo, Tatsuhiro Ariyoshi

Designer: Shotaro Tomiyama

Motion Design for opening and ending: Ko Kudo

Technical Coordinator: Yoshiaki Ishigaya

Online Editor: Tomoyo Kubota

MA mixer: Yuji Murata

Post Production: TTR, PPC

Audio Visual Hardware: AVC, CAV, HOMMAGE, Kyowa Tsushin

Lighting Hardware: Kawamoto Stage Lighting Design, Horizont Art, TELMIC

Control system : aircord

Art object (deer) direction: kaibutsu

Art object (deer) production: R.mond, Bremen

Construction Producer: Takusan



AR Guide System: BASSDRUM

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