Ever evolving together with the times and advancing technologies, WOW has continued to diversify its creative expressiveness, and in 2017 welcomes its 20th year in existence. In advance of this milestone 20th year comes the launch of the new project WOW20. We will be announcing 12 works, all on the theme of ‘Shitsurae.’ The meaning of ‘Shitsurae’ is to give appropriate shape to something, to express it accurately and definitively, and to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience. We will express the quiet act of consideration for others, an act which contains the aesthetic sensibility of Japan, with determination to communicate it to Japan and societies of the world.
As a precursor to these works, we have launched ‘the WOW20th Anniversary Movie Logo Internal Competition,’ involving visual media using the WOW20 logo. The task requires expressing WOW20, and completed with the logo, within 30 seconds. The 22 entries created by 25 participants are, unlike their normal creations, explosive expressions of each individual designer’s personality. The result is that these WOW20 works currently being exhibited provide anticipation for a new style of diversity. wowlab will be presenting the top 7 works from this competition with interviews. Here, we introduce Tatsuki Kondo’s work ‘Glittering Particles’(which ranked especially high in an internal vote).
Tatsuki Kondo(Technical Director / Designer)
Recent works: ‘iQOS PR EVENT Installation’ ‘SLUSH ASIA 2015 “360° DOME MOVIE / Installation / VI”’ ‘Tsurutaro Kataoka Exhibition “SHIKISAIKA -Flowres of the four seasons-”’ ‘CASIO TR’ ‘INFINITY LINE’
- What was the concept for ‘Glittering Particles?’
My first inspiration was to visualize something that would glitter and shine through the use of light. We often tend to use the word ‘shining’ when we talk about people or things. Around us are all kinds of diamonds in the rough, whether it’s people, ideas, or opinions, etc. In order for a diamond in the rough to shine, it needs light, and I believe that the shine of a gemstone will change depending on how the light hits it. It is my belief that one of WOW’s roles is to organize ways to find the most appropriate method for shining a light upon the many projects and ideologies we are involved in, and is the significance of our existence.
- Please talk about the production process.
I planned the concept for 2 or 3 days, imagining gold particles (like gold foil) flowing beautifully in water, and then spent a week building a mock up that could enable this image. I created liquid combinations such as laundry starch with water, and tested different sizes and colors of gold dust particles, in order to find the ideal, best kind of sparkle. From there I spent a week converting that work into a 60cm water tank for filming, and also simultaneously conducted simulations of light projections with a projector. Although I had already decided and boarded my scenes, a lot of things didn’t go as planned when I actually tried to execute them. For example, if I shot from too diagonally and high, the flares wouldn’t be pretty. So I continued to modify, shoot, and edit over and over again, and finally completed the process after 10 days. For filming, I chose a water tank with a glass floor, and used an ELMO Boxi mobile projector to project light from below. The look and feel of the gold particles can easily change depending on what side you project the light from. Projecting the light from below gave it a dreamy, fantastical look, and I shot the water tank from the front.
- What are the highlights of this project?
That I adjusted the density of the liquid by mixing in laundry starch so that the gold particles would flutter beautifully. If it was just water, they would simply sink, so I tested out several combinations of water and laundry starch. In order to circulate the water I added a pump, so I want viewers to see the beautiful convective flow.
- Did you have any tough time in the process?
I filmed everything at home, and so cleaning my room was very hard… I stopped the pump and pulled out one end and was thinking about what to do next, but because of the siphon principle the water started to gush out, and my room was flooded. I had covered my floor, but it was pretty bad(laughs). Also, handling gold dust particles is very difficult. I was using lame for coating bikes and cars, and I ended up with lame all over my place and in between my fingernails.
- This was the only live action entry in this competition. Why did you want to shoot live action?
I enjoy experimenting and making my ideas become real. And I also thought I was adept at this, so my number one thought was to ‘take on this challenge using live action.’ I was able to continue with it because I was doing something I enjoyed, and I believe that is why I was able to complete it as well.
- Where did you get your idea?
I had the idea for shining particles with light since before the competition. One of the bases for my thinking came from the ‘iQOS PR EVENT Installation,’ an installation for an entrance which I worked on. We pumped smoke into a space and hit it with light from a projector to create shapes. They weren’t real objects so they couldn’t be touched, but they were dimensional shapes, and I began to think what if I could create something elegant, more sparkling and shiny. For WOW20, since the website was based on gold colors, I thought, it would be pretty if I could make gold foil rain and illuminate it with light, and that’s how I began creating this project.
- What part of working on the usual workflow of a project do you like best?
I like coming up with a plan, the concept. I have the most fun while thinking of things like, ‘this is what I want to do, but is it actually possible?’
- Is there something in the future you would like to try doing?
I would like to do this project in a giant-sized version, big enough for a person to fit inside. I want to take a dark and huge space, rain down gold foil, and do the same thing, shining lights and lights from projectors. When I talked about this with a producer at our company he shot it down, saying, ‘that would be very difficult.’ (laughs) But in any case, I enjoy working with spaces and installations, and so I would love to work on a large scale project.
For next time, we will introduce Shing Abe’s work, which expressed WOW’s 20 years by counting-up.