Mujō (The Heartless)

Film Installation

“Kokumin Dojo” (Civilian Training Center) ,released circa 1943, was a Japanese state-sponsored propaganda film documenting a series of training and religious rituals used to convert the local Taiwanese people into “imperial subjects” = “Japanese” in Taiwan under Japanese rule. This work attempts a contemporary critical “reenactment” of the lack of self and emotion in the film, where all personal feelings are excluded, representing the values of the militaristic and colonial policies of the time. Young immigrants studying and working in Japan are set on a stage to “change from being non-Japanese, to being Japanese,” while the off-camera commander=director films the collective actions played out on the stage, focusing on the bodies and voices of the four immigrants. Four film works are synchronised with the film “Kokumin Dojo”, resulting in a 5 channel video installation.