The Japanese word Bakeru means ‘transform,’ and the sentiments behind its usage are particularly important to the Northern Tohoku folk traditions that stress the eventuality of transmigration between the spirit world and the natural world of waking reality. For the world debut of an interactive exhibit built around this theme and entitled BAKERU: Transforming Spirits, the Japan House (Los Angeles) art venue was in search of an innovative way to showcase the ancient, homogenous culture of Japan and its unique customs. They knew that it would take an optimal mix of art, multimedia and technology and eventually found that Panasonic was the ideal partner, deploying the company’s PT-RZ870 Series projectors with ET-DLE085 and ET-DLE035 lenses.
“The PT-RZ870 1-Chip DLP® laser projectors paired with the ET-DLE085 and ET-DLE035 lenses offer the high brightness and excellent image quality needed for an immersive exhibit like BAKERU,” said Jared Darensbourg, territory account manager, Panasonic Professional Imaging & Visual Systems. “The ultra-short-throw lenses enable large-screen projection from a short distance, and matched with the projector’s 360-degree flexible installation, it was the perfect fit for the space and this collaboration with Japan House LA.”
WOW, a creative ad design studio specializing in profound and useful installations with offices in Tokyo and three other major cities, created four large projections to activate Panasonic’s technology and bring the understanding of traditional cultures in Japan to experiential fruition. The surreal masks and anthropomorphic imagery of BAKERU represent a participant’s transformation into a supernatural being and remind (or perhaps inform) visitors that Tohoku culture emphasizes a strong connection between the natural and supernatural in all aspects of daily life. Combining interactivity with elements of gamification, BAKERU is a cultural experience for a multicultural public in a particularly diverse city, and it feels quite at home residing in Japan House (Los Angeles). Check out the video below to see the exhibit in action:
BAKERU: Transforming Spirits, originally slated to end on October 6, 2019, quickly became a hit and was extended to run through Sunday, October 20.
Presented and organized by: JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
Sponsored by: ANA (All Nippon Airways) / Panasonic
In cooperation with: Gyouzanryu Maikawa Shishiodori / Tokyo Shishiodori / Oga City / Baba no Taue Odori Preservation Society / FabLab Sendai FLAT / Fukunaga Print Co., Ltd. / cap LLC. / Ito Yutaka
Curatorial support provided by: tateito-yokoito LLC. / Tohoku Standard
Art direction by: WOW
Special thanks to: Hollywood & Highland