Serene images of a temple complex, a river, a garden, a continuous stream of people leaving the metro station, nothing particularly different from the normal daily live it seems. But the opposite is true, in “Today My Empire Sings”, an multiple screen installation of Meiro Koizumi.
In “Today My Empire Sings”, we are gradually introduced to the intense emotional, politically complex representation of contemporary Japan dealing with its WOII heritage.
In the video we follow a man on the street; in the beginning he is standing still, people move around him without noticing. But something seems not to be right, an uncomfortable oppressive feeling slowly arises. At first it is unclear if the man is protected or pushed forward by the riot police through the crowd of intense angry people. He is strong and doesn’t show any sign of emotion, the hatred yelled at him doesn’t seem to hurt him. But then after a long route of slowly walking, it all becomes to much, he breaks, “Help” he whispers at first and then starts to cry and scream louder.
It is impressive to see, how the young Japanese artist Meiro Koizumi (b.1976, Gunma, Japan) is able to address the moral and emotional complexity that is still present nowadays and become visible during the national commemoration of Japans capitulation at the end of WOII. His camera movements and conscious way of editing allows him to manipulate our expectations and emotions that lead us to an unexpected climax.