Sono Sion is a man of many talents. At age 17, poet. At age 23, filmmaker. At age 32, author. But most prolific were his films, which helped him establish a cult following. So singular was he as a director that “even in a country known for eccentric filmmakers, he stands out as a genre practically unto himself,” wrote a film critic in the WSJ.
Sion has a new film out called “The Whispering Star,” an ambitious tour de force shot at locations evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But unable to pack everything into an hour and forty minutes, Sion is also staging a solo exhibition in Tokyo featuring a large scale installation of projected silhouettes, 555 storyboards, as well as a new art piece inspired by Japan’s most beloved dog Hachiko.
Sion’s solo exhibition is on display at the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo through July 10, 2016. The main attraction is “Bridge,” a large scale installation of silhouettes projected onto shoji screens. It’s a scene that’s borrowed from Sono’s new film and stands as a symbol for living on the border of life and death.
On the next level of the museum is the installation “Hachiko” a work inspired by Japan’s most famous dog. The sculpture depicts the dog statues patiently waiting on its base, but then suddenly disappearing. It stands as a poignant statement about the proximity between life and “afterlife.” Moving up another floor in the museum, visitors will find “Boxes and Storyboard,” a collection of 555 storyboards, some from 25 years ago.
If you’re in New York, The Whispering Star will be screened at Japan Society’s Japan Cuts on July 16.