The Only Male Geisha – Outside Sound Installation

Image and sound installation on Museum of East Asian Art and Japan Foundation, Cologne 2018. Part of the exhibition The Only Male Geisha.

The Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst (Museum of East Asian Art) and the Japanisches Kulturinstitut (JapanFoundation) in Cologne are located next to a city lake. We installed super sized prints of Shō players Ko Ishikawa and Kazue Tajima on the windows of each of the buildings, visible and audible only from the adjacent bridge.

Using hidden ultrasonic directional speakers, Will Saunders‘ sound installation was projected to a „listening spot“ on the bridge, blending recordings of Shō improvisations with soundscapes of Tokyo.
The people passing by could hear these recordings as if they were coming from the surrounding lake and park, real bird songs mixed with recorded ones from Tokyo, all encompassed by a silent and calming layer of Shō music.

Will Saunders‘ sonic motif for The Only Male Geisha (outside)

This sonic motif was also used for the sound installation of the main exhibition „The Only Male Geisha“ inside the Japan Foundation. You can see documentation of the whole exhibition here.