花の名前/Flower Names, 2015-

Flower Names, the five-chapter video piece, begins with a tale of Chloris, the flower nymph who was raped by the wind god Zephyrus. To compensate for his actions, Zephyrus made Chloris the goddess of flowers, naming her Flora and giving her a land filled with flowers. The myth reminded me of the violent incidents that occurred in American-occupied Okinawa, where servicemen committed brutal acts such as raping local women or leaving their lovers/wives and behind when they returned to the States. The following chapters tell tales of romance and violence: the myth of a male love triangle between Zephyrus, Apollo and Hyacinthus that Mozart tried to turn into an opera at a time when same-sex relationships were taboo; the romantic relationship between Marcel Proust and the composer Reynaldo Hahn, who composed a song called “A Chloris” (To Chloris) that celebrated Chloris’ beauty in a rather anachronistic baroque melody; and the story of an American serviceman stationed in Okinawa, who was also a drag queen. The latter sees the serviceman talk about how the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” changed but also didn’t change the status quo in America’s military bases. The piece ends with him lip-syncing “À Chloris” in drag, with a mix of awkwardness and grace.

Video Stills

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Installation View at Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (MIMOCA), Marugame, 2015
Photo: Keizo Kioku
Photo Courtesy: MIMOCA

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Installation Views at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2016
Photo: Nagare Satoshi
Photo courtesy: Mori Art Museum

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