Ephemera was a performance trilogy by Kimi Maeda featuring interactive objects and installations, along with the premiere of Bend, the final work in the series. Kimi’s use of materials and performance translates the ephemerality and fragility of memory, and identifies the complex relationship between
“If memory forms our personal identity and shared memory forms our cultural and even racial identity, what does it mean when memories are lost? Bend, the third piece in a shadow-puppet trilogy dealing with my bicultural identity as a Japanese American, will explore this question.
From the beginning of the trilogy I have been searching for a way to tell ephemeral stories by creating a disconnect between objects casting shadows and their two-dimensional projected images. I started with a fairly complicated and cumbersome set-up for The Crane Wife using an overhead projector, lights, fabric collages, props, and furniture, and I moved to a much simpler series of paper-cut-out screens and a moving flashlight in The Homecoming.
For Bend, I have chosen to use sand as my primary medium. Not only does sand call to mind Noguchi’s landscape designs and Zen Buddhist rock gardens, it also has the amazing ability to be both a projection surface as well as an object that can be manipulated to cast shadows. Using a dynamic, moveable light source and simple wooden blocks inspired by Noguchi’s sculptures I will draw and sculpt shadow image after shadow image and then wipe them away so that in the end all that will be left is the audience’s memory of the performance.”
Support for Bend was made possible by the Tapp’s Arts Center, the Jim Henson Foundation, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and the Kō Festival of Performance. Support for the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam was made possible by the Puppet Slam Network and the City of Columbia Hospitality Tax Commission.