Imagine if what stood between life and death were photographs. Not the dirty, embarrassing ones, but the pictures that give testament to who you were, the life you lived. What would you do? Throw them away to remove any trace of your former self? Wrap them in plastic and bury them somewhere safe even if the risk of discovery remains acute?
Kim Hak’s parents were faced with this choice during the savage Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia where, from 1975-1979, Pol Pot and his cronies unleashed a genocidal rage. Hak’s parents embedded their beloved pictures deep in the ground, returning every once in a while to make sure they were still safe.
This experience, among others, informed his decision to become a photographer and ultimately led to his collaboration with the Japanese choreographer, Akiko Kitamura. For over a quarter century, she has accumulated many laurels, including founding Leni-Basso, the company for which she created many acclaimed pieces. In 2009, she closed the troupe and turned her gaze toward solo projects that explored Southeast Asian countries.
The fruits of their cross-pollination made a stop at the Japan Society. A true multimedia experience, Cross Transit features . . .
THREE MINUTES TO READ
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Yuki Nishiyama, Chy Ratana, Ippei Shiba (L to R) in Cross Transit; Photo by © Ayumi Sakamoto