Night Parade of One Hundred Demons by Kyoko Imazu
Some of Kyoko Imazu’s earliest memories are of drawing animals and other imaginary creatures. Japanese folktales are traditionally populated with Yōkai―strange animals, monsters and objects with souls, as well as formless natural phenomena like wind and thunder. When she was young, Imazu was convinced—and very scared—that Yōkai and other creatures were lurking close by or hiding in dark corners of her house. In her mind, they were as real as dogs or cats.
Through the lens of childhood memory, Imazu explores notions of the home using silhouettes that find their origins in Hyakki Yagyō―a Japanese folktale in which a hundred Yōkai monsters, ghosts and other creatures walk the streets. These stories capture memories of her childhood―in her dark bedroom listening to the voices of her parents, or reading alone in a library. Drawing Japanese folklore characters allows her to relive these memories and her experience of ‘home’. The Carlton Library light boxes present a platform for visual storytelling and Imazu’s images―a little scary, but also comical―lend themselves to a form of shadow puppetry at this site.
Kyoko Imazu is a Melbourne-based, Japanese artist. Recently―in collaboration with Barking Spider Visual Theatre―she has staged large-scale installations at the National Wool Museum, Geelong (2017); Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne (2017); and Fairhall House Museum, The Johnston Collection, Melbourne (2016). Recent public art projects include a commemorative ANZAC Centenary work (with Barking Spider Visual Theatre) for the City of Wyndham and Werribee RSL and a kindergarten mural (with Tom Civil) for the City of Maribyrnong. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is held in many public collections including: National Library of Australia; State Library of Queensland; State Library of Victoria; National Gallery of Australia; Melbourne Athenaeum Library; and Sydney College of the Arts; as well as numerous private collections worldwide.