TEN THOUSAND WAVES
Digital animation video
Screen shot from Ten Thousand Waves, Demo,
Digital animation video in progress
Water and animation share a secret symmetry in that they are—to borrow the words of Sergei Eisenstein—capable of “most fully conveying the dream of a flowing diversity of forms.” Water is also a metaphor for time: water (as a whole) might seem eternal; yet any given drop of water is immediately whisked away as we watch, perhaps never to be seen again.
Ten Thousand Waves is a work of experimental animation video, as well as an archive. The work animates a series of “wave and ripple” drawings from Hamonshū, a 1903 Japanese design book by little known Japanese artist Mori Yuzan. This 3-volume design book is now in the Public Domain, and is available for reading at the Smithsonian Libraries.
Digital erasering technique and playing back are important for the making process. With the principle that that no other visual elements will find their way into the work, the working process aims to test out how to turn the restraints into new possibilities. At the heart of the making process, however, is the interplay of lines and patterns, which are arranged, in contrapuntal pairs of opposites, within an all-embracing system based on the mutual attraction and repulsion of paired forms. It is a rhythm of arranged movement aspiring to the condition of music.
Mori Yuzan, Hamonshū, vol. 1, 1903.