The Forms of Animation

Hello! My name is Ethan, and I am one of several student illustrators contributing to Remotely Kyōgen: Comedy Under the Virtual Stars. I have the unique challenge of bringing forth one of the main aspects of kyōgen… kata

Now in our context, kata are defined movements used by kyōgen practitioners to evoke a certain action or task, yet performers may have their own unique expression of kata. Kata is what makes kyōgen so unique to me. This is what I want to highlight in my artwork, and hope to leave each viewer to their own interpretation. 

Each kata has its own rhythm, with a progression of movement. Many physical kata are accompanied by a verbal phrase, which an actor uses to communicate a character’s intention. Whether the character be eating or drinking, throwing or fishing, the actor clearly displays their motivation to the audience. Masters of kyōgen spend their entire life honing their craft, effectively portraying their vision in a clear and creative fashion. 

The challenge of my artwork is not just to illuminate intent, but to add my own creative interpretation of the action. I decided to pursue animation for my piece, combining the actions of the actor with digital animation, tapping into one of the key characteristics of kata, creativity. To this end, I want to use color to help evoke certain emotions and add depth to the movement of the kata; but most importantly, illustrate the momentum of the motion, and the rhythm that it produces.  I am excited to display my artwork next month, but a lot of work is still ahead of me.

– Ethan Castillo, Art Interludes

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