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Kiru Umi No Yoni / Cutting Like the Ocean (Version I)

Peter Callas

Kiru Umi No Yoni / Cutting Like the Ocean; A Didactic Document Version I, (1983), 21:53 mins, Tokyo.

One of Callas’ most personally confronting and important works to date. Kiru is made up of six parts, and utilises the image of a knife slicing horizontally through the pictorial screen as its central and linking motif. It takes as its starting point an exhibition by Callas which incorporated a photograph from the 1920s of two severed heads belonging to a male and female of the Takasago tribe in Formosa (Taiwan). At once horrific and enigmatic, this image forms a potent metaphor for Japan’s pre-Second World War imperial past. In its focus upon colonial history and collective memory, the significance of the work is not confined to Japan alone but to Australia, the Pacific, the Americas and Europe.1

  • 1. Rachel Kent from “Peter Callas: Initialising History, video works 1980-1999”
Frame from Kiru Umi no Yoni (Version I) (c) Peter Callas.
Frame from Kiru Umi no Yoni (Version I) (c) Peter Callas.