What inspires the genius who has had a huge impact not only in Japan but around the world with such works as Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and The Sky Crawlers, and how does he create his work? We quizzed the filmmaker, who is also one of the movie world’s most influential theoreticians, about works that had inspired him and the secret to his creativity.
The global phenomenon of Sugimoto
The contemporary art maestro, who divides his time between New York and Tokyo, is also known as a collector of everything from fossils and antiques to space food, and has even put together exhibits combining his own work with national-treasure class Buddhist images. We asked the artist, who has also turned his hand to noh/bunraku and Shinto shrine architecture as part of his inquiry into the “origins” of humankind, about the relationship between history, time and art and the philosophy behind his art practice.
A young Welshman descended from the Celts - the “forest people” - settled in the Far East, struck by the beauty of forests in Japan, land of his imagination. Initially disillusioned with the destruction of nature there since the country’s dramatic progression to economic powerhouse, he subsequently underwent a change of heart that led to a land purchase in Kurohime, Nagano, and a determination to revive a devastated forest. What have we to regain by nurturing forests back to life? We spoke to this “Celtic Japanese” battler about the meaning of clawing back Japan’s natural environment.
When Japan’s foremost astronaut, Mamoru Mohri, first saw the Earth floating outside the window of the space shuttle, among the thoughts that came into his head were, “The Earth is as it is, the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and everything is connected within that whole.” Yet today, that same Earth is encumbered with a massive population in excess of seven billion people and facing environmental and resource-related crises of great concern to humankind. What should we do to overcome theses crises? And what can science and technology do to ensure a brighter “future”?