MIZARU – Interactive Installation & Performance


MIZARU is about life and death, and how the border between life and death exists everywhere. This border is happening every moment, we just don’t realize it because it’s hidden by so many things. The title, MIZARU, is the name of one of the three wise monkeys in Japanese culture, Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru, better known in English as See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil. The literal translation of MIZARU is “not to see.” In our piece we aim to remove the curtains, look directly at our own mortality, and hopefully become more alive in the process.

The installation is comprised of a large transparent structure/box, allowing all to see inside, nothing is hidden. When one enters the structure one is presented with a white wall. Upon touching it, the wall comes to life, creating 5 different worlds of visuals and sound, surrounding the user. This wall is the barrier between life and death.

The 5 worlds represent conceptually:

1. illusions (desires), 2. chains (being bounded), 3. fire/burning (destruction), 4. water (birth), 5. universe (truth).

The white wall is actually a piece of spandex stretched tight across a large frame. The spandex acts as a membrane sensitive to touch that people can push into and manipulate visuals and expressively play music. Once people go into the room and touch the spandex sheet this membrane suddenly springs to life with fiery visual patterns and music that shifts according to the depth and pressure of a person’s touch. The projection can be seen on both sides of the spandex sheet, and seen from all directions outside the structure.

MIZARU has been appeared at:

2013 Tribeca Performing Arts Center, NY

2013 Burning Man, NV

2014 Brooklyn Museum, NY

2015 Telfair Museum, GA

2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

2015 Macy Art Gallery/Columbia University, NY

2016 Mesa Art Center, AZ

Info about the videos
First Video – Touch interactive installation/MIZARU

Sample of each mode

Second Video – Performance at Brooklyn Museum of Art

A performance/installation for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Jan. 4th, 2014. Dancers and the audience create/manipulate sounds and visuals by pressing into a spandex screen.

Concept: Kiori Kawai, Aaron Sherwood
Design/Direction: Kiori Kawai
Performance: Kiori Kawai, Masanori Asahara
Visuals, Programming: Michael Allison, Aaron Sherwood
Music: Aaron Sherwood

Video shot by Edwin Adkins
Thumbnail Photo: BKLYN1834
Third Video – Burning Man 2013

Installation/performance at Burning Man 2013

Concept, Design & Performance: Kiori Kawai
Concept, Music, Visuals & Programming: Aaron Sherwood
Visuals & Programming: Mike Allison
Architect: Xuedi Chen
Lead Build: John Capogna
Video: Tomochika Yano, Kaetsu Motomitsu
Photo: Momo Nakayama

Special thanks building team: Jack Kalish, Alexandra Diracles, Andy Sigler, Jun Kawai, Yusuke Danbara, Sarah Rothberg, Yotam Mann, Anne-Marie Lavigne, Adam Quinn, Aaron Vazquez, Noah Zerkin