Jaws dropped as American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, arriving in Japan in the 1980s, named Yasujiro Ozu as one of the directors he was most inspired by. Ozu, active from the 1920s up to the 1960s, was then considered old fashioned for his slow pace and lack of movement, and for the middle-class sensibilities of his dramas set, usually, in domestic spaces. He is still largely neglected by Japanese youth today, so one wonders how the art crowd will respond to two Portugese artists taking Ozu and mu, most often translated as “nothingness,” a concept associated with the director’s films, as the theme to their show.
At “MU: Pedro Costa & Rui Chafes” five works each by Costa, a filmmaker, and Chafes, a sculptor, give new life to the staircase and garden as well as the exhibition rooms of the Hara Museum. In one room, Chafes, who works mainly in iron, has installed a structure reminiscent of a confessional, with a row of booths separated from a line of seats by grid panels. High above, in a work by Costa, what seem at first to be photographic character studies of striking faces are revealed, through the slightest detail of movement, to be filmic images.