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A spotlight shines on a miniature primary school chair. Its steel frame is crumpled like a child’s body cowering in fear. Soon, other chairs of differing sizes come into view, lit by a solitary woman, who crawls among them with a torchlight. She casts their mangled shadows onto a clinical white curtain, creating an eerie symbolic landscape of “uninternalized” repression.

“Each time I come back to Japan, I feel immense pressure to fit into a mold,” says Naoko Tanaka, 42, a Berlin-based Japanese visual and performance artist behind the production, which is titled “Uninternalized (light).”

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