Kazuko Hohki, My Husband is a Spaceman

Review in Issue 13-4 | Winter 2001

First seen at BAC in July, and again at the Octoberfest, diminutive storyteller, puppeteer and new media artist Kazuko Hohki presented the final part of her autobiographical trilogy, relaying her experiences as a Japanese woman living in England. She gives us an amusing insight into her relationship with her English boyfriend and her seemingly conflicting loves of things Japanese and English.

Hohki uses a Japanese folk tale, ‘The Farmer and the Crane’, as the motif for her story. Experiencing mundane life in a congested Tokyo, ‘O.L.’ (Office Lady) Kazuko wants more than the bright lights, designer fashion and trendy restaurants ‘Chic Shibuya’ has to offer, longing for the simpler, greener, thatched cottage lifestyle that she’s dreamt of finding in England. Hohki’s skilful and self-deprecating use of video animation (depicting her enjoying her dream life in England), her use of ‘Kamishibai Ya’ puppetry (using traditional Japanese puppetry to quirkily illustrate the boredom of office work in miniature re-construction) and song (presented in Karaoke format) act to highlight her own leaps of imagination in recounting the story of discovering her husband was actually a spaceman.

With an intimate, relaxed tone this modern tale mirrors the folk-tale – showing that love develops and is lost in apparently unexpected ways, drawing out the more complex and subtle emotions experienced by men and women as they wrangle with finding ‘The One’. Hohki has an endearing and unassuming manner that reminds you to look at yourself in the same self-deprecating manner. Her use of multiple artforms is neatly packaged and imaginatively blended. This cultivation of a short and simple tale is impressive in its dynamic yet humble presentation.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-4
p. 24