photographer: Angela von Brill
Daniel J. Becker, born 1984, lives and works in Cologne, where he studied at the Köln International School of Design. AsSawako Kabuki’s latest crazy animation tells the story of a girl who is hooked on octopus balls (takoyaki). The animator and illustrator is renowned for her unconventional storylines. She is also known for producing surreal short films that repeatedly unsettle and shock her viewers – her secret: her surreal style, engulfing all boundaries of object and subject, simultaneously make us laugh. Instantaneously catchy, the single Takoyaki Story single by 1980YEN features a high voice that sings praises of takoyaki balls. Takoyaki are a popular Japanese snack, made simply of batter and octopus. In the projected short film we therefore see eyeballs that morph into takoyaki and then transform into people, only to turn into octopus tentacles. Sawako Kabuki’s lyrics, melody and work style are symptomatic of the young global society featuring target groups, and consequently also experts, for all kinds of human activity. The continuously growing media flows created by these experts on YouTube, Twitch and, most recently, TikTok, must stand in sharp contrast to each other, and need to be shaped. The demand for a hybrid of service providers and artists therefore increases daily. It is only logical, and not a lack of professionalism, that Sawako Kabuki never works with a fixed storyboard. She initially compiles her animations in a kind of image stream, and works with loose ideas that she has conjured up.
Sawako Kabuki participated in the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, among other things, and in the South by Southwest: SXSW Film Festival in the USA. For more information on Sawako Kabuki, visit https://vimeo.com/user29644294.