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  • Writer's picturePeggy Nichols

Introducing the artwork of Ibuki Kuramochi, who expresses physicality in a variety of mediums...

Updated: May 1, 2023

'Prenatal Memory and Species', HD Video, (3 min.33sec ) Music: "anua" by adb6/gqpe

'Prenatal Memory and Species', video still. 2022

'My works are mainly about physicality.

They exist in a variety of media, including video art, media art such as digital painting, performance art that encompasses Butoh dance, and painting.

Butoh, known as the "Dance of Darkness," was founded by Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno after World War II as a means of re-establishing Japanese cultural identity. Butoh dance turned away from modernization and Western dance styles, and founded Butoh on unknown principles such as philosophy, the subconscious, primitive instincts, and ancient, incomprehensible myths.

Also, in the world of Butoh, even today, the ideal of perfection of the male body is rooted in the patriarchal culture of Japan.

(As the second sex). I critique these patriarchal physicalities with an exploration of the phenomenal body, the womb, and the female body, which emerge anew in conjunction with the concept of cyborg-feminism and technology.


My work is also deeply influenced by Sigmund Freud's Id.

Id is one of the terms used to describe human mental functions, and refers to instinctive desires and physiological impulses.

I have a sleep disorder, and I have nightmares every night. These violent dream experiences stand out in my work as visceral representations.

These unconsciously and consciously extracted “Id” have a consistent physicality.

It is an eroticism pregnant with sexuality, mutability, melting, and compatibility.

The eroticism of sexuality, transformation, melting, compatibility, etc., the crossover of spirit and body between membranes, and the materialization of the body through the escape of the spirit from the body.

My work evokes a break from the oblivion of the body in today's virtual world, and an awakening to a new physicality extracted from the media.'

'Id-phase 1', digital media, 2023.

left to right: 'Id-phase 2', digital media, 2023., 'SHIN', digital media, 2020., 'Parasite', digital media, 2023.

'Organisms of Domination', HD Video, (1 min 56sec)

Music: Lewd sums/ adb6/gqpe

'Organisms of Domination',video still.

'Human Performer', video still. 2022

'Matrix',HD Video, (8min 50sec ) Music:"anua" by adb6/gqpe

'Matrix', video still, 2022.

'Intracrine', HD Video, (5 min 23sec) Music: Lewd sums adb6/gqpe 2021.

Ibuki Kuramochi is a Japanese-born interdisciplinary artist.

Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, Taipei, and Rome.

Since 2016, she has studied the uniquely Japanese modern/contemporary dance Butoh from Yoshito Ohno at the world renowned Kazuo Ohno Butoh Dance Studio. Kuramochi visualizes her performances and body movements as two-dimensional works and video works, exploring the poetic choreographic physicality of Butoh dance and the human body in anatomy.

Kuramochi's artistic practice incorporates Butoh dance, performance, video, installation, and painting, and is deeply rooted in the body, the resonance of thought and body, metamorphosis, cyborg feminism, and post-human feminism.

In 2019, she was featured as Artist of the Year on the front cover of LA WEEKLY's special issue " PEOPLE 2019”. Recent exhibitions include work at the Torrance Art Museum, New York Hall of Science, Spring Break Art Show LA, and Taipei Taichung City Sea Port Art Center, and artist lectures at the art college in Tokyo and the NY Film Academy. She is currently living and working in Los Angeles .

Ibuki Kuramochi, in a Butoh Dance performance.

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