Tanka Films


"One morning, after returning to live in New Zealand in 2004, I walked into the bathroom and found a moth clinging to the handle of my razor. The verse below formed at that moment, and as I had recently bought a digital camcorder in the United States, I filmed the moth as well. 'the rain is continuous, as a moth is sleeping on the stem of my razor I decide to remain unshaved'. This would become the first of 26 Tanka Films, tanka being an unrhymed Japanese verse form of five lines. Although I began with five shots to correspond with the five line form of tanka, it soon became unnecessary to adhere to a five-shot sequence; sometimes the filmed images were so strong that only three shots were needed. Over the two years of filming, a natural thematic development occurred. I started with everyday images from my home and neighbourhood, and then extended the terrain to include a wide range of subject matter. Ecological concerns began to appear, and the cycle ends with a global perspective in the final Tanka Film: 'there’s a window to the future a window for dreaming your rocket ship is ready, but it’s the earth – the sight of the earth that always draws you back'" - Artist Statement


Director: Richard von Sturmer Music: Brian Eno