Performance #3: Duke Ross – OSARU-CHAN

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Faculty mentor: Miriam Sobrino

Artist’s Statement: For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this fascination with Japanese art and culture. In terms of appreciation of beauty and the ability to produce art that reflects it, I would say that Japan has been and continues to be a world leader. During the lockdown in late spring/early summer of 2020, I did a deep dive into Akira Kurosawa’s black and white samurai epics of the mid-century and felt this almost childlike sense of enthusiasm. Between the romanticized version of Edo period Japan comparable to the American fantasy of the West, the fascinating character archetypes, and the visual spectacle that many contemporary films fail to replicate, I found myself falling in love with this particular set of work.

To me, Americana has always translated to this notion of the “melting pot.” I believe that the mix of backgrounds, culture, and values present in the U.S. are what make American art and pop culture so rich and unique. “Osaru-Chan” is a genre-blend a la Shinichirō Watanabe, mixing elements of the Japanese Samurai epic, the American crime thriller, and horror. Especially given the current socio-political climate, more specifically all of the anti-Asian sentiment in the United States, I personally feel as though it’s more important than ever to participate in cultural exchange through cinema. 

Watch my performance below!
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