The Pearl of Tailorbird - Memento Stella

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Rei Hayama - The Pearl of Tailorbird
Takashi Makino - Memento Stella

Opening reception: December 15th, 2018 | 6 - 7:30PM
World premiere screening of Memento Stella: December 15th, 2018 | 7:30 - 8:30PM

Empty Gallery is pleased to present the concurrent exhibitions of Tokyo-based artist Rei Hayama and experimental filmmaker Takashi Makino.

Consisting of a multi-channel installation spread over both floors of the gallery, The Pearl of Tailorbird, our first solo exhibition by Rei Hayama, situates a series of luminous video miniatures within the gradually unfolding, nest-like architecture of the gallery space. Shot during a brief sojourn in Hong Kong, these short-form videos are anchored by a haunting soundscape in which Hayama imitates the speech of various local birds in her own voice. Listening to the characteristic trills and warbles of these different bird-calls, Hayama translated them into a series of homophonous words in her native language of Japanese - generating a host of fragmentary and unexpected meanings associated with the figure of each specific bird and its habitat. Working between text, sound, and moving-image, Hayama crafts profoundly beautiful short films whose obliquely mythopoetic narratives explore what might best be termed “ecological anomie”. 

Installed in Empty Gallery’s 18/F project space, Takashi Makino’s Memento Stella is a single monumental moving-image work, representing a feature-length distillation of the formal techniques and thematic preoccupations which have defined Makino’s film-making practice to date. Makino renders familiar representational images formless and oneiric through his deployment of super-imposition, frame-rate manipulation, and multiple exposures - sometimes layering up to two hundred images at once. Through this process, footage of snow and water, foliage and buildings, gradually sheds its function as referents to an external world, transforming into swarms of oscillating particles and shimmering clouds of light. Originating from a neologism coined by the artist meaning “remember the stars”, the titular film is a metaphorical journey which explores the origin of all concrete phenomena in a formless, undifferentiated field of elemental matter - not unlike the genesis of our stars and planets in swirls of cosmic dust.

Rei Hayama is a Japanese artist who works mainly with moving image, and one of the founding members of the Tokyo film collective, [+]. Aftermany thoughtful experiences amongst wildlife in the unique environment of her youth, she studied at the Department of Moving Images and Performing Arts, Tama Art University and has been making films since 2008. Hayama’s films revolve around nature and all other living things that have been lost or neglected from an anthropocentric point of view. Through abstract film and video works with sound, poetic writings and symbolic imageries, Hayama gently seeks the harmonious connection between nature and human beings, bringing forward the invisible layers of our natural reality into the human imagination. Her works have exhibited and screened internationally, at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, Bergen Kunsthall, Tromsø International Film Festival, and Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, amongst others.

Takashi Makino is a Japanese experimental filmmaker/artist. After graduating from the Cinema Department of Nihon University College of Art in 2001, Makino relocated to London to study under the Quay Brothers. His film No is E won the Terayama Shuji Prize at the Image Forum Festival 2007, and he was prominently featured at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008, where Elements of Nothing was nominated for the Tiger Award. Since then, Makino has participated in more than 30 international film festivals and video art festivals. His work has recently been shown at Tate Modern, BFI London, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.


Empty Gallery - Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China


Saturday, December 15, 2018 (All day) to Saturday, January 26, 2019 (All day)



Saturday, December 15, 2018 (All day) to Saturday, January 26, 2019 (All day)


  • 3 Yue Fung Street Tin Wan
    19th Floor, Grand Marine Center
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong S.A.R., China
    Phone: +852 2563-3396
    22° 14' 57.1452" N, 114° 8' 50.6688" E