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Panasonic projectors immersing audiences in the ‘Life of Hokusai’

Work of 18th-century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is being brought to life through Panasonic 4K 20,000lm 3-Chip DLPs

Panasonic laser projectors have played a central role in delivering a “spectacular, innovative” new genre of performing arts in Bologna’s Arena Del Sole. Audiences can now immerse themselves in the ‘Life of HOKUSAI’, allowing them to explore the world of Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai through an ambitious fusion of art, music, dance, poetry, and technology. Hokusai is particularly well known for his work The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

The production is the vision of renowned producer Shin Sugimoto, in collaboration with celebrated actor/director Katsumi Sakakura. Together, they have devised the concept of ‘projection live’, which sees dynamic and vivid projections of Hokusai’s work used to set the stage for the performance. To achieve their bold ambition and remain faithful to the intricacy and illumination of Hokusai’s original work, they used Panasonic PT-RQ22 20,000lm 3-Chip DLP projectors to deliver 4K imagery.

Hokusai was one of Japan’s most prolific and globally influential artists. His works were collected by European painters including Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Klimt, and his themes influenced the Impressionism movement, with echoes appearing in the work of Monet and Renoir. His art is characterised by vibrant colours and contrasting dark lines. To bring this type of art to life required a projector that could provide the correct degree and quality of colour contrast, to convey the realism and immersive power of the piece.

“The projector plays a pivotal role in creating an immersive ambiance, where audiences are transported into the world of Hokusai,” said ‘Life of HOKUSAI’ director/actor Katsumi Sakakura, of Global Business Labo Inc. “Its high-definition projection, impressive brightness, and precise expression of ‘black’ all contributed to the authenticity and grandeur of the production.”

Kyohei Morita, strategic planning at Panasonic Connect Europe, added: “The ‘Life of HOKUSAI’ truly pushes the boundaries of performance art, blending artistry with technological innovation with a spectacular result. Our projectors are designed to empower creative professionals without limits, providing the technology that enables them to deliver their vision and devise immersive experiences that surpass audience expectations time after time. We were honoured to be part of this spectacular and ambitious project.”

The ‘Life of HOKUSAI’ has already received the prestigious “Cool Japan Matching Award,” a testament to its cultural significance and international appeal, with Panasonic being recognised for its indispensable contribution to the success of the production so far.