October 17, 2019
4 min read
For the world debut of the exhibition, BAKERU: Transforming Spirits, JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES was in search of an innovative way to deepen the understanding and appreciation of Japan by presenting various aspects of the country and its culture through a unique approach. By presenting parts of the Japanese culture through exhibitions and programs including BAKERU – and to effectively execute this experience in such an immersive way – JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES needed to utilize state-of-the-art technology with multimedia and artistic elements.
Panasonic’s mission of ‘A Better Life, A Better World’ aligns with JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES’ global mission of fostering appreciation for Japan around the world. Together, and in collaboration with WOW and Cleartech Media, an immersive environment was created where guests can transform into projected characters and participate in several festival scenes known in the Tohoku region of Japan. Panasonic’s PT-RZ870 Series projectors and ET-DLE085 and ET-DLE035 lenses were used to transform part of the popular Hollywood & Highland complex in LA into a place where visitors can experience and be immersed into Japanese culture without having to board an airplane.
By utilizing Panasonic’s projectors and lenses, BAKERU: Transforming Spirits quickly became one of the most popular exhibits hosted by JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES, and as a result, the exhibition timeframe was extended to a longer term. With cutting edge projection technology, superior support and innovation from Panasonic’s team and its solutions, JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES is successfully driving an intellectual exchange between Japan and the rest of the world.
Tradition, New Expression, and New Technology
Conceived by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2017, JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs located in London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo. The project aims to foster international awareness and appreciation of Japan by creating experiences that highlight all regions and various aspects of Japanese culture. From high culture to subcultures, and from the traditional to the cutting edge, JAPAN HOUSE takes a creative approach in sharing its evolving culture through its facilities and through diverse programs aimed to provide a new sense of discovery for both those familiar as well as encountering Japanese culture for the first time.
“BAKERU is very unique in that it features traditional folk tradition of Japan and at the same time presents Japan’s high technology and top-notch media art,” said Yuko Kaifu, President of JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES. “Because of the interactive nature of the exhibition, people can have fun and also learn about the folklore tradition at the same time.”
Showcasing interactive digital technology at the BAKERU: Transforming Spirits at its Los Angeles branch, WOW, Japanese creative art and design studio, created four large projections to activate contemporary technology to enhance the understanding of traditional Japanese culture. Using Microsoft Kinect and its dynamic aggregating sensor, movements are captured in real time as participants transform into projected scenes. “One of the important components of this installation is the sense of immersion,” said Kaoru Kudo, Visual Art Director at WOW. “The Panasonic projectors play the most crucial role which is to send images of the visitors without delay, beautifully and consistently throughout a long exhibition period.”
The Promise of Projection
In completing the technological integration and installation of BAKERU, Panasonic partnered with Cleartech Media, a leader in delivering collaborative technology solutions for today’s active learning and workplace environments. Cleartech is no stranger to Panasonic’s projection technology, with other projects – also led by Cleartech – having used the same model in another part of JAPAN HOUSE’s Los Angeles space. “Panasonic is our ‘Go- To’ technology company for projection. With over twenty years of experience in the integration field, I find that Panasonic products usually suit everyone’s needs,” said Joe Perez, Chief Technology Officer at Cleartech. “Especially in entertainment, I have always found Panasonic to be reliable, ahead of technological trend, and flexible in use.”
Given that the exhibit is taking place for long hours over consecutive months, it was important to deploy projectors that could maintain a high image quality but would provide stable, consistent, low-maintenance performance. The PT-RZ870 projector was the clear choice. The PT-RZ870 paired with ET-DLE085 and ET-DLE035 lenses make it possible to vary the projection distance by changing the focal distance. Specifically, the ET-DLE035 lenses, which enable large-screen projection from a short distance, create images that are about 15x11 feet high onto a long white wall. The main projectors are displaying content created by WOW.
Max Brown, Account Manager at ClearTech has also worked with Panasonic for years, and explained that his previous experience and trust in its products led to the decision to deploy Panasonic projectors at BAKERU. “Panasonic is a trusted manufacturer for Cleartech. Its projectors have excellent short throw distance and zero distortion lens options,” said Brown. He also highlighted how Panasonic was the first company to “change the game with laser projectors,” and having the widest range of laser projectors available makes leading with Panasonic a simple decision.
From its initial conception to opening day of BAKERU, Panasonic’s involvement was critical in ensuring that the exhibit would be a success. “The projectors of Panasonic provide the best quality of screen projection, which is an indispensable component in executing our BAKERU exhibition,” said Kaifu. BAKERU: Transforming Spirits, JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES is open to the public through October 20, 2019.
For more information about Panasonic Imaging & Visual System, please visit: https://na.panasonic.com/us/audio-video-solutions.
For more information about JAPAN HOUSE LOS ANGELES, please visit: https://www.japanhouse.jp/losangeles