Project Medium: Multimedia/Performance

Embu focuses on integrating music and projected animation. I communicate the spirit of karate in a new context; transcending the original limitations of kata performance while still paying respect to the traditions of karate. My work explores the relationship between music, karate kata performance and visual images. The final outcome of my project is a live performance accompanied by an animated piece projected onto the wall and accompanying music.

I want to bring my interests: music, visual art and design, and karate together. I want to see how the motivation and emotion of music can affect karate movements and visual language. In doing so, I want to take advantage of the flexibility of projection technology and project video to weave movements and audio together. I want to bring the viewer a new multiple sensation experience that creates an interesting way of interpreting the spirit of karate kata.

I use two projectors to project on the wall and floor accompanied by music to create an immersive environment surrounding the performer. I am choosing to perform the piece live instead of using the format of video documentation, because I find that the impact of body movements, audio, and visual elements have a stronger impact in live performance. Live performance provides a different experience that allows audiences to closely engage with the performance by interacting with the visuals and sound effects in person.

“Embu” originates from the karate term “演武 (えんぶ)”, which literally means martial art performance. However, the actual meaning of “embu” in kata performance is not as simple as just demonstrating various movements without intention. Rather it embodies deep meaning and spirit according to Funakoshi. The deep meaning in “embu” is the movements representing the fighting techniques that are applicable in the real world with an actual opponent. Every decision of movement, every step, and every direction are based on this fundamental notion. In my project, I adopt this central idea of “embu”, integrating different media in order to expand and underline this pivotal meaning.
Christina Huang
Artist Email: christina_huang@mcad.edu

Christina Huang grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She completed a degree in Education and a minor in Visual Arts at Taipei Municipal University of Education, and her MFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is a graphic designer and she uses a lot of hand drawn illustration in her work. She is also interested in combining different media to articulate her concept. She wants to use graphic design as a tool to educate, inform, and engage. She also spent four years training with the Taiwanese National Karate Team. During this time, she was competing and training in 13 different countries. This experience cultivated her interest in studying and working abroad. After winning the silver medal in the Asia Games in 2010, she decided to move to the US to pursue graduate education. Her experience as an athlete has shaped her diligent work ethic, and she brings this rigor to her design work. Now she lives and works in New York.