2017 / Video presentation of “Enka” songs in original context at Doizaki Gallery, Feb. 26 – April 2

The First Karaoke: Enka! – installation at the Doizaki Gallery of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles. (Cultural News Photo)

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
“The First Karaoke: Enka!” at Doizaki Gallery
Feb. 26 – April 2, 2017

When veteran video artist Bruce Yonemoto was visiting Taiwan, he discovered the original meaning of Enka, an abbreviated form of “enzetsu no uta” (oratorical song) in 1880s in Japan. It originally described anti-government protest songs sung in the streets.

In the installation of “The First Karaoke: Enka!” at the Doizaki Gallery of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles, Yonemoto creates current version of original context for Enka songs in Taiwanese, Chinese, and Japanese.

He updated the practice of using the familiar Enka form of five-seven  syllable ballads and pentatonic scale to encourage contemporary music to communicate personal, public and political issues that have resonance in the world today.

In addition to Yonemoto’s video presentation,  a wall-installation of vintage music records by Hirokazu Kosaka is on display.

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is located at 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Gallery hours in Saturday and Sunday is from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission free. www.jaccc.org

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