Izumi Ashizawa

Izumi Ashizawa

Izumi Ashizawa
Associate Professor

I Cried Because I Had No Shoes Until…, 2019, performance art

“I Cried Because I Had No Shoes Until…” is a physical theatre performance themed around “Shoes” in gender and identity politics. The performance challenges the concept of “puppetry” and “social invisibility” in an intellectual and aesthetic manner. The project tackles the prevalent frame by reinterpreting the traditional Japanese theatre code.

A collection of vignettes associated with the theme of “Shoes” evokes phenomenological questions to the viewers. Sometimes funny, sometimes nostalgic, and sometimes dream-like memories all intertwine, collide, and dissolve around the same objects. The performance incorporates a traditional Japanese Bunraku and Kabuki concept of “Kurogo”. The Invisible stage-hand in black is considered “invisible” on the stage, but this performance spotlights the idea of “invisibility” of a female puppeteer by using the character of what we perceive as “invisible”.

A British male character interacts with shoes without owners animated by “invisible” Japanese female performer. The relationships with him and the shoes sometimes imposes the images of war, political power games, social power games and gender games, by contrasting the bodies of colonizer and colonized/ the Others.

Created and performed by Izumi Ashizawa.
Performance with Matthew Austin and Chris Jones.
“I Cried Because I Had No Shoes Until…” was developed through Physical Fest Artist-In-Residency, Liverpool, the UK, 2019 and premiered on June 11th, 2019 at Unity Theatre, Liverpool, the U.K.