Panasonic projectors push boundaries of performance art for ‘Life of Hokusai’ experience

Panasonic laser projectors have played a central role in delivering an 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.

The production is the vision of 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 ambition and remain faithful to the intricacy and illumination of Katsushika’s original work, they used Panasonic PT-RQ22 20,000lm 3-Chip DLP projectors to deliver 4K imagery.

Katsushika 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 Impressionist 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.

Panasonic’s 3-Chip DLP RQ22 projector delivers 20,000lm of brightness, in one of the smallest and lightest form factors in its class. This makes it ideal in immersive performance environments. Panasonic’s original pixel quadrupling technology creates smooth 4K+ images with immersive depth and definition, whilst Dynamic Contrast technology delivers a high contrast ratio of 20,000:1, including image-scene analysis that enables more detailed recognition of light and dark areas and better contrast expression.

“The projector plays a pivotal role in creating an immersive ambiance, where audiences are transported into the world of Hokusai,” says ‘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, adds: “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 received a ‘Cool Japan Matching Award,’ a testament to its cultural significance and international appeal, with Panasonic being recognised for its contribution to the success of the production so far.

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