Sakurai’s “The Stream VII” is a calm representation of natural world

In the man-made waterways of rice paddies, the water in nature must follow artificial rules. In that way, nature is made abstract, giving rise to a new form of beauty distinct from the natural state. The theme of this work is the liveliness of the water as it follows the man-made course.

This work is a ballet using the sound and the movement of the algae and water. With the waterway as the theater, the director filmed the choreography of the algae that flows in the water.

Poster the_stream_7_4k_1_hosei

Hiroya Sakurai was born in Yokohama,Japan in 1958 and graduated from University of Tsukuba [ M.F.A.] in 1985. Sakurai has taught at Seian University of Art and Design since 2012 as professor. Exhibitions include The 4th Sydney Biennale (1982), Postwar Art in Japan, The Getty Center, Los Angeles (2007), 62nd Melbourne International Film Festival (2013), 58th San Francisco International Film Festival, 13th International Festival Signes de Nuit, Paris (all 2015). Sakurai’s work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and J.Paul Getty Trust.

Q/A with Hiroya Sakurai

1. What first drew you to pursue making this specific film project?

I am interested in the water stream in the rice paddy near my home. In the man-made waterways of rice paddies, the water in nature must follow artificial rules. In that way, nature is made abstract, giving rise to a new form of beauty distinct from the natural state.

2. What is your favorite part of the filmmaking process and why? Any examples of this from your project screening at the MWFF? 

My favorite part of the filmmaking process is the recording sound in the rice paddy. I have recorded environmental sound by a microphone in a glass jar that put on the rice paddy. Have you listened to the sound when you put shell of the conch on your ear?  You can listen to beautiful white noise like the sound of the beach. I use same method with a microphone with a glass jar. When I edited the sound, I took out only the frequency of the midrange by the sound equalizer in Adobe Premiere. Because the midrange by sound is like the chorus that you can listen to the sound in my film “The Stream VII.” I could know there were the chorus of songs in my environment without singers.

3. What were some influences for you on this project and/or as a filmmaker in general?

Some influences for me on this project is musics like Charles Ives and John Cage who concerned to environmental sound. The filmmaker is Bill Viola who create films by method of music composition. Another filmmaker is Dziga Vertov who proposed concept of “Cine-Eye.” I have discovered many unknown beautiful landscapes through the eyes of cameras.

4. What is your favorite film?

“The Wheel of Becoming” by Bill Viola and “Man with a Movie Camera” by Dziga Vertov.

“The Stream VII” is the 15th film in the Short Film Session #4 starting on Saturday, August 26 at 2pm.


Fest tickets can be purchased online below or at for $10.

These are all screening/all weekend VIP tickets. They will also be available on Friday, August 25th at the Nordlof Center box office during the event. Single day tickets will be available at the box office on both Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th. They cost $5. Those tickets are only available on August 26th and 27th and are good for a full day of screenings on the day purchased.

For more information about the 2017 Mosaic World Film Festival as well as a list of all the films being featured visit

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