b. 1987, Kanagawa, Japan; lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.
Rei Hayama is a Japanese artist who works mainly with moving images. Influenced by wildlife in the environments of her youth, she has been making films since 2008. Hayama's films attempt a reimagining of the world and nature with a less anthropocentric point of view. With the inclusion of sound, poetic writings, and symbolic imagery, Hayama seeks to emphasize an interconnectedness between humans and nature, animals and the environment. The cinematic space itself is treated as an environment upon which possible realities can be mapped and an environment that might be constitutive of other, more harmonious realities. She describes her work as ‘A Humble Cinema’ where she explores the non-human gaze to expand our field of vision to include alternative ways of living and seeing, especially in relation to non-human species. Formally, this ‘humble cinema’ is concerned with the instability and mutability of vision, and the influence of early and structuralist-materialist film practices which can be seen in the work's composition and themes. It is not uncommon to see the films as part of installations that focus on the spatial relations between the film itself and the environment and ecosystem of the gallery they are situated in.
Rei Hayama's recent projects and group exhibitions include In The Shadows of Tall Necessities, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2022); Notes for Tomorrow, Independent Curators International, A travelling exhibition (2020-2025); Busan Biennale 2020, MOCA Busan (2020); Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival, Birkbeck Cinema, London (2019); Animistic Apparatus, Alliance Francaise Cinema, Bangkok (2019); The Pearl of Tailorbird, Empty Gallery, Hong Kong (2018); A4 - priestor sucasnej kultury, Bratislava, Slovenia (2016); Rei Hayama, National Robles Godoy theater, Lima, Peru (2014); and 100% CINEMA Audiovisual de Rei Hayama, LA CASA ENCENDIDA, Spain (2014).
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