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Opening of the design workshop Tapa as Haiku at the Embassy of Spain in Tokyo


    On Tuesday 12th November, the design workshop Tapa as Haiku opened at the Embassy of Spain in Tokyo. The workshop lasted three days during which the participants considered and worked on how to condense a story in an exclusively visual format. The narrative, brief in itself, needs to be reduced to just 15 seconds, the time the taste of a tapa stays in our mouths.


    Luis Úrculo with one of the participants and Gonzalo Robledo who performed the role of translator, while analysing how to visually condense the contents of the tale he had chosen.

    The design workshop Tapas as Haiku started in Tokyo on Tuesday, 12th November. Nine people had enrolled, most of them Japanese designers but also from other countries and professions. They all brought with them a tale to work with. Their task was to condense the story in a single sequence of images lasting 15 seconds. Luis Úrculo explained the steps to follow, giving a speech on similar cases in his work. The first stage was to do an autopsy of the selected tale. Each participant had to identify the parts or textual units making up the narrative. Each part was then associated to an object, an event, an image… Once decided, the autopsy was then transformed into a still life with things condensing the dissected narrative.

    The following day, each participant brought the objects he had selected to start thinking about how to film his autopsy. They had to avoid making figurative similarities between objects that might have been rendered similar to specific situations or characters in the story. Instead, they had to search for structural rather than formal representations of what was taking place and as abstract as possible.  It was a tough day but the outcomes finally achieved a better focus.


    One of the autopsies produced the following still life

    On the third day the brief sequences of each tale were filmed. At the end, the sequences had to be edited to make up a 15-second-piece, each. Time was short, and being in a hurry is not a good companion. However, it all went according to plan and the pieces were all finished on time. One more evening and part of the morning was enough to get the audiovisual materials ready to show.


    A student shows Luis Úrculo one of the visual processes she was planning to use to abridge the tale she had chosen.


    Still life on a book by Tanizaki chosen by one of the workshop participants for her autopsy.

    Photography: Kohji Shiiki