A choreographic installation by Simo Kellokumpu (FIN),
in collaboration with Vincent Roumagnac (FR) and Nao Yazawa (JAP)

Choreographer Simo Kellokumpu presents the final outcome of his project pompom, which was carried out in Tokas (Tokyo Arts and Space) –residency from September to November 2017 (Tokyo-Helsinki Exchange Residency Program). pompom is a work in collaboration with two other artists: French theater-artist Vincent Roumagnac, and Japanese manga-artist Nao Yazawa. The project is based on the questions of Kellokumpu’s current artistic practice and doctoral artistic research project Choreography As Reading Practice. pompom examines the choreographic embodiment of the relations between movement, place, and material surrounding in the frameworks of hyper-mobile Tokyo, in contextual dialogue with the Japanese art of manga.

The project filters experiential movements of Tokyo by compounding western site-specific and context responsive choreographic practice with contemporary science-fiction and Japanese manga. The starting points for the project lies in questions such as: How, as a temporary guest (or “choreoreader”), to embody contemporary Tokyo through the lens of movement? How do Tokyo and its moving spaces, mobility systems, and transforming materiality affect the experience of place, and how they shapeshift the choreographer’s body? What kind of choreographic art is produced by inhabiting, and translating these intermassive movements with Japanese manga? What kind of critical and material meeting points, parallel interests, translations, transpositions, paradoxes, and tensions are emerging when the intimate western practice meets the megalopolis of Tokyo, through a dialogue with Japanese manga?

The working group has produced a large-scale installation, which consists of five Tokyo-responsive videos and 26 manga panels (+ one limited edition of a printed mangabook), which expose the queer manga character pompom. The script of the manga is based on the experiments and videos done on the chosen five sites. These elements and their critical dialogue materialize the choreographic embodiment in which the machine, the human, and the cosmos intraconnect, entangle, and bug in a state of constant becoming-other in the framework of the posthumanist visual culture.


The final installation consists of the display on three screens of three films with the five site-responsive videos edited in a different order (30’ loop), the digitized and led-screened manga panels (5’ loop), and the manga booklet. A pop-up performance by Kellokumpu is also taking place several times in the installation over the course of the exhibition.

pompom is double-premiered in Augusta HIAP Helsinki in October 2018, and in Tokyo, in Tokas Residency exhibition space from in December 2018. From 2018 pompom has been installed and performed in Alliances & Commonalities (Stockholm), Institut Finlandais (Paris), and Työhune (Helsinki).

The project is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Helsinki International Artist Programme HIAP, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, and TOKAS Residency (Tokyo, Japan).