“Is this mocking me?” At the beginning, I think everyone suspects Takuro Kotaka’s films. Or, some might get angry. However, I believe that art can be activism, and has the potential to can create huge, various and complex emotions of spectacular breadth for people. You have to think through his films. “Is this feeling correct?”
– Haruka Iharada (Curator)
Takuro Kotaka wanders around countries where many people feel tired of trying to make political change, because nothing changes despite their efforts—such as in Japan and Thailand. In these places, Kotaka reaches out to those still striving for change, making films with those who take his gentle hands. The resulting films are humanistic and humorous, and perhaps invigorating enough for the exhausted to keep going. Takuro, there are so many places in the world you can go and make more films!
– Keiko Sei (Curator/Media activist)
He gets obsessed, puts full mind and body into anything that grabs his attention and pushes his concern. He jumps in with a no-fear approach, winning over minds, asking forgiveness, and making friends and allies along the way. Takuro Kotaka has a unique appeal and mysterious ability to infect people’s hearts.
– Masahiro Satsuka (Director of the National Museum of Art, Okutama)
The Return of the Poet is a hallucinatory critique of the surreal present as seen through the transformation of an outgoing artist turned soothsaying mystic after an encounter with a shaman. His trances channel a fragmented, unfiltered gaze on the ongoing inequities in society.
– Jason Waite (Curator, Don’t Follow the Wind)
In Takuro Kotaka’s documentary-style films, the mundane reality of everyday life collides with surreal ideas of outer space to create witty, tongue-in-cheek and keenly observed presentations of the socio-political issues faced by local communities in present day Thailand.
– Lauren Reid (Curator, Project Space Festival Berlin, Insitu Collective)
Takuro Kotaka’s recent films produced in Thailand have thoroughly researched specific areas of the Southern and Northern regions, where the complexity of Thai socio-political issues has been hidden for ages. Once viewers can touch upon the sensitivity of the confusion and fallacies around these issues, penetrated in the small narratives of the films, unveiling the truth of “Thainess.”
– Penwadee Nophaket Manont (Curator, RAI.D COLLECTIVE, Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab)
“What you see in others, exists in you” – I am reminded of this ambiguous moment when I explore the films of Takuro Kotaka. His visualization of the everyday politics in Thai culture shows the everyday dilemmas of locals through a filmmaker’s eyes. In his film ‘Man from a Distant Planet’ we can consider the relationship of Muslim Thai people from Pattani—the ‘deep’ or ‘southernmost’ part of Thailand—to the rest of Thailand and mainstream “Thai” identity, from they remain distinct and alienated.
– Samak Kosem (Artist)
In the morning mist, we walked through the woods
Your feverish face immersed into the phantom moist
We stood side by side in front of a huge tree, Madras Thorn
You whispered and forecasted my defeat
To you, to our ancestors, to our departed land
Where we were born
You carved our names into Madras Thorn
In ancient letters
Shall I wander more, or return and inherit the earth?
– Taiki Sakpisit (Artist, Filmmaker)