Omote (面) (2022)

“Omote (面)” is an art film, soon to become a live performance, conjured through the collaborative process between two Japanese Canadian artists: Vancouver-based dance artist Shion Skye Carter, and Halifax-based visual artist Miya Turnbull.

Hand-crafted paper-mâché masks, coming in myriad shapes and facial expressions, become extensions of the body in this work. The masks’ distorted imagery borders on the grotesque, challenging traditional ideas of beauty, while gesture and tableau articulate the concept of honne (本音) and tatemae (建前): when a person’s true feelings and desires (honne) contrasts from the behavior and opinions they share in public (tatemae). The masks also serve as tools to reflect on self identity, affected in part by the artists’ shared mixed-race Nikkei heritage. How do cultural expectations, and one’s ancestral history, influence the parts of ourselves that we express to the world, and the parts that we keep hidden away?

This film was developed with periods of both in-person and remote creation time, as Shion and Miya navigated what it means to collaborate while living on opposite coasts of Canada.

This project has been supported by Yume Digital Dreams by Tashme Productions, and CanAsian Dance’s KickStart Festival.


Creation/performance: Shion Skye Carter, Miya Turnbull

Music: Stefan Nazarevich

Dramaturg: Julie Tamiko Manning, Gitanjali Kolanad (for development of live performance in 2023)


May 12-14, 2023


Toronto, ON

Presented by CanAsian Dance‘s KickStart Festival


May 6-9, 2023


Tangente, Montreal, QC

Presented by CanAsian Dance‘s KickStart Festival, co-presented with Tangente and Festival Accès Asie


November 2022 – February 2023

Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville, NS


November 10-20, 2022

International Portrait Film Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria


August 3- October 16, 2022

Fashion for Bank Robbers Exhibition at MaximiliansForum, Munich, Germany


Sept 15-23, 2022

FIN (Atlantic International Film Festival), Halifax, NS

(online screenings, plus in-person at Cineplex Park Lane Theatre 8 on Sept 18, 2022)


July 31, 2022

Powell Street Festival, Vancouver, BC


May 16, 2022

Yume Digital Dreams, by Tashme Productions (online screening)