KiBu in Tokyo


Semi-automated theater

Kitchen Budapest, a Hungarian new media lab, was invited to Tokyo by FaiFai Tokyo / Tokyo Metropolitan Theater to add some extra spice of its own techy-artsy kind to FaiFai’s Shibahama show.

The Kitchen Budapest (KIBU) team spent three awesome weeks together with the FaiFai theater group in Tokyo, working on FaiFai’s new show, Shibahama. The story is based on an old Japanese tale, in which money controls life and a suddenly found wallet plays a center role. By way of preparation for their roles, each of the actors was asked to develop their respective characters through introspection and independent research, and their inside stories were woven together in the show, leaving a lot of space for improvisation. At first it might have looked sorta chaotic, but soon it all started to come together, and the apparent chaos morphed into a completely coherent TV-show-style performance.

Laci as John Lennon

KIBU took on the task of creating an interactive, sensor-driven, digitally doctored, “semi-automated” undertone to the show by opening a new horizon for improvisation and interaction, making it possible for the actors and the audience to shape the plot and the visuals through specially tailored technology. KIBU’s role was to integrate a sensor-network into the stage of Tokyo Metropolitan, design interactions with projected images, link up the „protagonists” with wireless bend sensors, and involve the audience with the help of pressure sensors that could be used for triggering interaction and play.


A neat example for the synthesis between the Japanese and the European approaches to the theater – a rare case of a technology transfer from a Hungarian media lab to one of the techno capitals of the world, Tokyo.

Press coverage:

KIBU/FaiFai team: Olga Nagy, Laszlo Kiss, Marton Andras Juhász, Koji Yamazaki, Chiharu Shinoda, Shiro Amano, Yon Kitagawa, Rino Daidoji, Kyoko Fujitani, Ayami Sasaki, Yui Yamamoto, Naoko Shinpo