Juliana Loh – Taiko Drummers of the North

**Novice** ((Director’s Choice Award))

My earliest memory of Taiko drumming is of my friend Claire. Early in the morning, she would assemble green RubberMade Garbage bins of different sizes. She would line them up in her garage from smallest to tallest and then bring out her grandmother’s stool to sit upon. Barely standing five feet tall, her dream was to be the best taiko drummer in the world and to introduce her culture to the entire city. For 5 years, I listened to her beat those bins until one day, she was finally awarded her own set of real taiko drums and given a spot in the Japanese city league. While Claire and I drifted apart over the years, whenever I see and hear Taiko drums, I am reminded of her.

My set design resembles the old Chinese restaurant storage/stock area that doubled as a Taiko rehearsal area. It was quite small but the acoustics was good and the landlord generous. The inside interior was colored blue with green-grey wooden floors. Over top, the ceiling was brightened with fake Chinese lanterns that Claire and I used to string up to hide the ugly pipes and bring magic to our space. We were already MUSICIANS in our minds! Claire earned her black belt in her late teens and often wore her robes while she practiced. She flowed in her red silk pants and seemed to fly into the air when she played.

VR offers viewership from 360 degrees, however I knew that creating the interior of the entire restaurant would be very involved. Instead, I suggested the construction of the exterior serving areas by adding silhouettes and transparent windows reminiscent of 70’s decor. I also added FX and color that accented the harmonious cool tones while highlighting the drums with a rich plum expressionistic hue. The art direction described a whimsical feel based on realistic overtones. The character of Claire strove for realism within a nostalgic and nuanced setting.

This is my 11th model created in Tilt Brush. I am grateful for this opportunity to show my work.

Director's Choice

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