Kishi the Vampire

photo by Christian Altorfer

Kishi the Vampire narrates the life of Japanese bureaucrat, colonial administrator, economic planner, war criminal, prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nobusuke Kishi as a vampire story. Kishi’s long life, sexual corruption, greed and disregard for human suffering make him the perfect amoral protagonist for a phantasmagorical retelling of 20th century East Asian political economy.

Between his time in the Japanese colony of Manchukuo in North East China in the 1930’s to his death in the mid-1980’s, Kishi would live to see the South East Asian ‘tiger’ economies like Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea adopt the ‘state authoritarian capitalist’ development model which he invented in the cold expanses of Manchuria.

Royce Ng‘s performance is accompanied by an animated manga that visualises this vampire story from Asia’s Modernity. It also borrows its visual style from the erotic graphic vocabulary of Japanese shunga prints from the 1920’s, which formed the subversive cultural parallel to the violence inflicted at pre-war Japan’s colonial periphery.