Hailing from Tokyo, a time-sensitive formula of displaying 20 images in 20 seconds with the goal of presenting unexpected ideas to the audience, is set to flash into Columbus.
Pecha Kucha Columbus is set to host an event at the Gateway Film Center Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The event is a photo festival showcasing local artists’ works.
The format is intended to be efficient – 20 images, 20 speakers, with 20 seconds each to talk about their images as they flash by on the screen — lasting six minutes and 40 seconds.
“It’s always curious for (audience members) to discover what people have to say in those 20 seconds,” said Aiko Yonamine, an organizer of Pecha Kucha Columbus events.
Pecha Kucha Columbus is based on the original Pecha Kucha organization, which Japanese architecture firm Klein Dytham began in February 2003 with its first event in Tokyo.
“(Architects) like to talk about their ideas,” Yonamine said. “Their firm said, ‘This is crazy, we’re not going to sit through a two-hour PowerPoint presentation,’ so they came up with a 20 (image) by 20-second (format). It’s short and inclusive.”
“Pecha Kucha” is a Japanese expression meaning “chit chat,” Yonamine said, and the event aims to spark conversation.
“They can have a drink, eat, talk to friends or walk around. You’re not mandated to sit,” she said. “You talk to other friends of colleagues you want to meet and create with.”
Presenters scheduled for the Columbus Pecha Kucha include a variety of Columbus professionals, according to the Pecha Kucha Columbus website, such as storyteller Rachel Joy Baransi, comic book creator Max Ink and founder of Wild Goose Creative Ryan Hoke.
Clay Lowe, emeritus professor in Ohio State’s Department of Theatre, is participating in the event for the first time. For his project, “40 Years on High,” he enlisted the help of 25 photographers.
“It is a stellar crew of people who are working with me,” Lowe said. “I don’t know 25 photographers who have done that before.”
The project is a collection of photos taken over a 40-year period, including buildings and residents from the Short North, campus and Clintonville areas. He focuses mainly on the Short North.
“It used to be a disgrace of Columbus,” he said. “Today it’s different – a more 20s crowd. I’m showing them with those places then and now.”
He said the most interesting part of the project are the photos showing the evolution of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Buttles Avenue and North High Street.
“It is the ‘with it now,’ place. It used to be a neighborhood countryside bar,” Lowe said. “I show those side-by-side, which is really one of the last messages of the culture that was there.”
Lowe said he enjoys the event’s format because it challenges the speakers to pick out the most important images.
“I like it, it’s tough. Some people just use 20 images,” he said. “I have 42 images. There are three to four images on each page.”
Despite positivity from contributors, one OSU student was not interested in attending the event.
Bruklynne Slack, a third-year in dental hygiene, said she is not an art fan and is too preoccupied with being a student.
“I am not an artsy person,” Slack said. “I am too busy with school, work and online classes.”
Regardless, Yonamine said to expect “beautiful chaos” from the event.
“It always comes together in the end,” she said.
Admission is free, but a $2 donation is suggested. Local musician Christopher Gatsby is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. and the presentations are scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.