A Deepest Blue

ARTogether, in collaboration with the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), is working alongside Cambodian-American artist and cultural activist Prumsodun Ok to produce Ok’s latest project, A Deepest Blue.

Drawing upon a founding myth common to Cambodia and Japan, A Deepest Blue imagines a young artist learning to swim in the depths of the ocean, using the artist’s journey to meditate on humanity’s fragile relationship to our waters and oceans. Trained in the Khmer classical dance style nearly wiped out by genocide, Ok draws further from his experience in experimental filmmaking, photography, poetry, and sound to create art that is at once grounded in ancient tradition and strikingly contemporary. Last year, A Deepest Blue was selected as one of 10 recipients of 2020’s Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions.

Inspired by the stories of “Preah Thaong Neang Neak” and “Toyotama-hime and Yamasachi-hiko,” in which a human prince descends to the bottom of the ocean to marry a dragon princess, the project features the artistry of ryuteki (dragon flute) specialist Ota Yutaka and the Venerable Nuiya ToshiyaBringing together artistic and spiritual traditions that are more than 1,000 years old, the project will feature the art form of Khmer classical dance alongside Japanese gagaku music and 3D holographic imagery.

Performances of A Deepest Blue are scheduled to begin in 2023.