Japanese Artist Work Predates Beyonce, Italian Singer 1Beyonce may have ripped off Italian singer Lorella Cuccarini for her high-powered Billboard Music Award performance, but Cuccarini is hardly the first to use the blank screen technique. A Japanese artist did it before them.

In fact, Cuccarini’s performance looks like it lifted heavily from a similar performance in 2009, nearly a year earlier by a Japanese performance artist known as Nobuyuki Hanabusa, or “KAGEMU.”

Hanabusa calls his technique, which combines a projection with dance “Orientarhythm.”

One day after a controversy erupted over similarities between Beyonce’s Billboard performance and Cuccarini’s a year earlier, the R&B pop star acknowledged that she’d seen the Italian singers performance on YouTube.

But she is apparently unaware that Cuccarini borrowed heavily from Hanabusa’s performance, including many of the same visuals and use of shapes.

Beyoncé tipped her hat to Cuccarini, today, although she did not acknowledge her during the awards show.

“My makeup artist showed me the performance of Lorella Cuccarini a year ago, and it inspired me so much,” the singer said in a statement to AOL Music.

“I then met with the talented people who worked on it. The technology and concept were so genius. Thank god for YouTube or I would have never been exposed to something so inspiring,” she said.

As famed journalist Hunter S. Thompson once said: “Let all the locals do the leg work, then, step in and rip them off.”

Check out Hanabusa’s show from 2009.