One of Japan’s leading contemporary artists, Tatsuo Miyajima is known for his immersive and technologically driven sculptures and installations. The theory of his work derives from a combination of humanist ideas, the teachings of Buddhism, and his core artistic concepts: ‘keep changing, connect with everything, and continue forever’. This sensorial exhibition is a passage through time and a gentle reminder, that whilst our time on this planet is brief – everything is connected.
Miyajima’s counter gadgets illustrate the idea of constant movement and change, with their colourful numerical progressions – 1 through to 9, then back down again to 1, over and over. These single-digits are a universal language, accessible across all cultures, and serve as a metaphor for the cycle of life – the journey from life to death, the finality of which is symbolised by ‘0’ or the zero point, which consequently never appears.
“In order to represent change, it has to be through movement, I chose to use the medium of LED as it allows me to express all three concepts simultaneously: light and darkness, numbers counting, and constant change.” – Tatsuo Miyajima.
Miyajima is a Japanese artist, lives and works in Ibaraki, Japan. He finished his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1986 after which he began experimenting with performance art before moving on to light-based installations. In 1987, Miyajima developed the concept of his first LED counter gadget, making a diagram for it and creating a prototype, with the help of a local electronics company. He subsequently received the Nobel Prize for Physics for his invention of this efficient, energy-saving technology. Together with the inspirations of Buddhist philosophy, Miyajima began to incorporate LED within his practice, opening up a whole new dimension to his art – exploring life, the inevitability, universality, and morality.
Credits and Copyrights: Artwork Images (Courtesy the artist, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lisson Gallery).