Tatsuo Miyajima: Finding the Art in You

Tatsuo Miyajima, Keep Changing (Mondrian) - no.4, 2021, light-emitting diode, IC, electric wire, white painted wooden panel, L.E.D. type: “Time G-FC”, 49 pieces, 161 x 161 x 9.6 cm. © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Exhibition view, “Tatsuo Miyajima: Art in You”, at Lission Gallery, 67 Lisson Street, London, 10 February – 9 April, 2022. ©️ Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Exhibition view, “Tatsuo Miyajima: Art in You”, at Lission Gallery, 67 Lisson Street, London, 10 February – 9 April, 2022. ©️ Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Tatsuo Miyajima, Painting of Change – 022, 2021, oil on wooden panel, 3 dices, wooden bar, 120 x 340 x 3.3 cm. © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Tatsuo Miyajima, Unstable Time S – no.10, 2020, light emitting diode, IC, electric wire, nylon fabric, switching power supply, L.E.D. type: “Time E6-W”, 100 pieces, 160 x 160 x 1 cm (variable size). © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Tatsuo Miyajima, Keep Changing (Mondrian) – no.4, 2021, light-emitting diode, IC, electric wire, white painted wooden panel, L.E.D. type: “Time G-FC”, 49 pieces, 161 x 161 x 9.6 cm. © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
TOP
734
26
0
 
15
Feb
15
Feb
CoBo Social Design and Architecture

We spoke to renowned Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima, a force in digital art since the 1980s, on the eve of his new exhibition at Lisson Gallery in London. Along the way, we discussed Buddhism, the godlessness of technology, and how art really can make us immortal.

TEXT: Nicholas Stephens
IMAGES: Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery

 

Exhibition view, “Tatsuo Miyajima: Art in You”, at Lission Gallery, 67 Lisson Street, London, 10 February – 9 April, 2022. ©️ Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.

 

Unveiling three new bodies of work—Keep Changing (Mondrian), Painting of Change, and Unstable Time, created in 2020 and 2021 respectively—Tatsuo Miyajima’s tripartite message of, “Keep Changing”, “Connect with Everything”, and “Continue Forever” is reassuringly retold through the medium of LED. The universal language of single digit numbers, flashing from 1 through 9 (0 is omitted, as if underlining death’s status as a great taboo) forms a mesmerising poetry of its own. The curation nods to past practitioners of change and unpredictability: painter Piet Mondrian, composer John Cage, and physicist Werner Heisenberg.

The London exhibition follows Miyajima’s commission for the opening of the new Japanese Galleries at The British Museum, titled Time Waterfall – panel #8 (Blue) (2017), which will remind Hong Kongers of his Time Waterfall display on the ICC in 2016. More recently, Miyajima has participated in the exhibition “STARS: Six Contemporary Artists from Japan to the World” at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2020, which included Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami among others. Asked about the influence of these artists on his practice, Miyajima remarked elliptically, “If there is an artist who is not influenced by other artists, I would like to meet him.” Just as the exhibition opened, we had the pleasure of interviewing Miyajima to explore “Art in You” in the context of our ever-changing times, and his own artistic evolution.

 

Exhibition view, “Tatsuo Miyajima: Art in You”, at Lission Gallery, 67 Lisson Street, London, 10 February – 9 April, 2022. ©️ Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.

 

Has the recent pandemic caused you to think differently about your work in any way?
Yes, it has. It has become clear that the world is unpredictable. That’s why my work is conscious of coincidence and uncontrollable situations.

Linking with your concept of continuing forever, you’ve said that, “People have been able to experience immortality through a work of art.” Can you explain how?
A good work of art makes us feel the “eternal now” through our imagination. It is worthy of immortality for man.

Your website mentions an important meeting between Einstein and Tagore in 1930, in which beauty was discussed. Is there anybody in today’s world you would like to meet to discuss beauty and art?
I don’t think such a person exists nowadays, because people are too busy with social networks to talk about beauty and art.

You collaborated with Bulgari to create a watch, and your art has been represented effectively on clothing. Is this wearability of your art important?
Art shouldn’t exist only in the graveyard of museums. It should live and move with people.

What is it about Piet Mondrian that inspired you for this exhibition?
I have always been deeply influenced by Mondrian. This time I expressed my homage to his work.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima, Painting of Change – 022, 2021, oil on wooden panel, 3 dices, wooden bar, 120 x 340 x 3.3 cm. © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Tatsuo Miyajima, Unstable Time S – no.10, 2020, light emitting diode, IC, electric wire, nylon fabric, switching power supply, L.E.D. type: “Time E6-W”, 100 pieces, 160 x 160 x 1 cm (variable size). © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.

 

Your new Painting of Change series involves the rolling of dice. Are you attracted by uncertainty, gambling or games of chance?
What interests me is not the gambling, but uncertainty by Heisenberg means. And the attitude of the audience to participate in the work of art.

In Unstable Timethe LED gadgets are mounted on nylon fabric for the first time, instead of buildings or natural elements. Why is 2022 the time to use these new materials?
The fabric is soft and free to change. I have experienced pandemics and natural disasters and I wanted to express the world using materials that are not fixed.

You are also showing in Berlin this month. If you made an LED-light artwork about Berlin and an artwork about London, how would the two be different?
I use the same concept for my work in both London and Berlin. So, we have a deep relationship with each other.

You merge technology with Buddhist thought. Does technology bring you closer to God?
Technology is a technique, not an end in itself. The purpose is set by human beings and technology should only beused. And that man is far from God who is easily controlled by his desires.

Time is a key theme of your work. Death is also present, either in memorials or in the absence of the number zero. Is death important to understanding your work?
Time is given shape by life and death. Without death, there can be no life. They are inextricably linked. They are the two sides of the same coin. So, to think about death is to live.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima, Keep Changing (Mondrian) – no.4, 2021, light-emitting diode, IC, electric wire, white painted wooden panel, L.E.D. type: “Time G-FC”, 49 pieces, 161 x 161 x 9.6 cm. © Tatsuo Miyajima. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Art in You
10 February – 9 April 2022
Lisson Gallery, London

 

 

You might also enjoy reading

 

 

 
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply