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LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible ...

September 15–November 4, 2007


"LIFE--fluid, invisible, inaudible ..." is the fruit of a new collaboration by SAKAMOTO Ryuichi and TAKATANI Shiro. An installation ceaselessly co-mingling sound and image, it provides an unprecedented place where the "fluid, invisible, inaudible ..." are perceptible to the entire body.

"LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible ..."is a collaboration between world-renowned composer/ musician SAKAMOTO Ryuichi and TAKATANI Shiro, core member of the Kyoto-based internationally active art group dumb type.

While the genesis of this piece is in SAKAMOTO Ryuichi's opera "LIFE" (first performed in 1999, for which TAKATANI Shiro the video aspects) as is evident in the title's "fluid, invisible, inaudible ..." it revisits the resources of sound and vision in "LIFE" now,several years later, in this new millenium, for an entirely new deconstruction and evolution of the work. If we say that "LIFE" was an experiment conducted in opera's linear, modern form at the end of the 20th Century, then the installation configuration of "LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible ..." must surely be a non-linear, decentralized flow of audio and visuals which the visitors themselves enter to experience.

A grid of 3 x 3 acrylic aquariums, 30cm high and 1.2m square are hung, in a darkened room. Each carries a thin film of water inside. Each has speakers affixed at both ends. Inside of each a fog is artificially created using ultrasonic waves, percolating fluid patterns which hover between transparency and opacity. Imagery transmitted down into these tanks from projectors attached above them--at times synchronizing all aquariums, at times decoupled and seemingly autonomous--shines down through this screen of kinetic patterns woven of water and fog, connecting the imagery while ceaselessly melting, floating endlessly between flows of meaning and meaninglessness, the concrete and the abstract.

The sounds and visions in "LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible ..." including the newly added materials, are divided into categories of 20 and 30, and stored on a computer hard disk. Being run by a random control program, the audio and visual files are called up randomly from this depository, to create an installation which is constantly changing.

"I wanted to distance myself from the curse of time." (SAKAMOTO)
"I wanted the imagery to project completely free of control." (TAKATANI)

In both of their comments we can see their embrace of the emergent potential of the flowing phenomenon that is fog and the randomness of the computer to escape typically linear and conclusively established time and space.

Production members(YCAM)

LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible ...

sound programming: YASAKA Kenji [SYNETICS LTD.]
visual programming: MANABE Daito
system programming: FURUDATE Ken
sound system advisor: SATO Hiroyasu [BALLAD Co.,LTD]
material editing: TOMARI Hiromasa
equipment coordination for Mr. Sakamoto: TSUCHIYA Masanobu, MOHRI Yasushi [Office Intenzio]
technical assistant for Mr. Takatani: OZAKI So

visionary at large: ASADA Akira

technical director: ITO Takayuki
visual technical: OWAKI Richi, MIHARA Soichiro
YCAM curator: ABE Kazunao

[New York Crew]
recording engineer: Fernando APONTE
production management: Evan BALMER / Kab America Inc.
legal supervisor: Susan BUTLER, Esq.

[production committee]
SAKAMOTO Ryuichi / TAKATANI Shiro / SORA Norika / TAKATANI Yoko / ABE Kazunao

Date: September 15–November 4, 2007
Venue: NTT InterCommunication Center[ICC] Gallery A
Hours: 10:00am–6:00pm, Open until 20:00 on Fridays (Admission until 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Mondays (If Monday is holiday, then Tuesday)

Special cooperation: Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM)
Cooperation: commmons, Kab America Inc., Kab Inc., dumb type office, BALLAD Co.,LTD., SYNETICS LTD., WARNER MUSIC JAPAN INC., SANKYU INC., TOKYO STUDIO Co., Ltd,Print Designing co., Ltd., Axis Communications K.K.,MOTTOX INC., KIRIN Brewery Co. Ltd., YAMAHA Inc., e frontier, Inc., Department of Information Design, Tama Art University




Takatani Shiro was responsible for image supervision of "LIFE" (performed in Tokyo and Osaka), an opera by Sakamoto Ryuichi who tried to present an overview of music and society of the 20th century in 1999. In June 2005, a live performance,"Garden Series vol. 1: Experimental Live at Honen-in Zen Temple" in Kyoto, was conducted through laptops and images, fronting a garden of the Buddhist abbot's quarters. In June of the same year, Sakamoto and Takatani collaborated again in a Susan Sontag memorial live performance at Kyoto Zokei University. The images, in which Sontag's portraits and punctuation marks in her texts are arranged, are combined with sounds in a collage style, with various sounds dubbed onto "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Pärt. "LIFE--fluid, invisible, inaudible ..." was produced as a commissioned work at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM), and exhibited from March 10 to May 28 2007. On July 5 "Garden Series vol. 2", a live performance consisted of laptop-based sound and installation was held at in Daitokuji subtemple Yotokuin.


Photo by Neo Sora ©2022 Kab Inc.

Award-winning composer and musician Sakamoto Ryuichi has made a career of crossing musical and technological boundaries. Sakamoto has experimented with, and excelled in, many different musical styles, making a name for himself in popular, orchestral and film music. A founding member of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), Sakamoto has composed original scores for 19 major and independent films, including: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor, and most recently, SILK (currently in post-production, scheduled to be released Fall 2007 in North America). Sakamoto was awarded both the Academy Award and Grammy for The Last Emperor score. In 2005, Sakamoto managed to simultaneously return to his electropop roots and maintain his classical influences with a fusion of many musical styles on his solo project, Chasm. Chasm was re-interpreted by fourteen of electronic music's top artists on the release Bricolages. In 2006, Sakamoto continued his collaboration with Alva Noto with the second European Tour and the first Asian Tour in support of their releases Vrioon, Insen, and Revep. Sakamoto revisits his partnership with Christian Fennesz with the 2007 release of their debut full length album, Cendre. In October a new work, Ocean Fire by Sakamoto and Christopher Willits will be released. Also in November, the premiere of a new collaboration with Carsten Nicolai, commissioned by the city of Manheim, Germany is slated.
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Born in 1963. Graduated from Environmental design - Art Dept. of Kyoto City University of Arts. Joined dumb type as one of the founders in 1984, and has been involved especially in the visual and technical aspects. In his solo activities, Takatani participated in a municipal project of Groningen, Holland (artistic director: Daniel Libeskind), in collaboration with Asada Akira in 1990. Takatani created images for the collaboration concert Dangerous Visions with Art Zoyd and the National Orchestra of Lille in March 1998. He did visual direction for the Sakamoto Ryuichi's opera "LIFE" September 1999. And he released solo video installation work "frost frames" 1998, "optical flat" 2000. Also, He created the video installation piece IRIS collaborated with Nakaya Fujiko, a fog sculptor, for the Valencia Biennial in 2001. Commissioned by the Natural History Museum of Latvia in Riga, for the exhibition "Conversations with Snow and Ice", his installation was presented in November-December 2005, as part of a retrospective of the works of the snow and ice scientist Nakaya Ukichiro (1900-1962). In 2006, under the auspices of the Japan Foundation's 2006 Australia-Japan Exchange Project "Rapt! 20 contemporary artists from Japan", selected for a one-month artist residency in Australia and exhibit in Melbourne. In June of 2007, a solo exhibition, "photo-gene" at the Kodama Gallery in Tokyo.

Related Information

Discount with the exhibiton "MELTING POINT"

If you show ticket stub of the exhibiton "MELTING POINT" (July 21 to October 14) being held at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery at 3F TokyoOpera City,we offer discount to admission fee. Also, you can be admitted at discount if you show ticket stub of the exhibiton "LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaoudible..."

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