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Tribute to RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: Music / Art / Media

December 16, 2023–March 10, 2024


Online reservation
external link.
Online reservation is available from 7days before the visit day.
The day tickets are available at ICC reception.

The relationship between late musician SAKAMOTO Ryuichi, who passed away on March 28, 2023, and the ICC dates back to 1991, prior to its grand opening. As an artist, he developed deep-reaching ties with the ICC through collaborations such as the concert held in conjunction with the 2005 exhibition “Laurie ANDERSON: The Record of the Time,” and commemorative exhibitions together with TAKATANI Shiro to mark the ICC’s tenth and twentieth anniversaries.

SAKAMOTO had a personal interest in the Internet since its formative years—the early 1990s—and used the medium to hold online live events and similar as part of proactive efforts to incorporate media technology into his works. Ever since that time, he has been highly active in the creation of everything from contemporary art to media–based art, collaborating with media artist IWAI Toshio in 1996, and creating countless installations and other works from 2000 onward together with Carsten NICOLAI, TAKATANI Shiro, MANABE Daito, MOHRI Yuko and other artists. In 2017, he took part in the “SAKAMOTO Ryuichi with TAKATANI Shiro | Installation Music 2: IS YOUR TIME” traveling exhibition in Taiwan to commemorate the ICC’s twentieth anniversary. SAKAMOTO also showed his work “IS YOUR TIME” at a Beijing solo exhibition, and this year (2023) his large-scale solo exhibition “Ryuichi Sakamoto | SOUND AND TIME” is underway in Chengdu, China.

The current exhibition is a tribute to SAKAMOTO Ryuichi, who made immeasurably wide-reaching achievements in the field of media art. In addition, with MANABE Daito from Rhizomatiks as a Co–curator, we aim to utilize the event as an experimental vehicle for carrying on and expanding into the future the works and influence of SAKAMOTO via pieces based on performance-related data left behind by the artist, art created in collaboration with SAKAMOTO by artists both in Japan and abroad, and records of exhibitions and other activities he was involved with here at the ICC.

Curators’ comments

HATANAKA Minoru (chief curator, ICC)

I believe that SAKAMOTO Ryuichi was an artist who consciously focused on the interrelationships between music and technology. He always kept up with the latest technologies of the time as he pursued new possibilities in auditory expression using technology, but conversely he was also conscious of the problems that such technologies could cause. Once SAKAMOTO began using art installations as a means of musical expression, we became able to better understaqnd what he was trying to convey. These art installations also reflected SAKAMOTO himself, who found freedom in the transformation of ideas into music. SAKAMOTO attempted to listen in new ways to music within the context of music history, and to find music in various noises and sounds. By standing up to and challenging the world in these ways, he has, as a creator, inspired many other artists. Through this exhibition, we hope to convey how the core essence of SAKAMOTO is present in the works of art he has created.

MANABE Daito (Rhizomatiks)

SAKAMOTO Ryuichi’s lifelong pursuit of creative endeavors has served as an endless source of inspiration for countless artists, musicians and other creators everywhere. He was involved in experimental projects entailing the skillful manipulation of synthesizers, the Internet, real-time CG and other era-leading technologies, and the results of said endeavors will surely remain the talk of generations to come.

In 2019, I embarked on a project to archive SAKAMOTO’s performances using special photographic equipment. My roles in the project were system development and art direction, and through that work I had multiple opportunities to talk with SAKAMOTO himself. What particularly impressed me was his refusal to stop with simple archiving of the works; he also pursued AI development efforts based on the resulting archive data. It was clear to me that SAKAMOTO's endless curiosity inspired him to experiment with new ways of utilizing his own data which he had helped to create. He called upon a seemingly inexhaustible supply of creativity to explore new frontiers and continually evolve as an artist.

Through this exhibition, we utilize the valuable data SAKAMOTO Ryuichi left behind in order to create new works that carry on the artistic ambitions of that revered artist, and thus pay tribute to SAKAMOTO Ryuichi himself.

Date: December 16, 2023–March 10, 2024
Venue: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] Gallery A
Hours: 11:00am–6:00pm (Admission until 30 minutes before closing)

* On February 28, 2024: 11:00am–7:00pm
* On March 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10, 2024: 11:00am–8:00pm
(Admission until 30 minutes before closing)
Closed: Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, then Tuesday), The year-end and New Year Holidays (December 28 to January 4), Maintenance day (February 11)
Admission Fee: Adults 800 (700) Yen / University students 600 (500) Yen / Admission free for age 65 and elder / High school students and younger
ICC Annual Passport: 1,000 Yen
* Rates shown in parentheses are for groups of more than 14 persons.
* Reservation is recommended.
* Admission free: Disabled persons (proof-required) and their attendants, Persons who have ‘ICC annual Passport’
* Opening hours and holidays are subject to change. Please visit the ICC website for up-to-date information.

Co-Curation: HATANAKA Minoru (ICC), MANABE Daito (Rhizomatiks)

Organizers: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation), Abstract Engine Co., Ltd.
Supported by Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Cooperation: KAB Inc., KAB America Inc., Dumb Type Office Ltd., commmons
Project Cooperation: Rhizomatiks
Equipment Cooperation: EASTERN SOUND FACTORY Co., Ltd., raytrek (THIRDWAVE CORP.)
Sound Partner: KEF
Technical Cooperation: Stability AI Japan Co., Ltd.




Photo by Neo Sora ©2022 Kab Inc.

Born 1952 in Tokyo.

Made his debut as a solo artist with “Thousand Knives” in 1978, and joined the Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) in the same year. He later moved his bases overseas but remained active in various fields centering around music even after the YMO had “spread out” (as the members put it, avoiding the expression “split up”). SAKAMOTO’s score for the movie “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” won a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and his music for the movie “The Last Emperor” won an Academy Award for Best Original Score, and a Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television. Numerous other movie soundtracks consolidated his international reputation also as a composer. Continuously pursuing innovation in sound, he has been creating a number of installation works such as “LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible ...” made in 2007 with TAKATANI Shiro on commission by the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]. Highly concerned also about social issues, he has been involved in the forest conservation/reforestation project ”more trees,” the charity event “NO NUKES” promoting non-nuclear power, the ”School Music Revival” and “Tohoku Youth Orchestra” projects in support of the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and various other activities. In 2014 he was invited to function as guest director at the Sapporo International Art Festival (SIAF). Following scores for the movies “Nagasaki: Memories of My Son” and “The Revenant” in 2015, in 2017 SAKAMOTO released his first original album in eight years, “async,” which was also presented in the form of the “async” installation at WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2019, he won Best Music at the 21st Taipei Film Awards for the movie “YOUR FACE” directed by TSAI Ming-liang.


Photographer: ITO Akinori, Stylist: SHINICHI Miter, Hair and makeup: NEMOTO Asami

Artist, interaction designer, programmer, and DJ.

Launched Rhizomatiks in 2006. Specially-appointed professor at Keio University SFC.
MANABE’s works, which range into a variety of fields, takes a new approach to everyday materials and phenomena. However, his end goal is not simply rich, high-definition realism by recognizing and recombining these familiar elemental building blocks. Rather, his practice is informed by careful observation to discover and elucidate the essential potentialities inherent to the human body, data, programming, computers, and other phenomena, thus probing the interrelationships and boundaries delineating the analog and digital, real and virtual.

A prolific collaborator, he has worked closely with a diverse roster of artists, including SAKAMOTO Ryuichi, Björk, OK Go, Nosaj Thing, Squarepusher, Andrea BATTISTONI, NOMURA Mansai, Perfume and sakanaction. Further engagements include groundbreaking partnerships with the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics in Manchester, and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his multidisciplinary contributions to advertising, design, and art. Notable recognitions include the Ars Electronica Distinction Award, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Titanium Grand Prix, D&AD Black Pencil, and the Japan Media Arts Festival Grand Prize.

Related Information

ICC Annual Passport

Price: 1,000 Yen Period of Validity: From the day of purchase to March 31, 2024

Discount Information

Discount with the exhibition held at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery
If you show ticket stub of the following exhibition that will be held in the same period at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery at 3F Tokyo Opera City, we offer discount to admission fee. Also, you can be admitted at discount if you show ticket stub of the exhibition.

“Grutto Pass”

Discount with “MuPon”

ICC Discount Coupon
Please print out and bring it with you or present the terminal screen at the reception desk. It is possible to enter the exhibition at a discounted fee.
|→ discount coupon | (PDF)

Request for visitors
The countermeasures against COVID-19

The following will not be permitted to enter ICC.

  • People with a fever of 37.5℃ (99.5℉) or above.
  • People with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, persistent fatigue, etc.

* Please visit the ICC website for up-to-date information.

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