Together in electric dreams

For Japanese light artist Tatsuo Miyajima, LED lights ‘symbolise the glitter of human life’.

C.F. Brain no. 1 (detail), 2009

Source: © Tatsuo Miyajima and Lisson Gallery

C.F. Brain no. 1 (detail), 2009

So much so, in fact, that much of his new work sees the little illuminations ‘in conversation’ with one another, chattering away as a sort of glowing colony.

HOTO, 2008,Six colour LEDs

Source: © Tatsuo Miyajima and Lisson Gallery

HOTO, 2008,Six colour LEDs

Next month an exhibition of Miyajima’s work will open at London’s Lisson gallery, presenting three major new installations.

Installation View: Tatsuo Miyajima, Pile Up Life Lisson Gallery, 25 Nov 2009 - 16 Jan 2010.

Source: Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

Installation View: Tatsuo Miyajima, Pile Up Life Lisson Gallery, 25 Nov 2009 – 16 Jan 2010.

Each of the futuristic works use LED counters numbered from one to nine, which ‘communicate’ with one another thanks to technology developed by the artist and Tokyo-based scientist Professor Takashi Ikegami.

The pair has been developing an ‘artificial life’ system – effectively a field of computer simulations and robots that work together to mimic a human-like existence.

These experiments have culminated in the Life Palace installation, which is entered by a solo viewer, who becomes privy to the ‘life’ of the multitudinous LED lights.

Life Palace(Tea Room), 2013

Source: Photo by Nobutada Omote. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery

Life Palace(Tea Room), 2013

The exterior of the piece is clad with red leather, though the interior is inspired by a traditional Japanese teahouse structure.

C.F Lifestructurism - no.5, 2008

Source: © Tatsuo Miyajima and Lisson Gallery

C.F Lifestructurism – no.5, 2008

Elsewhere the artist draws on Buddhist ideas to create other LED-based installations.

Time in Water (detail), 2004

Source: © Tatsuo Miyajima and Lisson Gallery

Time in Water (detail), 2004

According to the gallery, the Buddhist principles ‘Keep Changing’, ‘Connect with All’, and ‘Goes on forever’ underpin the works, formed from intricate networks of hundreds of coloured LED counters – creating their own microcosms that in their own, blinking way, replicate the cyclical nature of human life, death and rebirth.

Tatsuo Miyajima runs from 27 September – 2 November at Lisson Gallery, 29 Bell St, London NW1

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  • Alan Yates November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Miyagima’s work has fascinated me for over a decade exploring concepts of duration and techno-ecologies with a sublime imminent aesthetic

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