As part of the 2016-2017 Sydney International Art Series, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) presents a major exhibition of the works of renowned Japanese practitioner, Tatsuo Miyajima. The artist is known for creating immersive, technology-driven sculptures and installations. This is his first large-scale solo exhibition in Australia, encompassing key sculptures and installations from the beginnings of his career to the present, as well as video and performance works which have expanded his object-based practice over time.
Central to Miyajima’s practice are numerical counters that count from one to nine using light emitting diodes (LEDs). Presented in vast groupings with contrasting speeds and colours, Miyajima’s counters symbolise both the multitude of humanity as well as the individual, with their varied tempos and flashing colours. They also reflect time’s central importance in our lives and draw inspiration from Buddhist philosophy, with its exploration of mortality and human cycles of life, death and renewal.
Miyajima represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1995 with the vast installation Mega-Death – which is a centrepiece of this Sydney survey – a room-scale installation of brilliant, blinking blue LEDs, each representative of human life or energy. A silent, twinkling memorial to the Holocaust, the lights are programed to switch off at intervals, plunging viewers into complete darkness momentarily, before lighting up and counting once more.
The exhibition is curated by MCA’s chief curator Rachel Kent, who worked closely with Miyajima on her own international exhibition Marking Time, which inaugurated the newly re-developed MCA’s opening season in 2012. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, commented: “The reputation of our curatorial team for working closely with artists has enabled us to attract the likes of Anish Kapoor, Yoko Ono, Chuck Close, Grayson Perry and now Miyajima.”
Running alongside the Miyajima show as part of this year’s Sydney International Art Series, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will also showcase a selection of works by the likes of Picasso, Rodin and Bonnard in Nude: Art from the Tate Collection.
Tatsuo Miyajima, until 5 March, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), 140 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000.
For more, visit www.mca.com.au.
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1. Tatsuo Miyajima, Mega Death, 1999. Installation view, Suntory Museum, Osaka. Image courtesy of the artist and Scai the Bathhouse. Copyright the artist, photograph: Shigeo Anzai.