For the past 2 years Canon has been flexing their digital imaging muscle during Milan Design Week. Yesterday they presented Neoreal (3rd year ), an installation titled “Prism Liquid,” in which numerous projectors cast moving images over a spider-like architectural structure.
The multi-sided structure provides multiple canvases for the hallucinatory motion video to move through as it slips and slides off different surfaces.
They collaborated with video artist Kyota Takahashi , architect Akihisa Hirata and designer Hikaru Mori .
Art Work: Kyota Takahashi
Starting by reconfirming the sense of spatiality projectors create
The idea originated from the projectors themselves. The bunch of light beams generated by these machines has the capacity to give birth to an “invisible” pyramid-shaped space – a space made of lights. I aimed at revealing this space, born from the lights that make it real.
The expression which best describes this is a simple, direct one: “from input to output”. I elaborated the images, the brightness, and the projection method, and without using CG at all, I tried to extract the maximum of appeal a picture can have. Binomial concepts – 2D/3D, concrete/abstract, static/dynamic – coexist in a single world, a world of various dimensions in which fine and accurate digital imaging technologies as well as the dynamism of the color and the movement generated by light and images are made more complex.
Structure: Akihisa Hirata
Tangling with the light
I want to create a space which seems to play with the mass of the light emitted by the projectors, in a physical experience of tangling with the light. A single cord connects the entire place while creating a spiral. This very thick cord made by a polyhedral range blends into the territory of the three-dimensional lights.
Sometimes, the cord creates a six-meter high space, and sometimes it stretches on the floor and supports the semi-transparent horizontal wide screens. It almost resembles vines of light, and vivid colors are generated, making one feel as if radiating.
A primitive object, made of light and image
What was the idea that led to your creation this time?
Hirata: The light generated by the projector creates a space by itself. The idea is to decompose this light into several beams and to create a framework which defines a whole world, a world which incorporates all light beams. This light does not go off in the world of electrons; it survives through its sense of space and physicality. We wanted to make something emerge, some sort of track created by light.
Takahashi: We wanted to bring out something primitive, made of light and image, something that was not explored before. We are living in the age of the image boom. Anyone can easily make a motion picture, and there are more and more people who upload their work on the internet. The world is flooded with images, and the thrill I used to feel when I first started working with light and with images has faded in time. But I believe there really is something out there, something that would excite me more. And to think that not long ago I thought there is nothing new to look forward to…
Hirata: This kind of cynical thinking can only be found in human beings. We reach that place where we believe that there can’t be anything beyond what we have accomplished up to that moment, but then we evolve, desperately taking a leap and struggling to go forward, and we devise a brand new way of living. This is what we tried to show in out work this time. We don’t want to take a projector and say: “This is the architectural side and this is the image.” like we did until now. Instead, we wanted to pursue a completely new world, stepping into an unknown area of image expression, surpassing the limitations of Mr. Takahashi’s art and of my architecture, and simply letting our fields overlap. We were both deeply shaken by the result, and we hope that those who see our work feel the same.
Takahashi: We created something that I think does not look like anything I would have though of before, something that makes me wonder: Is this the piece we created? Or is it not even a work of art? What is it? This is “NEOREAL”, a new world of sensibilities, which goes beyond anything we have imagined before. It’s what we were aiming at.
Kyota Takahashi (Artist)
Kyota Takahashi was born in Kyoto in 1970 and graduated with a master’s degree in Sculpture from the Graduate School of Arts at Kyoto City University of Arts in 1995. Takahashi’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Kyoto Mayor’s Prize from Graduation Works Exhibition in 1993; top prize from the Kirin Art Award ’95, awarded by Toshio Shimizu with an Art Scholarship in 2001; and special prize for the Promotion of Art and Culture Award, Kyoto City in 2002. Furthermore, in 2005, he went on to win the top prize from the Kyoto Prefecture Art and Craft Selection Exhibition, the Most Promising Young Artists Prize in the Fine Arts Division of the Gotoh Commemorative Culture Award, and the Good Design Award 2005 (Environmental Design Section). In 2008, he won the encouragement prize from the Kyoto Cultural Award, Kyoto City. With video and lighting, he has achieved wide success in his lighting and art projects, live performance, installation, and public works. Furthermore, he has created large-scale architectural structures featuring lighting projections with dynamic video and light modeling at locations including Kyoto’s Nijo Castle and the Towada Art Center.
Akihisa Hirata (Architect)
Akihisa Hirata was born in Osaka in 1971 and graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University in 1997. After working for the architectural design firm Toyo Ito & Associates, he established akihisa hirata architecture office in 2005. His work has been recognized with multiple awards, including third place in the 2003 International Design Competition for Environment Art Forum in Annaka, the Asakura Award in the 2004 Space Design Review, honorable mention in the 2006 Space Design Review, the 2007 Japan Illustrators’ Association Newcomer’s Award, and ELLE DECO’s “Young Japanese Design Talent 2009” award. In his work, Hirata deciphers the seemingly disordered principles that lurk in the natural world and constructs visual spaces out of these basic tenets. His architecture brings together opposing elements—the inside and out, natural and synthetic, conscious and unconscious, structure and design—for a style with a keen sense of balance. Hirata was in charge of exhibition design for “NEOREAL “ in 2009.
Hikaru Mori (Designer)
Hikaru Mori was born in Sapporo in 1964 and graduated from the Design Department of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1987.After completing a post graduate course at the Graduate school of the same university in 1991, she moved to Milan, Italy, where she worked mainly in the areas of design ,architecture and landscaping.
In 1997, Mori established ZITO+MORI ASSOCIATI with Maurizio Zito to undertake include a winery for FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO, a winery for BISCEGLIA and the Atripalda municipal Park. In 2007, she introduced the lighting system “ADAM”at the Milan Design Week and her contemporary japan-influenced designs and highly regarded in Italy