The Seiko Watch Corporation’s exhibition “Flow of Time,” was on view at La Triennale di Milano
The inspiration for the multimedia artwork was the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement that is driven and regulated through mechanical, quartz and electromagnetic power.
The result, visually, is a sweeping second hand that glides silently across the dial—unlike the one-second ticks of a quartz movement or the rapid beats of a mechanical watch.
The job of interpreting this concept onto a room-sized installation was left to a multi-disciplinary group of Japanese designers. Satoshi Yoshiizumi of Takt Project and designer Shingo Abe created the art installation.
Toshiki Kiriyama of Trunk Ltd., served as general producer of the exhibition and designer Hikaru Mori served as the spatial designer.
The concept consisted of an enormous visual screen that transformed the transience of time into space as a background for 12 acrylic objects in different shapes on stands in a single line.
Sealed inside each acrylic object were parts of the Spring Drive watch movement that becomes integrated with the constantly moving scenery.
Looking into the objects, small twinkling spots of light surrounding the parts, which is designed to demonstrate the existence of small electricity generated by the parts themselves in silence.
“ As you walk along the 12 objects, the parts are formed into a watch movement, and complimented with the moving scenery. The complete watch movement will continue to display time though it is sealed inside the object. This is where the flow of time never ceases to exist.”……… Satoshi Yoshiizumi
“ When talking about Grand Seiko, we’ve tended to emphasize its precision, superb accuracy and specifications, but watches today should fit people’s lifestyles and also possess values that can appeal to human sensibility.
Now, we would like to communicate the world view we have incorporated in our Grand Seiko brand watches in the form of an art installation that can be experienced by the five senses and provoke an emotional response.
We chose the Spring Drive movement as the motif of our exhibit because of the smooth glide motion of the second hand it produces, a reflection of the silent and continuous natural flow of time that is at the heart of the Japanese sense of beauty.” …………………. Shinji Hattori, chairman and CEO of Seiko Watch Corporation
“The Spring Drive upgraded what used to be a tool to ‘ know ’ the time, to a device that makes you ‘ feel the time This visual work captures the steps of this evolution. It is an art installation in which you can feel Grand Seiko’s thought just by looking into it.” ………… Satoshi Yoshiizumi
For Shingo Abe, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive represents a return to the way time flows in its natural state.
To visualize this, he uses two techniques to project photographs onto the screen: “ Multiple exposure” where you capture an enormous number of moments and install them into one photo; and “ long exposures ” where you trap the whole flow of time into a single photograph.
The trail of the sun draws an arch in the sky; the history of timepieces began by “ticking” this natural arching “movement” which has always been continuous.
Time transformed from what used to “flow” to something that “ticks.”
In their pursuit for better performance, watches demonstrated a higher-precision with the “ticking” of time.
The Spring Drive upgraded the movement of the second hand to be a unique and smooth glide motion and natural, which makes us feel the “flowing” of time, just like a falling raindrop, leaves falling to the ground and stars orbiting in the night sky.
This visual work captures the contrast between the “ticking time” and “flowing time”
About TAKT PROJECT
Takt Project was established in 2013, with Satoshi Yoshiizumi as representative.
Under the motto “DESIGN THINK + DO TANK,” the studio has undertaken various projects seeking to “create other possibilities” through design.
It has conducted experimental independent research projects and presented the results at the Milan Design Week, DesignMiami/, Maison & Objet Paris, Hong Kong M+, and other domestic and international art museums and design events.
It collaborates with various clients, taking a unique approach which maximizes the role of design in projects based on its research findings.
About Shingo Abe
Born in 1981.
Studied media arts at Tohoku University of Art and Design.
After graduating, he joined the visual design studio WOW and was involved in advertising as a computer graphics designer, animator and director.
Thereafter, he has collaborated with many artists not only in video but also in various media including spatial presentation using image projection, interactive works, and installations, as well as film direction for fashion shows and stage presentations.
About Grand Seiko
Since its birth in 1960, Grand Seiko has achieved the highest level of precision, beauty and legibility through constant innovation, embodying the true essentials of watchmaking.
When it made its global debut in 2010, Grand Seiko won high praise for the durability of its high precision and sophisticated design, made possible by the fact that the company is one of the few fully integrated watch manufacturers in the world.
In Spring 2017 Grand Seiko took its next step forward by broadening the appeal of the brand to new design areas and introducing a new color scheme.
To symbolize this transformation, its logo is now proudly presented at the twelve o’clock position on the dial.