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As it is


Toki Art Space, Tokyo, Japan

Bulbs programmed to slowly increase and decrease in intensity

Exhibition report, Reiko Aoyagi

“How can I approach the place where I come from again? Through my experience living and working in a different place over the years I got interested in exploring a space specific to the place, having a universal quality in it.

Taki Art Space is in Aoyama, which is known as a fashionable area in Tokyo. There is highly modern architecture around there, but small traditional shops and restaurants co-exist. It was a nice surprise to see the local people wearing traditional festival costumes shouldering a portable shrine for their summer festival of the shrine nearby. Buildings and streets are compacted together. The gallery is situated in a semi basement space going down the steep stairs from a small quiet street. When you open the glass entrance door, you see the rather dark gallery space in L-shape with dark brown wooden floor and a factory like ceiling. I wanted to use all of these conditions of the space and the environment.

I installed two big clear bulbs. One was suspended at an eye level and the other was suspended at a far lower level to create a closer relationship to the ground. I programmed the light glimmering with a lighting technician. Sometimes there was no light in the space, but then one light started to glimmer slightly and went off slowly. The other light started to light up and down independently responding to the other one. All this glimmering rhythm was based on our breathing rhythm.

During the day natural light came into the space through the glass door. We could also see passers-by and traffic in the street. In the evening light became more dramatic in the dark space. In this way I wanted to create a strong connection between the outer world and the inner world. A space of the slow breathing through the energy of the light. A space of life and death. A space to attempt to communicate sending the vibration of light.”