ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha
Through Feb 16, 2019 / Lisson Gallery

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha

Tatsuo Miyajima opens his first solo exhibition in New York with Lisson Gallery, premiering his new series, Innumerable Life / Buddha. The exhibition will feature four works by the Japanese artist, introducing US audiences to his eastern philosophies and signature digital visual vocabulary. This new body of work, a series of glowing red installations, are inspired by a particular Buddhist teaching, reminding us of the power of the individual within a networked whole. A continuation of Miyajima’s meditations on time and its passage, these installations invite reflection, addressing the fundamental concepts of change, death, connection and eternity. The exhibition follows on from recent large-scale public commissions, including Count Down Dialogue (2018) launched during West Bund Art & Design Fair and comes ahead of Miyajima’s largest solo exhibition in Asia to date, opening at the new Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum in May 2019.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha

Numbers are at the heart of Miyajima’s practice. An international language, digits transcend cultures: “Whether applied to mathematics and physics, or language and daily activity, they play a central role in our lives and are understood by all” –Miyajima, 2015. Miyajima’s numbers have danced on walls, in water, on the façades of buildings, in forests and in ponds, on skyscrapers, in gardens and courtyards, and on the faces and bodies of men and women. To Miyajima, technology is an instrument, and perhaps even an organism, that allows the expression of poetry and spirituality through light and movement.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Lisson Gallery, Photo by Nobutada Omote

The four new works in the Innumerable Life / Buddha series are made up of glowing LED displays, with thousands of numbers counting down from nine to one at differing speeds, before going dark momentarily. These digits embody the human cycle and the eastern philosophy of change and renewal; each solitary, blinking diode signifying the individual body and soul. The counting sequence continues, as if everlasting, and yet ‘0’, implying death, is expressed solely by darkness. Through this allusion, the numbers – or ‘Life’ – are destined to an everlasting cycle of regeneration. This idea is also reflected in the color of the new works: the radiant red of the installations denotes the blood of life, love, fire, passion, strength and joy.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Installation, Lisson Gallery

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Installation, Lisson Gallery

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Installation, Lisson Gallery

This new series is inspired by a legend told in the Lotus Sutra, one of the most important texts in Mahayana Buddhism, recalling the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha, the spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism. Siddhartha was preaching to a number of his disciples and, when asked who would be the chosen ones to propagate these philosophies after his death, he indicated towards thousands of Buddhas arising from a cleft in the earth. He prophesied that these people – the ‘Bodhisattvas of the Earth’ – were the enlightened ones, the ‘Buddhas’ who would continue his teachings in the future. By not selecting an elite follower, or one of his Ten Great Disciples, he rendered Buddhism a divine power for all – regardless of name, power or status.

Miyajima’s philosophy, as told through these works, is that the future is not created by the genius of the individual, but by the collective body. Every tiny diode is small and seemingly insignificant, yet together creates the glittering web of the universe. For Miyajima, each life – no matter how brief – has meaning in the mass.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha
Through February 16, 2019 / Lisson Gallery
Visit the exhibition page >

Recent Articles
Sony World Photography Awards 2019
Apr 18 - May 6, 2019 / Somerset House
The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most celebrated and…
The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most celebrated and diverse photography competitions today. Now in…
Fashioning the Black Body
Through May 4, 2019
The artists in this exhibition survey how fashion, style, and the garment…
The artists in this exhibition survey how fashion, style, and the garment act as devices of investigative storytelling,…
William Eggleston: 2¼
Through June 1, 2019
Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular…
Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular style that deftly combines the vernacular…
Arlene Shechet / Sculpture
Through June 8, 2019
Shechet’s work in ceramic, porcelain, wood, concrete, bronze, and other materials teases…
Shechet’s work in ceramic, porcelain, wood, concrete, bronze, and other materials teases out longstanding tensions in sculpture between…
Jaume Plensa / 1980s to the Present
Through April 22, 2019
The works of Jaume Plensa address the very condition of being: its…
The works of Jaume Plensa address the very condition of being: its physical and spiritual essence, ontological awareness…
ARTPIL / Prescription .090
There and back again
Bolsonaro rewrites Brazil’s history, India prepares for mega elections, Netanyahu to gain…
Bolsonaro rewrites Brazil’s history, India prepares for mega elections, Netanyahu to gain a 5th term, Le Pen looks…
Luigi Ghirri / The Map and the Territory
Through June 2, 2019
“I am interested in ephemeral architecture, in objects generally regarded as bad…
“I am interested in ephemeral architecture, in objects generally regarded as bad taste, but which have never been…
Alan Reynolds / A Small Retrospective
Through April 18, 2019
Celebrated from the outset, Reynolds turns his back on popularity, quietly pursuing…
Celebrated from the outset, Reynolds turns his back on popularity, quietly pursuing his inner convictions, spending a lifetime…
Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha
Through Feb 16, 2019 / Lisson Gallery

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha

Tatsuo Miyajima opens his first solo exhibition in New York with Lisson Gallery, premiering his new series, Innumerable Life / Buddha. The exhibition will feature four works by the Japanese artist, introducing US audiences to his eastern philosophies and signature digital visual vocabulary. This new body of work, a series of glowing red installations, are inspired by a particular Buddhist teaching, reminding us of the power of the individual within a networked whole. A continuation of Miyajima’s meditations on time and its passage, these installations invite reflection, addressing the fundamental concepts of change, death, connection and eternity. The exhibition follows on from recent large-scale public commissions, including Count Down Dialogue (2018) launched during West Bund Art & Design Fair and comes ahead of Miyajima’s largest solo exhibition in Asia to date, opening at the new Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum in May 2019.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha

Numbers are at the heart of Miyajima’s practice. An international language, digits transcend cultures: “Whether applied to mathematics and physics, or language and daily activity, they play a central role in our lives and are understood by all” –Miyajima, 2015. Miyajima’s numbers have danced on walls, in water, on the façades of buildings, in forests and in ponds, on skyscrapers, in gardens and courtyards, and on the faces and bodies of men and women. To Miyajima, technology is an instrument, and perhaps even an organism, that allows the expression of poetry and spirituality through light and movement.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Lisson Gallery, Photo by Nobutada Omote

The four new works in the Innumerable Life / Buddha series are made up of glowing LED displays, with thousands of numbers counting down from nine to one at differing speeds, before going dark momentarily. These digits embody the human cycle and the eastern philosophy of change and renewal; each solitary, blinking diode signifying the individual body and soul. The counting sequence continues, as if everlasting, and yet ‘0’, implying death, is expressed solely by darkness. Through this allusion, the numbers – or ‘Life’ – are destined to an everlasting cycle of regeneration. This idea is also reflected in the color of the new works: the radiant red of the installations denotes the blood of life, love, fire, passion, strength and joy.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Installation, Lisson Gallery

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Installation, Lisson Gallery

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha, Installation, Lisson Gallery

This new series is inspired by a legend told in the Lotus Sutra, one of the most important texts in Mahayana Buddhism, recalling the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha, the spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism. Siddhartha was preaching to a number of his disciples and, when asked who would be the chosen ones to propagate these philosophies after his death, he indicated towards thousands of Buddhas arising from a cleft in the earth. He prophesied that these people – the ‘Bodhisattvas of the Earth’ – were the enlightened ones, the ‘Buddhas’ who would continue his teachings in the future. By not selecting an elite follower, or one of his Ten Great Disciples, he rendered Buddhism a divine power for all – regardless of name, power or status.

Miyajima’s philosophy, as told through these works, is that the future is not created by the genius of the individual, but by the collective body. Every tiny diode is small and seemingly insignificant, yet together creates the glittering web of the universe. For Miyajima, each life – no matter how brief – has meaning in the mass.

 

Tatsuo Miyajima: Innumerable Life / Buddha
Through February 16, 2019 / Lisson Gallery
Visit the exhibition page >