Experience the Magic of Light at TORANOMON LIGHT ART in Tokyo
Illuminating Tokyo: A Journey of Artistic Brilliance at TORANOMON LIGHT ART
Step into a Luminous Wonderland
As the sun sets in Tokyo, a new world of color and light emerges at TORANOMON LIGHT ART. This innovative event, set against the backdrop of the bustling city, invites you on a journey through artfully crafted light installations. From November 13, 2023, to January 8, 2024, the Toranomon Hills area and Shintora-dori Avenue transform into a canvas of brilliance, showcasing the fusion of light, art, and urban landscape.
Art that Illuminates the City
This year’s inaugural event is a collaboration with the renowned Light Art Collection, known for managing one of the world’s largest light art festivals in Amsterdam. Immerse yourself in groundbreaking and artistic light art pieces that are not just visually stunning but also tell a story of connection between people, the city, and light.
Highlights of the Exhibition
A. Firefly Field by Studio Toer / Netherlands:
A whimsical installation mimicking the serene dance of fireflies in twilight. Experience the unpredictability of light as it moves around in its natural habitat.
The installation ‘Firefly Field’ features countless points of light that flutter through the twilight, mimicking the floating of fireflies. Created by Studio Toer, the installation uses a minimal setup of LEDs enclosed in transparent capsules to represent hundreds of points of light, with metal wires and small motors creating an environment where unpredictable light moves naturally around. The light, which seems to fly off swiftly, then remains suspended in the air. This work was inspired by the bioluminescence of living creatures, particularly fireflies, that shine in the darkness. Studio Toer, consisting of industrial designer Wouter Widdershoven and artist Castor Bours, started their collaboration in 2007. Their works explore the boundaries between product and spatial design, seeking new interventions. Known for their kinetic works, characterized by delicate materials and clear visual language, their ideas always start from the freedom of play. Studio Toer is known for its exploratory and experimental approach, challenging the technical and aesthetic limits of design in a wide range of applied arts, from light installations and objects to interactive experiences and innovative products. Their installations, such as the solar energy-powered umbrella ‘Cumulus’ that inflates like a cloud, have garnered international attention and can be enjoyed at various festivals around the world.
B. Tornado by UxU Studio / Taiwan:
An awe-inspiring art installation symbolizing the merging of nature’s fury with fantastical elements. Witness the light tornado and ponder on the power of humanity.
The ‘Tornado’ light installation represents a fusion of nature’s destructive phenomena with grand fantasy. A light tornado that suddenly appears in the city, provoking awe, astonishment, or enchantment in people. According to UxU Studio, the white light spiraling up in the darkness poses a question about the power held by humanity. ‘As we head into the coming Anthropocene, can we use our human abilities more wisely?’ they ask. UxU Studio is a collective of architects, designers, and artist designers from Taiwan. Their experimental and interdisciplinary approach often involves common materials, resulting in large installations. They also experiment with scaling recognizable things or images to surreal sizes.
C. Absorbed by Light by Gali May Lucas / UK:
A contemporary piece depicting our modern-day attachment to smartphones, encouraging visitors to reflect on their impact on human connections.
‘Absorbed by Light’ shows three figures sitting on a bench, typifying modern humans engrossed in their smartphones. Despite their physical presence, their minds seem to be elsewhere. Visitors can sit among these figures to experience the impact of smartphone usage on those around them. The work was designed by British artist Gali May Lucas and sculpted by Karoline Hinz, based in Berlin. British artist Gali May Lucas (born 1992) graduated as a graphic designer from Falmouth University in Cornwall. She has worked for international brand design agencies like Design Bridge and Vault49. Lucas’s experiences are closely linked to her approach to creativity. She also engages in independent projects involving photography and illustration.
D. On the Wings of Freedom by Aether & Hemera / Italy:
Hundreds of glowing butterflies taking flight signify the rapid changes brought by technology and the transformation of cities.
Hundreds of luminous butterflies form a swarm and take off in unison. ‘On the Wings of Freedom’ communicates the rapid societal changes brought by technology, while also pointing out our lack of deep consideration of these changes. It also represents the transformation of cities. The motif of butterflies suggests that a city is truly a city only when it keeps changing. Just as a single butterfly’s flap can cause a storm, these butterflies together hope to create a storm of light and creativity. Aether & Hemera is an art design studio producing contemporary art installations, light works, and interactive designs. Formed in 2008 by Gloria Ronchi and Claudio Benghi, they use light and digital media to create captivating spaces that connect people to their environment.
E. Nest by Vikas Patil & Santosh Gujar / India:
Inspired by the bowerbirds’ nests, this piece reflects on the concept of ‘home’ and ‘shelter,’ offering a unique perspective on organic architecture.
Building a home is not only for shelter but also to grasp the sense of ‘home.’ This isn’t unique to humans; certain birds exhibit similar behavior. For instance, male bowerbirds build large nests to become desirable partners for females. The installation ‘Nest’ is inspired by the nests of bowerbirds, created following the principle of an exoskeleton structure inverted from the inside out. Inspired by animal behavior, buildings that apply such techniques are often constructed, known as ‘organic architecture.Vikas Patil is an Indian architect and lighting designer, with a Master’s degree from Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan. Since 2011, he has been the director of Studio ALBA Lighting Design based in Mumbai. Santosh Gujar, also an Indian architect, studied architecture at Sir JJ College of Architecture in Mumbai and currently works as a consultant architect, sharing his knowledge in design and regional development.
F. My Light is Your Light by Alaa Minawi / Lebanon:
A poignant portrayal of refugees, this installation tells a story of existence’s uncertainty through life-size neon figures.
‘My Light is Your Light’ speaks of the uncertainty of existence. Six life-size figures made of curved neon tubes stand as if they have come from afar. They represent the refugees depicted by artist Alaa Minawi.Based in Amsterdam, Alaa Minawi is a Palestinian-Lebanese artist exploring the potential fusion of installation and performing arts. He engages the audience not just as active participants in art but as essential elements in the structure of the performance.
G. Five Stars by Shohei Shigematsu/OMA NY UNITED STATES:
Floating in the atrium, this installation visualizes the dynamic changes in the Toranomon Hills area, with five stars representing the five buildings.
Five Stars is a special installation by Shohei Shigematsu/OMA NY, who designed the architecture of Toranomon Hills Station Tower. Suspended in the atrium where ‘movement’ of people, water, natural light, trains, and cars converge, the mobile visualizes the changing air and light. The five stars represent the five buildings of the Toranomon Hills area, and their slow rotation symbolizes the dynamic changes of the Toranomon city. Shohei Shigematsu and OMA NY are responsible for the Five Stars installation, reflecting the dynamic nature of the Toranomon Hills area.
A Night to Remember
The installations are perfectly positioned to harmonize with Tokyo’s iconic night view, making the TORANOMON LIGHT ART a must-visit for both art enthusiasts and casual visitors. Wander through these captivating displays, free of charge, and witness how art can beautifully intertwine with urban life. Experience the magic of light and color in the heart of Tokyo. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to see the city in a new, vibrant light!
TORANOMON LIGHT ART
Venue: Toranomon Hills and Shintora-dori Avenue, Tokyo
Dates: November 13, 2023, to January 8, 2024
Official Website:https://www.toranomon-light-art.com/#about (Japanese)
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