While tech-based art began emerging in 2013, it’s taken over the art scene in a big way this year. The art world is embracing the changes of technology and producing highly innovative creations for people to look at around the world. Everyone from collectors of contemporary Japanese art, such as Thierry Porté, to museum-goers—both long-time and first-time—now have access to art that combines culture, philosophy, and technology into something entirely new.
Tatsuo Miyajima’s “HOTO” is a prime example of this wave of technology-based, interactive Japanese art. Created in 2008, the HOTO exhibit is just now being shown in the United States at the Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas.
What sets Miyajima’s sculpture apart from others is that it incorporates Buddhist scripture and modern technology in a bejeweled tower representing the importance of every life. Inspired by Buddhism and the events of September 11, 2001, Miyajima created a mirrored pagoda that is 18 feet high and six feet around, inlaid with 3,827 colored LED displays in various sizes. The displays flash the numbers one through nine in a continuous series and at different speeds to represent how each life moves at its own pace. “I’m trying to show that every human being is unique,” Miyajima explained.
The exhibit allows visitors to interact directly with the art as well: their reflections in the surface of the sculpture let them exist as part of the art, not just as observers. In fact, even the press release announcing the exhibit is interactive.
Other contemporary Japanese artists are also using technology and interactivity to change the way their art is experienced. Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit “Give Me Love” is set up in a garage-like gallery covered in bright colors and polka dot stickers. In addition to more traditional paintings, Kusama’s displays allow visitors to step into a space and become part of the art, including applying more polka dot stickers to the blank picture frames, table, dog bed, and other furniture in the house-like space.
Kusama’s colorful visions will soon be applied to the modern technology incorporated into making Louis Vitton bags and accessories as well: the two will create a series of items on sale in stores and select limited-time pop up shops.