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YCAM Re-Marks

LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible...

Ryuichi Sakamoto + Shiro Takatani

Indeterminacy focusing on non-linear "symbiotic systems"
A message to the future in memory of the 20th century

Ryuichi Sakamoto, internationally renowned musician crisscrossing the realms of classical, ethnic and popular music, teamed up with video artist Shiro Takatani, a central member of the globally operating Kyoto-based artist group Dumb Type. Unveiled at this exhibition was a large-scale installation the two artists created in collaboration based on Sakamoto's "LIFE", an opera proposing visions of symbiotic systems for the 21st century, that was first staged in 1999.
Recombining elements of the original opera while reflecting changes in our contemporary problem consciousness evoked by differences between the recognizable and the unrecognizable, and by way of access to the latter, the work communicated "memories" of the 20th century in the form of a message to the future.
March 10 - May 28, 2007
Special Site
Poster & Flyer


LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible... (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Ryuichi Sakamoto + Shiro Takatani

New environmental sensibility stimulated by an infinite flow of sounds and lights


LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible... (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)

Ryuichi Sakamoto + Shiro Takatani

New environmental sensibility stimulated by an infinite flow of sounds and lights

This installation was created by disassembling and restructuring Ryuichi Sakamoto's "LIFE" opera composed of elaborate simulations of 20th century musical styles, and footage documenting historical events of the 20th century.

Nine water tanks suspended from the ceiling are filled with fog, onto which images are projected from above, while sounds from nine speakers connected to each of the tanks reverberate across the exhibition space. Repeated synchronization and dispersion of the showering sounds and ever-changing images seen through the wavering fog create an intricate audio-visual setting in which the visitor can walk or lie down to direct his/her attention to the interface between the visible and the invisible, the audible and the inaudible, while abandoning himself to the fleeting world of light and sound.

Tanks and fog
Nine water tanks measuring 1.2 x 1.2 meters, and 30 centimeters high, are suspended from the ceiling of the exhibition space. Each is filled with approximately 100 liters of water, above which fog produced by ultrasonic mist generators with varying density continuously flows above the water surface. The fog functions as a projection screen for the images used in this work, resulting in concrete yet at once abstract, immaterial yet at once physical visual impressions.

Images and sounds
For this work, approximately 400 audio/video sequences extracted from the original "LIFE" were combined with around the same amount of newly produced material. Images are divided into 15, sounds into 30 categories, whereas both components are algorithmically combined to create an infinitely transforming audio-visual setting.
Tour Information
  • April 2 - May 29, 2011 MATIÈRE – LUMIÈRE
    Venue: Le 360 (France)

  • March 2 - May 2, 2010 Digital Life
    Venue: La Pelanda - Centro di produzione culturale (Italy)

  • September 15 - November 4, 2007 Venue: NTT Intercommunication Center [ICC] (Tokyo, Japan)

Sound programming: Kenji Yasaka
Visual programming: Daito Manabe
System programming: Ken Furudate
Sound system adviser: Hiroyasu Sato
Material editing: Hiromasa Tomari
Equipment coordination: Masanobu Tsuchiya, Yasushi Mouri
Technical assistant: So Ozaki
Recording engineer: Fernando Aponte
Production management: Evan Balmer
Legal supervisor: Susan Butler
Visionary at large: Akira Asada


Opening Live Performance

March 10, 2007


Opening Live Performance

The opening of the exhibition was celebrated with a live performance featuring both Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani. The performance was built around the system and setting of the actual exhibition, allowing visitors to walk around freely in the exhibition space, and choose a spot from which to make their own personal experience of the breathtaking transformations occurring within the space.
March 10, 2007
Studio A
Cast: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Shiro Takatani

Artist Talk

March 11, 2007


Artist Talk

The artists featured in this exhibition, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani appeared in a talk event moderated by critic Akira Asada, where they explained about the background and creation process of their work.
March 11, 2007
Speakers: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Shiro Takatani
Moderator: Akira Asada



Organized by:

  • Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion

In association with:

  • Yamaguchi City
  • the Board of Education of Yamaguchi City

Grants from:

  • Agency for Cultural Affairs


  • commmons
  • Kab America Inc.
  • Kab Inc.

Corporate sponsors:

  • Ballad co.,ltd.

Co-developed with:

  • YCAM InterLab

Produced by:

  • Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
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