Shiro Takatani ST/LL

More fleeting than narrative, more infinite than future or past
Time defies all dimension-bound notions of micromeasure

The dance of electrons within all things remains insensately other
Real shadows cast on imagined time
Imagined shadows cast on real space…

Can art or science ever truly express this hourglass world
These grains of sand that crumble at the slightest change?

En partenariat avec Ars Musica.

Direction : Shiro Takatani | Avec : Yuko Hirai, Mayu Tsuruta, Misako Yabuuchi, Olivier Balzarini | Musique : Ryuichi Sakamoto, Marihiko Hara, Takuya Minami | Lumières : Yukiko Yoshimoto | Création numérique : Ken Furudate | Text : Alfred Birnbaum | Direction technique : Thomas Leblanc | Assistant numérique : Ryo Shiraki | Assistant lumières : Kazuya Yoshida | Administration : Yoko Takatani / Dumb Type Office Ltd.

Shiro Takatani is a Japanese artist, born on October 15, 1963, in Nara. He currently lives and works in Kyoto. Co-founder and visual creator of the group Dumb Type since 1984, he also became artistic director of the group from 1995 and also started an active solo career in 1998.

Biography[edit]

Dumb Type[edit]

Graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts, Shiro Takatani co-founded Dumb Type in 1984 with other students from different sections of the university, including Teiji Furuhashi, Toru Koyamada, Yukihiro Hozumi, Misako Yabuuchi and Hiromasa Tomari.[1]

Dumb Type began touring around the world and got recognition with their multidisciplinary shows Pleasure Life (1988), and pH (1990-1995) and S/N (1992-1996)

After the death of the artistic director Teiji Furuhashi in 1995, some members left the company, while new ones joined it, as the composer Ryoji Ikeda. They continued working under Shiro Takatani’s direction and created the performances OR (1997-1999), memorandum (1999-2003), Voyage (2002-2009), and the related installations OR (1997), Cascade (2000), Voyages (2002) and MEMORANDUM OR VOYAGE (2014).

Solo Projects[edit]

Alongside his activities within Dumb Type, Takatani has created a number of installations and performances under his own name.

Since his first installation frost frames, created at Canon Artlab in 1998, Takatani has been invited by museums, festivals and theatres worldwide.

Among others, he was commissioned by the Natural History Museum of Latvia in Riga to create two video installations: Ice Core and Snow Crystal / fiber optic type, for the group exhibition “Conversations with Snow and Ice”, dedicated to Ukichiro Nakaya‘ scientific work on snow and ice, in 2005. This exhibition was one of the nominees for the Descartes Award for Excellence in the Explanation of Scientific phenomena in 2007) [2]

The following year he was hosted in residence in Australia and presented the installation Chrono in Melbourne, as part of the Australia-Japan exchange program “Rapt! 20 Contemporary Artists from Japan”, commissioned by the Japan Foundation.

He also joined the three-week British expedition “Cape Farewell” (a cultural response to climate change) in the Arctic, with scientists, writers, journalists and other artists from different countries. The related group exhibition was presented at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, in 2008.

His more recent creations include the laser installation Silence (2012), commissioned by Radar, Loughborough University Arts, the fog installation Composition(2013) for the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates and one of the first animation artworks for the 3D WATER MATRIX, inaugurated at the exhibition “Robotic Art” at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris, in 2014.

Some of his installations are part of permanent collections of museums, for example Camera lucida (2004) and Toposcan / Ireland 2013 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and optical flat / fiber optic type (2000) at the National Museum of Art in Osaka.

In 2013, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography presented Camera lucida, a dedicated exhibition with a wide range of the video and photographic artworks,[3] he created both as solo artist and artistic director of Dumb Type

Another solo exhibition, held at the Kodama Gallery in Tokyo in 2014, featured his photographic series Topograph and frost frame Europe 1987.

Takatani also created and directed three theatre/dance performances: La chambre claire [4] (2008), referring to Roland Barthes’s essay la camera lucida,CHROMA (2012), inspired by Derek Jarman‘s Chroma: A Book of Color, with original music by Simon Fisher Turner, and ST/LL (2015) [5] in which he is exploring how to consider the micromeasure of time and whether “art or science can ever truly express this hourglass world”.[6]

Collaboration Projects[edit]

Shiro Takatani has collaborated with musicians, choreographers and other artists from many disciplines.

In 1990, he participated with Akira Asada in the art project Stadsmarkeringen Groningen – Marking the City Boundaries, led by architect Daniel Libeskind for the 950th anniversary of the City of Groningen in the Netherlands.

In 1998, he was commissioned by Art Zoyd and the Lille National Orchestra to create video images for a piece of the first cycle of Dangerous Visions, a project combining symphonic music, new musical technologies and images.

At this period, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto noticed Takatani’s work and asked him to undertake the visual direction of his opera LIFE, created in 1999. This marked the start of a fruitful collaboration between the two artists. They co-created later, in 2007, the installation LIFE – fluid, invisible, inaudible… at Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] (as well as an updated version in 2013), silent spins with sound designer Seigen Ono at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo in 2012. They also participated together in three performances directed by Moriaki Watanabe: Project Mallarmé I, II and III, combining text, music, theatre and dance, at the Kyoto Performing Arts Center – Shunjuza, from 2010 to 2012. During 2013-2014, they presented in Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM], on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, their performance LIFE WELL (with the participation of Noh actor Mansai Nomura), an installation with the same title and a new one: water state 1. Furthermore, Takatani was the visual director for Sakamoto’s project Forest Symphony in 2013 and they collaborated again for a special version of LIFE-WELL, commissioned for the 20th anniversary of the Park Hyatt in Tokyo, in 2014.

Since his first collaboration with fog sculptor Fujiko Nakaya at the 1st International Biennial of Valencia in 2001, for the outdoor installation IRIS at the port of the city, Takatani co-signed two more large-scale installations with her: CLOUD FOREST (2010), inside and around the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM], and a fog sculpture in the Asuka Historical National Park in Nara.

Among other collaborations, he contributed in the exhibition Kichizaemon X (2012-2013), consisting of images screened on potters made by Raku Kichizaemon XV at Sagawa Art Museum, and he co-signed the 4K video installation Mars[7] with Xavier Barral, for the international festival of photography Kyotographie at the Museum of Kyoto.

He also co-created several performances with Noh actor Mansai Nomura: Sanbaso / Eclipse and Boléro, both performed at the MOT – Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo), and Aoi no ue, The Double Shadow, directed by Watanabe Moriaki, at the Kyoto Performing Arts Center – Syunjuza.

Takatani’s works were presented, among others, at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Romaeuropa festival / MACRO in Rome,Royal Academy of Arts in London, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, GREC festival in Barcelona, Festival de Otoño in Madrid, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Lille 2004 – European Capital of Culture, NTT InterCommunication Center – ICC, Tokyo, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM].

In 2015, Takatani received the 65th Prize of Fine Arts (Art media) from the Ministry of Education of Japan.

Works[edit]

Installations[edit]

  • Toposcan / Baden-Württemberg (2016), commissioned by ZKM
  • MEMORANDUM OR VOYAGE – Dumb Type (2014), commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
  • Liquid animation for the 3D WATER MATRIX (2014)
  • Toposcan (2013)
  • frost frame Europe 1987 (2013)
  • mirror type k2 (2013)
  • Composition (2013)
  • silence (2012)
  • photo-gene (2007)
  • Chrono (2006), commissioned by the Japan Foundation as part of Australia-Japan exchange program “Rapt! 20 Contemporary Artists from Japan”
  • Ice Core (2005), commissioned by the Natural History Museum of Latvia, Riga, as part of “Conversations with Snow and Ice” exhibition
  • Snow Crystal / fiber optic type (2005), commissioned by the Natural History Museum of Latvia, Riga, as part of “Conversations with Snow and Ice” exhibition
  • Camera lucida (2004), permanent collection of Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
  • optical flat / fiber optic type (2000), permanent collection of the National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • frost frames (1998)

Performances[edit]

  • ST/LL (2015), co-produced by Le Volcan – Scène Nationale du Havre and Biwako Hall – Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga
  • CHROMA – concert version (2013)
  • CHROMA (2012), co-produced by Biwako Hall – Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga
  • La chambre claire (2008), co-produced by Theater der Welt 2008

Collaboration works[edit]

  • Aoi no ue / L’ombre double (2014), visual direction for the performance directed by Moriaki Watanabe (Kyoto Performing Arts Center – Syunjuza)
  • LIFE-WELL Park Hyatt version (2014), fog and sound installation in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto, at Park Hyatt Tokyo
  • First artwork for the 3D Water Matrix (2014), Merit CODAawards Winner 2015 – category “Institutional” in 2015
  • Mars (2014), installation in collaboration with Xavier Barral
  • Sanbaso / Eclipse (2014), with Mansai Nomura, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
  • Boléro (2014), with Mansai Nomura, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
  • LIFE – fluid, invisible, inaudible… (2013), ver.2, installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto, commissioned by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
  • water state 1 (2013), installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • LIFE-WELL (2013), installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Forest Symphony (2013), visual direction for the project by Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • LIFE-WELL (2013), Nô and Kyôgen performance in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Mansai Nomura
  • Mallarmé Project III (2012), visual direction for the performance by Moriaki Watanabe
  • silence spins (2012), installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto + Seigen Ono
  • collapsed (2012), installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Kichizaemon X (2012), installation with Raku Kichizaemon XV
  • Asuka Art Project (2011), lighting design for the fog installation by Fujiko Nakaya
  • Mallarmé Project II – Igitur (2011), visual direction for the performance by Moriaki Watanabe
  • Mallarmé Project (2010), visual direction for the performance by Moriaki Watanabe
  • CLOUD FOREST (2010), installation with Fujiko Nakaya, commissioned by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
  • This is how you will disappear, video direction for the performance by Gisèle Vienne at Festival d’Avignon
  • Keiichiro Shibuya playing piano solo, Shiro Takatani playing visuals (2009)
  • LIFE-fluid, invisible, inaudible… (2007), installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto, commissioned by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
  • Live with Softpad (2007), special creation at Espace Sculfort in Maubeuge and Maison des Arts de Créteil
  • Garden Live with Ryuichi Sakamoto (2007) at Daitokuji-temple, Kyoto
  • Live with Rei Harakami (2006) at Liquidroom, Tokyo, Sonar Sound Tokyo
  • Live with Rei Harakami (2005) at Kyoto University Seibu-Kodo Hall and SONAR, Barcelona
  • Garden Live with Ryuichi Sakamoto (2005) at Honen-in, Kyoto
  • Live with Rei Harakami (2004) at Namura Art Meeting, Osaka and Sonar Sound Tokyo 2004
  • IRIS (2001), installation with Fujiko Nakaya, commissioned by the 1st Biennial of Valencia
  • LIFE (1999), visual direction for the opera by Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Dangerous Visions (1998), visual creation for the project by Art Zoyd and Orchestre National de Lille

Exhibitions and Performances[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

2014

  • Topograph and frost frame Europe 1987, Kodama Gallery, Tokyo

2013

  • Camera Lucida, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
  • LIFE-WELL installation, Noda-jinja shrine (outdoor), Yamaguchi

2007

  • photo-gene, Kodama Gallery, Tokyo

2004

  • Camera Lucida – experimental studies, Kodama Gallery, Osaka

2001

  • frost frames, Chapelle des Carmélites, Toulouse

2000

  • frost frames, Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto
  • optical flat / fiber optic type, Kodama Gallery, Osaka

Group exhibitions[edit]

2016

  • “GLOBALE: New Sensorium” / ZKM, Karlsruhe

2015

  • “Open Space” / NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo

2014

  • “Seeking New Genealogies— Bodies / Leaps / Traces”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
  • “City and Nature” / Sapporo International Art Festival, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo
  • “Kyotographie – international photography festival” / The Museum of Kyoto Annex
  • “Art Robotique” / Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, Paris

2013

  • YCAM 10th Anniversary “ART-ENVIRONMENT-LIFE”, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
  • “Sharjah Biennial 11 – Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography” / Sharjah Art Foundation New Art Spaces, Sharjah
  • “Kichizaemon X”, special exhibition “teahouse of light” / Sagawa Art Museum, Shiga
  • “Kyotographie – international photography festival” / Saigyo-an, Kyoto

2012

  • “AfterGold” / Radar, Loughborough University
  • “Kichizaemon X: Takatani Shiro + the 15th Raku Kichizaemon” / Sagawa Art Museum, Shiga
  • “Art & Music – Search for New Synesthesia” / Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo

2011

  • “Matière-Lumière” / Le 360, Bethune

2010

  • “Digital Life” / Romaeuropa, La Pelanda-MACRO, Rome
  • “Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions” / Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo

2009

  • “Ecology and Art – Thinking About the Earth Through Art: From Nearby to Far Away” / Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi
  • “A Blow to the Everyday” / Osage Gallery, Hong Kong
  • “Earth: Art of a changing world” / Royal Academy of Arts, London

2008

  • “Cape Farewell” / National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo
  • “Light InSight” / NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Tokyo

2007

  • “Vom Funken zum Pixel” / Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

2006

  • “Rapt! 20 contemporary artists from Japan” / Westspace, Melbourne

2005

  • “Conversations with Snow and Ice” / The Natural History Museum of Latvia, Riga
  • “Rising Sun, Melting Moon” / The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

2003

  • “Cyber Asia – media art in the near future” / Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima
  • Lille 2004 – European Capital of Culture, Lille

2001

  • “media messages: look thru language” / Sendai mediatheque, Sendai
  • “AFTER-IMAGE” / The National Museum of Art, Osaka

2000

  • “Musiques en Scène” / Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon
  • EXIT Festival / Maison des Arts de Créteil
  • VIA Festival / Le Manège – Théâtre du Manège, Maubeuge

1998

  • ARTLAB 4 / Spiral Garden, Tokyo

1990

  • “Stadsmarkering – Groningen / Marking the City Boundaries” (master plan Daniel Libeskind), Groningen

Public collections[edit]

  • optical flat / fiber optic type (2000), The National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • Toposcan – Ireland (2013), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo
  • Camera Lucida (2004), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo

Tours (performances)[edit]

2016

  • ST/LL, Biwako Hall – Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga

2015

  • ST/LL, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels
  • ST/LL, Le Volcan – Scène Nationale du Havre, Le Havre

2014

  • CHROMA, SIAF – Sapporo International Art Festival

2013

  • CHROMA, Festival de Marseille
  • CHROMA concert version, SonarSound Tokyo

2012

  • CHROMA, Biwako Hall – Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga
  • La chambre claire, New National Theatre, Tokyo

2010

  • La Càmera Lúcida, GREC Festival, Barcelone
  • La chambre claire, Festival de Marseille
  • La chambre claire, Biwako Hall – Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga

2009

  • La Cámara Lúcida, Festival de Otoño, Madrid

2008

  • Die Helle Kammer, Theater der Welt, Halle

Discography[edit]

  • Teiji Furuhashi + Toru Yamanaka + Dumb Type – Works Vol. 01 (Triple CD, 2005). Foil Records FR-008/3
  • memorandum – Dumb Type (CD, 2000). CCI Recording CCI001
  • OR – Dumb Type (CD, 1998). Foil Records DTOR
  • S/N (CD, 1998). Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Acier C-DSA 54056
  • Remix – Dumb Type (mini CD, 1997). Foil Records FS001
  • teiji furuhashi / dumb type 1985-1994 (CD, 1996). Foil Records ML8852008
  • Hotel Pro Forma, Dumb Type, Diller-Scofidio – Monkey Business Class (CD, 1996). no label. Audio document of a collaboration between Hotel Pro Forma, Dumb Type, Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio and Willie Flindt.
  • S/N – Dumb Type (CD, 1995). Newsic 30CE-N022

Videography[edit]

  • memorandum (DVD, 2009). Dumb Type’s performance recorded in 2000. Commmons RZBM46410
  • OR (DVD, 2009). Dumb Type’s performance recorded in 1998. Commmons RZBM46409
  • LIFE-fluid, invisible, inaudible… (DVD, 2008). Ryuichi Sakamoto + Shiro Takatani. Commmons RZBM-46410
  • OR (VHS, 1998). Dumb Type’s performance recorded in 1997. Euro Space ESV-034
  • pH (VHS, 1992). Dumb Type performance recorded in 1991. Euro Space ESV-033

Awards[edit]

  • “65th Prize of Fine Arts” (Art media) from the Ministry of Education of Japan (2015)
  • “Merit CODAawards Winner 2015” (Institutional) for the 3D Water Matrix featuring Takatani’s special artwork (2015)
  • “Sole d’Ora” / TTVV Riccione (Italy) for Dumb Type video pH (1992)
  • “Best Stage Recording / Studio Adaptation” / IMZ – Alter Oper, Dance Screen ’92 Frankfurt (Germany) for Dumb Type video pH (1992)
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