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Tatsuo Miyajima, “Diamond in You”

Stockholm, 7.10–14.11  2010


Galleri Andersson/Sandström has the pleasure of presenting one of the most prominent Japanese artists: Tatsuo Miyajima. The, often monumental, art pieces with LED-counters, slowly ticking between the numbers 1 to 9, have enthralled visitors at exhibitions from the Venice Biennale and the National Gallery of New Delhi to Rooseum and Umedalen Sculpture Park.

Tatsuo Miyajima, born in Tokyo 1957, has since the 80’s been creating works of varied character, but with notions of time and space as central themes. After a period as performance artist in the early 80’s, Miyajima has worked primarily with sculpture. Today, his hallmark is LED digits, slowly counting from 1 to 9, or 9 to 1. The constant scoring symbolizes infinite time, but the number 0 is always excluded, as Miyajima relates it to stagnation and death.

Through his focus on time, Miyajima follows a Japanese tradition, in which conceptual artists such as On Kawara and Hiroshi Sugimoto can be found. Kawara is primarily known for his Today series, ongoing since 1966, and Sugimoto is the photographer known for using extremely long exposure times, capturing larger portions of time, instead of the usual snap-shot. Miyajima, however, does not freeze time; rather he stretches it out before us in all its unimaginable infinity. The pieces are never completely still, and the light emitting diodes continues to shift from figure to figure, slowly but in constant motion. Time is fleeting, elusive, yet boundless.

Here at Galleri Anderson/Sandström, we present a new series of works, entitled Diamond in You. These pieces relate to the concept of Kongochi – the highest enlightenment in Buddhism. The word Kongo means diamond, representing the hardest diamond, the one which withstand all doubts on the path towards wisdom. Kongo is not of the outside world, but exists within all people. Through LED technology and unfolding mirrors of stainless steel, these pieces constitute a visual play on this inner diamond. The half-sphere is the Buddhist symbol for the personal universe of each being – if one were to unfold the sculptures, you would discover that all of these works consists of precisely this form.

Tatsuo Miyajima was introduced to the western world at the 1988 Venice Biennale, with the piece Sea of Time. 11 years later, at the 48th biennale, Miyajima reigned over the Japanese pavilion with a wide sky of blue LED digits. His works are included in collections from London and Munich, to San Francisco and Seoul. Since 2000, Miyajima has been part of several group exhibitions at Galleri Andersson/Sandström – this is his first solo exhibition in our care.