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TATSUO MIYAJIMA (JAPANESE, B. 1957)
TATSUO MIYAJIMA (JAPANESE, B. 1957)

Time in Blue No. 7

Details
TATSUO MIYAJIMA (JAPANESE, B. 1957)
Time in Blue No. 7
titled 'Time in Blue No. 7' (on the reverse)
blue LED, IC, electric wire, transformer and wooden panel
57 x 118.5 x 8 cm. (22 1/2 x 46 5/8 x 3 1/8 in.)
Executed in 1996
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
Exhibited
London, UK, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, Tatsuo Miyajima: Time in Blue, 8 November-20 December 1997.

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Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima fuses technology with a Buddhist's appreciation for time, existence and the mutability of experience. In the earliest years of his career, Miyajima was drawn to avant-garde performance, which eventually evolved into his interest in installation and the exploration of not only physical space but of time. In the 1980s, he moved away from performance and focused more on site specific installations and sculptures, working primarily with television monitors and LED systems (light emitting diode) which enabled him to convey his concerns with a minimalist, suggestive and elegantly philosophical approach. Miyajima uses advanced technology and mathematics to convey universal concerns over life, death, and the passage of time. In the lot featured here, Counterspiral (red) (Lot 206), Miyajima offers a monumental but delicately articulated sculpture in the shape of a perfect, looping spiral. Along the armature of the spiral are individual, vertical circuit boards, each illuminated by red double-digit numbers that change randomly, in sync, occasionally blank, before beginning again at the number 1. Against the dark background, the numbers hover in space, suggesting at once the form of a double helix as well as the inexorable march of time. The number zero looms over the piece by its absence, and the viewer is drawn into the mesmerizing loop, marked by the light dramatic tension of that which never appears. Miyajima's works then manage to embody the profound dualities of existence. He enacts both the uniqueness of a particular moment in time and its effervescence. In the following lot, Time in Blue No. 7 (Lot 207), Miyajima reduces his usual monumentally scaled sculptures to something more domestic in scale, heightening the intimacy of the relationship between the work and the viewer. A sheer, reflective black mirror surface is illuminated by a steady dance of numbers, cycling perpetually through 1 and 9. Once again, the number zero is absent; Miyajima himself is a Buddhist, and "zero", or nothingness, or in the Buddhist idiom, "no thing", is not something that can be represented but something which must be perceived.

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