Life Represented in Light and Darkness

By Danielle Pope

Mega Death - Tatsuo Miyajima
Mega Death - Tatsuo Miyajima
The latest exhibition by Japan’s leading artist Tatsuo Miyajima immerses audiences in light and darkness

One of Japan’s leading contemporary artists, Tatsuo Miyajima is known for his immersive and technologically driven sculptures and installations. Curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chief Curator Rachel Kent, this is the artist’s first major exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere and is exclusive to Sydney.

Connect with Everything introduces audiences to a range of Miyajima’s work including installation pieces, video and performance works. A highlight includes the room-scale installation Mega Death, containing a room full of brilliant, blinking blue LEDs. Each light represents a human life or energy. A silent, twinkling memorial to the death during the Second World War recalling Hiroshima and Auschwitz, the lights are programmed to switch off at intervals. Viewers are momentarily lunged into complete darkness before the artwork lights up and begins to count once more.

Life (Rhizome) No 3 - Tatsuo Miyajima
Life (Rhizome) No 3 – Tatsuo Miyajima


Central to Miyajima’s practice are numerical counters that count from 1 to 9 repeatedly using LEDS, which then go dark momentarily. For Miyajima, the repetition of numbers, along with the shift from light to dark, reflect the importance of time. The artist draws inspiration from Buddhist philosophy, with its exploration of mortality and the human cycles of life, death and renewal.

MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent said that Miyajima’s work helps explore the nature of being, “Numbers and counting sequences are central to this process, revealing time’s relentless, cyclical nature,” she said. “They also serve to remind us that whilst our time on this planet is brief, our lives have beauty and purpose.”

These key sculptural and immersive installations are accompanied by paintings, works on paper and performance videos.

Until 5 March 2017

More information can be found on the MCA website here



Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe. 

Member Login