Garden of Unearthly Delights: Works by Ikeda, Tenmyouya & teamLab

Location:  Japan Society Gallery, New York 
Date: October 2014
Curators: Miwako Tezuka, Laura J. Mueller
Services Provided: Exhibition Design, Fabrication drawings


Excerpts from Japan Society Press Release:

A monster tsunami uproots a city. Modern tough guys lock samurai-style in battle. Candy-colored streams of animals and flowers hyperpixilate. These dramatic visual moments are among many to be encountered this fall in our new exhibition Garden of Unearthly Delights. The featured artists Manabu Ikeda (b. 1973, Saga Prefecture), Hisashi Tenmyouya (b. 1966, Tokyo) and the art and technology collective teamLab (est. 2001) are today's takumi, or master artisans, taking pride in the execution of dense and precisely detailed works requiring time and contemplation to grasp. Their creative imaginations travel through time, finding inspiration in a range of styles; from medieval Buddhist paintings to contemporary anime and manga. Come stroll through their fantastical visions.

Design Description:

This exhibition features three different artists with very different styles and use of mediums. We looked at these differences as an opportunity to create different identities within the galleries.

Ikeda’s works are incredibly detailed. While beautiful from a distance, they require the viewer to look closely (we also designed magnifying glasses for viewers to use in his section) and for some time. The use of gradient color blocks are meant to compliment the color schemes in the works as well as pull viewers into the works displayed. 

The artworks in the teamLab section required that they be presented completely seamlessly with no evidence of electronic components. This was especially challenging considering that the collective works from Japan and each work requires a large number of components. Working remotely from the artists, we created as-built reflected ceiling and lighting plans as well as section elevations of the walls and mechanicals in the ceiling. We also designed the space the woks would be presented in as well as new wall construction needed.

Tenmouya exudes the dark intensity and masculinity of a battle hardened street tough. In keeping with his energy and aesthetic, we painted his section almost completely black, adding elements of dark ash in the form of muted sunbursts and color blocks.    

Exhibit Info

Photo Credit: Richard P. Goodbody