Everything Comes in Waves
44 microcontroller controlled lightbulbs
exhibited with Tsunami No.1 - No.3
Exhibition: 9 June – 7 July 2011
La Scatola Gallery, London
Kentaro Yamada presents a large scale light installation, arranging a series of light bulbs connected to each other by black electrical cables on the gallery floor. The bulbs pulsate in intervals, translating a human breathing pattern known as Cheyne-Stokes respiration into a motion of light. This abnormal breathing pattern occurs before one’s death. It is characterised by a period where respiration is temporarily suspended, followed by a cycle of deeper and faster breaths. Each time the breath is suspended, it is uncertain whether the cycle will continue or the subject has died.
Light is used as a symbol for life to reflect on the artist’s personal experience. He took care of a beloved person in the last months before death and witnessed the gradual decay of the body. Despite the decay and change he was observing, he recalls that there was something essential about the person that remained constant. Yamada puts the spotlight on this extreme moment – a moment so tragic, yet full of new perception and heightened awareness that it could even be suitable for comedy or satire.
Tsunami No.1-3 (42” HD), follows a similar idea. Also in this work Yamada plays with the inherent beauty of a tragic event. Three dyline prints, an old analogue printing method originally utilised for architectual prints, are displayed in the gallery. A characteristic of these blue prints is that the coloring of the paper and the ink will slowly fade with the passage of time. The artist took screenshots from news broadcasts of the Tsunami catastrophe in Japan in March 2011. The prints show a giant wave running straight towards the coast. Freezing a single moment from the video, Yamada is putting the wave under the spotlight, highlighting its inherent beauty which is completely overwhelming and beyond human control. In this work artist points out the sublime quality of a tragic event once again.
Text by Francesca Zedtwitz-Arnim
Special Thanks to Hendrik Schneider (Silvasilva) for Tsunami prints