Digesting Design

The Kaleidoscopic Eye Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on June 27, 2009


The exhibitions keep coming thick and fast for me here in Tokyo as there is way too many good ones on right now, so next up was a visit to the Mori Art Museum close to work in Roppongi to go and see ‘The Kaleidoscopic Eye‘ exhibition. Mori have collaborated with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, a Vienna-based foundation, drawing on their renowned collection to present a selection of art, including dynamic installation, that stimulates the senses in myriad ways. Participating artists included Tracey Emin and Carsten Höller.

A very well thought out exhibition with each artist’s work taking centre stage at some point of my visit. My favourite pieces were the disco ball room, the interactive table when touched triggered sound and music around the edges of the room and Klaus Weber’s fountain. When I walked into the final room with the fountain in it, I thought, “great some pretentious piece of art”, but the fountain was flowing with liquid LSD! Great stuff.





Tunnel 228

Posted in Everything Else, Exhibitions by Paul on May 19, 2009



On Saturday at 4.20pm I visited Tunnel 228 in Waterloo. Tunnel 228 is a collaboration between Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic theatre and Punchdrunk.

“I’ve always been interested in the bringing the art world and theatre a little closer together” said Spacey.

It is a sensory experience lurking behind the doors of the Leake Street tunnel where the ongoing Cans Festival is taking place. I was one of the lucky ones to get tickets to it as the 15,000 places made available went in a flash, however there are plans to bring it back in Autumn time for everyone who didn’t get to see it this time round. The photos here are from media websites as no photography was allowed inside.

It was probably one the more weirdest things I’ve been to and most of the time you couldn’t see more than a metre ahead of yourself. Visitors were given face masks and this immediately started to block out your senses. The space where everything was set up was huge and featured street artists included Mark Jenkins and Slinkachu, famous for his miniature installations as show in the image below, which we dotted about the space as well; featuring Gala Bingo, Aldi and a Shell garage. Mark Jenkins had worked on most of the mannequin installations in the space, my favourite one being a man face down on the banks of a man-made river in the space and attached to him was a group of colourful balloons.

Other parts to the experience included bouncers dressed with balaclavas, a human running on a hamster wheel, a booth where you looked inside and a woman went under water to what looked like she was drowing, but when you looked through the second eye hole she was kissing a man under water. There was also two men using pulleys on a train track walking on the tunnel’s ceiling, a forest made out of paper and what looked like a New York subway toilet in pitch black. It felt like that if you switched on the light, there would be a person and blood everywhere. A light bulb filled room with a Jesus sculpture and upstairs rooms of a dining scene and a sculpture made of feathers were also great pieces on site. There was one room right at the back of the space, where you honestly couldn’t see anything ahead of you and it felt like you were going to fall at any moment.

Tickets are now all sold out but you can see the website of Tunnel 228 here, with the option to keep a track of things; and you see what the Guardian thought to it here. Punchdrunk can be found here.

bingo hall - blog

Create Berlin Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on January 6, 2009


This evening I went to the Temporary Kunsthalle to go to the Create Berlin, ‘20 Years Since the Fall of the Wall – Free Space‘ exhibition. Fellow designer at Pentagram, Josephine Rank and her collaborators Mijuly & Ca were in the exhibition so I got an invite from that. The Mayor of Berlin and several other important figures were in attendance this evening, so the place was packed out, I could just about squeeze by everyone to see the work.

The clue is in the name, but all pieces on display were ideas and interpretations around the Berlin Wall. All work was in different mediums and I especially liked the 3-D (with glasses provided) typographic piece of the TV Tower, the football scarves, the projections and information about healthcare in Berlin and Josephine and her team’s beds, which can be seen below (I couldn’t quite get as good a picture because it was so busy)


This was the exhibition that I missed back in the summer when it was on in Brick Lane as part of Design Week, so I’m glad I managed to take a look at it a second time around. I also picked up a lovely set of postcards of the exhibition in a neatly packaged foil envelope! See the rest of the photos on my Flickr page here.



Fabric/K + High Fidelity Exhibitions

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on November 30, 2008


Yesterday I went to Program and the Kunstbibliothek for a couple of exhibitions. First up was ‘Fabric/K‘, a collaboration between Yukihiro Taguchi & Vladimir Karaleev using fabric as a robust material and installation pieces. Unfortunately when I got there, it was the last day of the exhibition and the work had been taken down, all was left was a nice three minute documentary video. A really playful take on fabric and I also managed to pick up some flyers for other exhibitions.

Next up I visited the Kunstbibliothek, near the NeueNational Gallerie as well, for ‘High Fidelity‘, an excellent exhibition about vinyl and its associated artwork, music + art. The exhibition itself was a typical snobish set up: quiet, can’t do this, can’t do that, but what was in it was brilliant. My favourite pieces included the John Lennon and Yoko Ono work and some really nice illustrative pieces that I can’t remember the name of now, and of course a Rolling Stones vinyl cover. Picture discs, vinyl sleeves, books, memorabilia and Andy Warhol pieces on display completed the worthwhile visit. Great pieces of graphic design throughout.


The Kunstbibliothek itself was an amazing building as well, so I took a general look around its permanent collection and some nice Japanese scriptures and scrolls. What’s more, downstairs they were having a clear out of books and posters so managed to grab a magazine, book and poster. All in all, a good Saturday afternoon!

I couldn’t take any photos inside, but did manage to sneakingly snap the above installation of a plastic shopping bags dress in the reception area.



‘Creatures Great and Small’ Kinetica Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on October 4, 2008


After the D*Face exhibition, I also headed on down to the Rove Gallery in Hoxton Square for interaction design company Kinetica’sCreatures Great and Small’ exhibition. A huge contrast to what I’d just seen at 89a Rivington Street, but Kinetica put on a great show.

My favourite two pieces were the suspended weights at the back of the exhibition that moved in harmony with one another, the strings above I think were affecting their movement. The second, and what could be said to be weird, wonderful, strange, mind boggling, creepy (take your pick) but at the front of the space, a 3 legged, with hands for its feet, mobile creature/bird/horse animatronic object that moved to people’s interactions with it. I’m not sure how exactly it was done, but the designer has got it down to a tee, great stuff! Creatures Great and Small was part of the ‘Concrete and Glass‘, music and art events at the beginning of October around Shoreditch.

See the exhibition on Kinetica’s website here.