The “mission [SPACE × ART] - beyond Cosmologies” exhibit has opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Until Aug 31.

The exhibit occupies two floors of the museum to introduce artworks and documents relating to outer space. The focus is on two points, 1) the reality of outer space discovered through advances in technology and 2) the inner aspects of space depicted by artists. “One of the messages of this exhibit is that ambiguous expressions lead to a new level of creations,” says Tomoko Yabumae, a curator of the museum.

The highlight of the first floor is the showcasing of artistic installations. The planetarium “Super Megastar-2 and Aurora” by Takayuki Ohira lays out cushions in a spacious room to allow visitors to watch a starry sky in relaxed positions. A video of outer space and bright-colored aurora borealis are screened without any voice-over. “I omitted voice-over because I want the visitors to watch the video and think about their relationship with the world,” explained Ohira.

On the same floor, teamlab presents its piece “Cold Life,” which uses a 4K projector. The piece begins with small objects appearing on a pitch black background, which gradually expand to form “outer space.” The sparkling blue objects resemble the trunks of large trees and are graceful like Japanese paintings. The “branches” of the objects have flowers, and around it, birds and butterflies flutter. “I got rid of the texture on the surface and revealed the structural components,” said Toshiyuki Inoko of teamlab.

Hiroyuki Moriwaki’s installation on the laws of outer space, Keiko Kimoto’s piece using CG and Yasuhiro Suzuki’s work using an apple to express outer space are among the others being exhibited on the first floor.

On the B2 floor, artworks by Kohei Nawa dubbed “Direction,” “Moment” and “Ether” are on display. The painting, drawing and sculpture express gravity, pendulum movement, and the effects of pouring ink onto a floor. “When we think of space, we tend to imagine what life is like outside of the Earth, but actually the Earth is also a part of space. I created the works based on our planet’s ecology,” said Nawa.

Also on this floor is the exhibit’s highlight, a 19-m waterfall created by teamlab using projection mapping. The title of the piece is “Universe of Water Particles under Satellite’s Gravity.” The full-length model of the satellite “ALOS-2” is set up at the center of the expansive space, depicting water particles pouring from the head gravitated toward the satellite. Water is flowing with elaborate calculation. “I wanted to express the relationship between outer space and human beings because for many people, the only way to get to know outer space may be through an abstract method,” explained Inoko.

In addition to this artwork, teamlab presents“Sefuri ILC High School,” a promotional film created at the request of Fukuoka and Saga prefectures. Both prefectures aim to attract the facility International Linear Collider (ILC), which handles a project relating to particle physics.

In addition, photos by Joe Nishizawa introducing the process of creating the Epsilon Launch Vehicle, colorful rockets from the manga “Natsuno Rocket Dan” and works by SPACE FILMS, a company that shoots commercials in outer space, are on exhibit. At the “Space Dance in the Tube” corner provides a zero gravity experience using a hammock-like sack hanging from the ceiling.

【Exhibit Information】
mission [SPACE × ART] - beyond Cosmologies
Dates: June 7 to Aug 31
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Address: 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm (open until 9 pm on July 18, 25, Aug 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29)
Admission: general 1,300 yen, university students and those over 65 yrs. old 1,000 yen, high school & junior high school students 800 yen, free of charge for elementary school students and under
Closed: Mondays (open on July 12) and July 22