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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo presents BUNNY SMASH: design to touch the world

The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) presents BUNNY SMASH: design to touch the world on view now through January 19, 2014.

Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Life Support, 2008.
Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Life Support, 2008.

Tokyo Art Meeting presents new possibilities for art by facilitating encounters between contemporary art and various genres of expression. The theme for this exhibition, the fourth of the series, is “design.” Design in this exhibition does not refer to the “forms” per se that are constantly produced for market growth, but the range of ideas that open our eyes to the problems that inhere in our daily lives and suggest possible directions in tackling those issues. The exhibition introduces design practices of the sort as well as artistic expressions as “ways to touch the world.”

The advancement of information technology has made our surroundings and information networks extremely complex. Are we perplexed by these changes? Have we given up on the process of knowing? This exhibition introduces a total of twenty one artists, designers and architects, both domestic and foreign, who address various phenomena and topics pertaining to contemporary society—from aspects of the global economy to problems in genetics—in the form of tangible design. Crossing over genres, their practices interpret and structure the present landscape of the world we live in through unique measures. At times, through unpredictable ideas based on intuition and imaginative thinking, they question anew existing bodies of knowledge and the ways in which information is disseminated in society. Examples of their practices include accumulating macroscopic information and illustrating it schematically, or designing things in the microscopic realm that are normally invisible, such as smell, in forms that can be physically experienced. Through such design practices, we are given the opportunity to see and feel the world in ways which we would not otherwise. While probing for new possibilities for the world, the exhibition also aims to be the entry point for viewers to think about ways in which they can engage with the world as active participants by providing a comprehensive physical experience, as opposed to one that depends solely on the sense of vision.

An analogy can be drawn between our experience of seeing the world in a totally different light and Alice stepping into a parallel universe while chasing the White Rabbit in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The White Rabbit encourages us to delve into the new realm of Wonderland; he is the symbolic figure who “smashes up” logical perspectives and conventions. In turn, our minds are filled with new surprises and discoveries that may change our perception of the world. The exhibition title BUNNY SMASH connotes this sort of invitation to the world through a different gateway.

The exhibition invites a range of specialists in the field of design in its organization and execution—Hiroshi Kashiwagi, leading researcher of design history as co-curator; designer Taku Satoh, whose activities range from product design to directing educational television programs, and Hiroshi Ishii, Associate Director of MIT Media Laboratory, who provides insight into design’s mission for the future through the latest technology, as advisors. BUNNY SMASH approaches the world of design from a perspective that traverses history, the present and the future.

Artists: Burak Arikan / Atelier Bow-Wow + Tokyo Tech + Tsukuba University / Bureau d’études / CAMP / Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen / Leandro Erlich / Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg & Sascha Pohflepp / Hiroshi Ishii + Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab / Tsunehisa Kimura / Michael Lee / Mikael Metthey / OMA*AMO / Rhizomatiks (Daito Manabe and others) / Fernando Sánchez Castillo / Sputniko! / Shinichi Takemura / Sissel Tolaas / Yosuke Ushigome / Marnie Weber / Judi Werthein / Richard Wilson

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku
Tokyo 135-0022 Japan