Depicting the Cosmos: The Art of Ryoji Ikeda

Ryoji Ikeda (b 1966) is an artist who likes to overload your senses. The visual and sound artist, who lives and works in Paris, specializes in mixed-media art in which he uses primarily sound in its “raw states” to explore the mysteries of the universe at the macro and quantum scales.

Born in Gifu, Japan, Ikeda’s artistic practice saw its beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, when he worked as a DJ, sound technician and composer. In the early 2000s, he expanded his artistic expression to include visual art. His recent works are influenced by cosmology. Working with physicists and mathematicians, these works interpret science’s current understanding of the universe, which he sets to audiovisual rhythms and dramatic arcs, often comprising elements that blend with near mathematical precision. Ikeda currently works in Paris and Kyoto, creating works that continue to enthrall audiences around the world.

Featured below is the two-part work by Ikeda entitled The Planck Universe that showcases his signature use of sound and enigmatic images. The first video, Planck universe (macro) is a massive wall projection covering some 200 square metres that tries to depict the cosmos beyond our observable universe. The companion work, Planck universe (micro) is a similarly sized floor projection that delves into infinitesimally tiny matter, massively enlarged.

Ryoji Ikeda, Planck Universe (Macro)

Ryoji Ikeda, Planck Universe (Micro)

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