A timely light show amidst the fog - Art Collector

Tatsuo Miyajima, Time Waterfall, 2016. Image courtesy Art Basel Hong Kong

Battling the thick fog and rain during the fourth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, Tatsuo Miyajima's work, Time Waterfall provided a cascading beacon of light on Hong Kong's tallest building.

This large-scale public light installation lit up across the entire façade of Hong Kong’s iconic 490 metre high International Commerce Centre (ICC) on the Kowloon harbour front from 7.20pm every night of the fair. It is co-commissioned by Art Basel and the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong following on from last year's annual light show commission by the Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei's work Same Old, Brand New.

The work comprises the natural numbers one to nine, which cascade down the face of the ICC, while never reaching zero. The absence of zero in his works refers to the Buddhist concept of Sunya, which symbolizes the void or non-existence.

"Zero is never shown. These numbers symbolise the lives of people and while counting demonstrate life or to live. The void of zero stands for death. The cycle of life and death continues..." Miyajima said.

"These numbers fall, small and large, over and over, from above. They continue to fall. They continue to change. This continual change is the point. The eternity of life, and the contemplation of life and death this single transitory life that does not return..."

This work continues the artist’s signature use of light-emitting diode (LED) counters to demonstrate his three fundamental concepts –
Keep Changing, Connect with Everything, and Continue Forever. The use of numbers, as abstract and conceptual symbols is Miyajima’s universal language, allowing his work to be appreciated and adapted internationally.

"Time Waterfall exists to allow us to think about the fact that we are living now," Miyajima added. "Hong Kong is an energetic city where life overflows. This is why the piece is being shown here, and why I thought to show in Hong Kong."

Jessa Melicor

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