Image ©S20

Haptic Installation

Artist : Hiroaki Umeda
Year : 2010, Japan/ Video Installation
Venue : Jim Thompson Art Center / NOV 22-27 during museum hours

When one shuts their eyes, the world usually turns pitch-black. However in this piece, when the audience is guided to a little dark room to watch a video installation with their eyes closed for two-and-a-half minutes, he or she will be clearly seeing monochrome or color lines behind their eyelids. Synchronizing with the violent electronic sounds heard from the headsets, the grid lines are physically perceived as a form of photic stimuli. Umeda, in fact, considers this work as a dance piece, since it provides the audience a physical experience of chromatic vision.

The roles of the spectator and the spectacle are brought up to question when other audience members are invited to watch the reactions of ones with their eyes closed. Different layers of sensory experience are simultaneously happening in the same space. As another gaze is placed upon the viewer, they become the object, just like how we observe animal behavior in a zoo.

Commissioned by Aichi Triennale
Direction: Hiroaki Umeda
Sound & Image Design: S20
Made possible with support from the Japan Foundation, Bangkok