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Molecular clouds in space – Ryoichi Kurokawa’s ‘unfold’ at FACT

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Currently showing at Liverpool’s FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is the UK premiere of a new work by the acclaimed Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa. The solo exhibition features the stunning constrained surface (2015) and the premiere of unfold, a new project exploring data related to the giant molecular clouds that form stars (aka stellar nurseries) as visual and sonic environments.

Astrophysicists at the Research Institute into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (CEA Irfu, Paris-Saclay) have granted Kurokawa unique access to data which may hold the secrets behind the creation of the universe. Using these previously undocumented findings, Kurokawa has developed a new body of work, unfold, that explores the birth and evolution of stars offering viewers an artistic representation of how the solar system was born and how galaxies may have evolved.

It is a synaesthetic, immersive audiovisual experience that translates astrophysics data into sounds, images and vibrations. Ryoichi used interpretations of how star-clusters form, and of the birth of sun-like stars with a focus on the sensorial and the experiential. This immersive environment transports the viewer to the depths of the universe, bringing them face to face with a reading of (our current understanding of) its timeline from its inception, and by extension, our own humble origins.

Also featured at the exhibition is constrained surface, an audiovisual sculpture that exemplifies Ryoichi’s approach to art-making and his experimentation with the qualities of synaesthesia, a core focus in his work. The piece uses light, colour, sound and movement to demonstrate the surprising possibilities of what can happen within the boundaries of a frame.

By playing with the confines of a screen, the work highlights Kurokawa’s deft use of digital methods and tools to articulate his vision. He does so whilst ensuring that the technological elements never overshadow expression and always serve the experience, creating moments of surprise and delight.

11 March 2016 – 12 June 2016
FACT / 88 Wood Street, Liverpool

Ryoichi Kurokawa | FACT

Read more about our encounter with Ryoichi Kurokawa in the upcoming second issue of HOLO Magazine. HOLO 2 ships June 1st. Pre-order your copy here.

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