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Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa (b. 1978 in Osaka, Japan - Lives and works in Berlin) is a true poet of the transformative cinema, lyrically transfiguring the analogue representations of perceived nature into digital streams of vertiginous imagery & emotion. The architecturally crafted precision of his sensitively synched fragmentary images placed side by side on our retina, tends to displace the persistence of blurred memory under the effect of boundless luminosity.  


Audio and visual concordance are key in Kurokawa’s works. He considers both the audio and visual element as different vectors of a unique piece and insists that they have to flow together to enter a collision at the same time. As can be viewed from his works, Kurokawa states that nature is his principle source of inspiration. All of his works lie in this notion of hybridization. Between analog and digital, but also between time and space, the full and the fragmentary, the simple and the complex, the reactive and the contemplative, the auditory and visual. 


Kurokawa has done significant collaborative works throughout his career, most notably his collaboration with Vincent Minier —an astrophysicist and researcher at CEA, Irfu - Paris, Saclay —to create the immersive and tactile audiovisual installation unfold based on data produced by the satellites of the European Space Agency, NASA, and more specifically by the Herschel space telescope.


Unfold, 2016


5th International Digital Art Biennial 

Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal 

11.19.2021 - 02.13.2022


Audiovisual installation 


Inspired by the latest discoveries in the field of astrophysics, unfold, the immersive and sensory installation of Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, seeks to translate into sounds, images and vibrations, the phenomena surrounding the formation and evolution of stars. 

With unfold, Ryoichi Kurokawa is concerned with the synaesthetic, merging audible and visual materials, in the service of an art/science project inspired by recent discoveries.  


These finding have been made by astrophysicists at CEA-IRFU, based on data produced by the satellites of the European Space Agency and NASA, and more specifically by the Herschel space telescope. The telescope's observations of far infrared radiation have revealed some of the conditions of star birth and the history of the life of galaxies, over the course of 10 billion years. In addition to this data -which allows us to trace the cosmological history of star formation, especially the filamentary structure of molecular clouds where stars are born- the artist also based his logic on numerical simulations intended to model the universe and its structures, produced by astrophysicists at CEA-IRFU, with the help of supercomputers. 



Co-commission and coproduction: FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Stereolux/Scopitone and Salford University, with the support of CEA-IRFU – Paris Saclay (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission / Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe), Arcadi and DICRéAM (Dispositif pour la Création Artistique Multimédia et Numérique). 


Concept, direction, composition, programming, design: Ryoichi Kurokawa 

Producer: Nicolas Wierinck / Archer & Weaver  

Programming: Hiroshi Matoba 


Scientific Advisor: Vincent Minier, astrophysicist at CEA Irfu, Paris-Saclay 

Scientific Datasets: CEA (Herschel HOBYS, COAST, Frédéric Bournaud, Sacha Brun, Pascal Tremblin, Patrick Hennebelle, Rémi Hosseini-Kazeroni), ESA, NASA, BLAST Experiment, SuperCOSMOS H-alpha Survey 

Photo: unfold, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2018Artworks © RYOICHI KUROKAWACourtesy of Minsheng Art Museum

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