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“Spectrum” through the eyes of a range of guest curators

Spectrum File 18 - Toru Urakawa

Nominator: Kunihiko Morinaga

September 25-October 9,2017
Venue:MINA-TO(Spiral 1F)

A spectrum is the band of colors created when light shines through a prism.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2015, Spiral showcased a wide range of creative talent inspired by this idea and looking ahead to new potential across conventions and borders in its current and future activities.

Today up-and-coming artists and designers continue to work in ways that transcend medium, category, nationality, and generation. “Spectrum File” is an irregular series of exhibitions inviting various guest curators to select and introduce overlooked talent, while encouraging discussion on how art can raise awareness about society. During each exhibition there will also be talks and other opportunities to share ideas.
Spectrum File ー 18 Toru Urakawa

【Nominator Statement】

There is no dichotomy between the concepts of ordinary and extraordinary. I think of them as two worlds that are always continuing while maintaining an ambiguous division. Rather than a world separated from the ordinary, I want the extraordinary to be a world buried within the ordinary.

Urakawa has continued to shake this division between ordinary and extraordinary from the perspective of applied mathematics. When we hear the words “media artist” or “computer programmer,” we tend to imagine a world far removed from the “normality” of flesh-and-blood human beings and living feelings. But the things he makes are not like this.

Urakawa picks up the mathematical ideas buried within the everyday. Instead of creating complex mathematics in a magnificent mechanical installation artwork that utilizes computers, though, he prefers the everyday items that we have all used, the ordinary phenomena that each and every one of us has experienced.

Taking mathematical concepts such as 0 and 1, programming languages, information and noise, and perspective, Urakawa joins them as a continuous world with a card game or dictionary, or even such everyday items as a sandwich or apron. What we can learn from his art is that, at the contact points between these areas, there exists not a futuristic or innovative world, but a more universal and primitive one, intimately connected with emotion and sensation.

I hope that the new “ordinary” discovered by Urakawa can begin here.
Toru Urakawa

Toru Urakawa graduated from Waseda University in 2013 with a degree in pure and applied mathematics. He then graduated from the School for Poetic Computation in autumn 2014. His wide-ranging work is motivated by his interest in incorporating things used in everyday life from a mathematical point of view. His major projects include the Binary Card Game (2014 and ongoing) and Coded Textile (2016, co-created with ANREALAGE).
Kunihiko Morinaga

Kunihiko Morinaga was born in Tokyo in 1980. He started attending the Vantan Design Institute and making clothes during his time at university. His work is characterized by its vibrant and detailed patchwork inspired by the concept of “God is in the details,” its creative shapes that do not conform to the human body, and the proactive use of technology and new techniques. In 2003, he launched ANREALAGE, whose name derives from “a real,” “un-real” and “age.” In 2014, the label made its debut at the Paris Collection with its 2015 spring/summer collection.