async by Ryuichi Sakamoto at WATARI-UM TOKYO

Ryuichi Sakamoto

4 April – 28 May, 2017

Renowned musician, composer, actor and creative force; Ryuichi Sakamoto celebrates his recently released (and highly anticipated) album async, with a visual exhibition of video, photography and sound in Tokyo.

Composed and recorded in his own studio in New York, it heralds an emotive, immersive and experimental sound channelling various frequencies and emotions simply inspired by “sculpture, everyday objects and nature.” Initially, Sakamoto exclaimed that he, “likes this new album so much he would rather not have anyone hear it.”

Yet once the album was soon released, Sakamoto presented a visual association for the album, providing an experience of his work through an installation space created by using 5.1 ch surround speakers (by his most reliant Musikelectronic Geithain) paired with the support of his long time collaborator Shiro Takatani (Dumb Type), “to have people face music in a well-organised environment” making the work a “sound piece strongly evocative of images.”

Held at the Watari-Um (The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo) over all of the museums floors, it is an ode to an ongoing friendship of 30 years between Sakamoto and the museums founder and director, Mr. Watari. The exhibition provides an insight into both the creative inspiration and visual result of the album, it is clear to see that Paul Bowles’ novels ‘The Sheltering Sky’,Un Thé Au Sahara‘, the Dansaekhwa movement, and Andrei Tarkovsky were strong inspirations.

Sakamoto’s music has always inspired a visually clear representation of images and imagination, almost presenting an accompanying visible soundtrack with each track invisible to the eye but clear as day for the senses. With accompanying works by fellow collaborators Shiro Takatani of Dumb Type collective (presenting a video installation on the 2nd floor ‘Drowning’), artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul (film works on the 4th floor ‘First Light’) and New York-based artist duo Zakkubalan (with photography and video installation ‘Volume’ located on the 3rd floor and fascinatingly presented purely on ipads and iphones.) A digital movement for showcasing art and sound.

async at Watari-um is an exceptional opportunity to experience music and art in an immersive and almost-meditative environment.
It is a proclamation between sound and experience for Sakamoto, a reflection on his artistic expression and ouvre.






Portrait: Ryuichi Sakamoto
1, 2 & 3: Ryuichi Maruo
4: Champ Magazine