Tatsuo Miyajima Japan, b. 1957


Tatsuo Miyajima is the pioneer of Japanese media art and is one of the internationally significant figure in media artist who focuses digital media as LEDs used for electronic watches and displays to meditate on fundamental questions about life, death, and the cycle of time. Based on the trans-generational universality of the LED’s simple mechanism, he explores  meta discourse about visualizing interpretations of time and the concept itself.


Since the 1980s, he has embraced Western pluralism and Eastern philosophy and selected numbers, a symbol of logic, as his formative language, bringing philosophical ideas through life and death into his work. In addition, Each work represents a unique number permutation expressing the infinite value of the universe in the list of numbers. In Miyajima’s work, time, an abstract and intangible concept, is visualized by counting numbers in reverse order to represent human life and death. The lights of LED numbers that flash at different intervals inspire the viewer's psychological and emotional sympathy by reflecting thoughts of each individual's relative passage of time.


Tatsuo Miyajima lives and works in Ibaraki, Japan. He received a BA in Fine Arts and an MA from Tokyo University of the Arts in Japan, and an Honorary Doctorate from University of the Arts in London, UK. He has held solo exhibitions at numerous prestigious museums including Het Noordbrabants Museum (2022),  Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara (2019), Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2019), Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2016), UCCA Center of Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011), Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2002), San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (1997), Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich (1993), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima (1990) and etc. His works are in the collections of Mori Art Museum, Japan; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan; Tate Collection, UK; British Museum, UK; SFMOMA, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, France; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany; MMCA, Korea; Leeum Museum, Korea, and etc.


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