Naoko Tosa’s debuts Sound of Ikebana: Four Seasons at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum

As part of Singapore Art Week and Art Stage Singapore 2014, internationally renowned Japanese media artist Dr. Naoko Tosa’s latest exhibition in Asia will include a special projection mapping installation on the exterior of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands from 16 to 19 January 2014. Members of the public can enjoy a visual treat of colours and artistic flair by the Marina Bay with two daily screenings at 8.25 p.m. and 9.50 p.m.

Naoko Tosa Sound of Ikebana Four Seasons Singapore ArtScience Museum

Titled Sound of Ikebana: Four Seasons, the projection mapping installation showcases Japan’s four seasons using strong artistic influences of the Rimpa School, one of the major historical schools of Japanese paintings. Colours representative of China, Malaysia and India have been included to acknowledge the exhibition’s staging in Asia. Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Japan Creative Center, the National University of Singapore as well as the Visual Industry Promotion Organization, the exhibition and outdoor installation aim to promote Japan’s latest “Cool Japan” efforts and showcase its creativity in Southeast Asia.

Sound of Ikebana marks the world debut of Dr. Tosa’s latest art collection. Her earlier works have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the New York Metropolitan Art Museum.

Sound of Ikebana – the theme of four seasons inspired by different cultures

Naoko Tosa Sound of Ikebana Four Seasons Singapore ArtScience Museum

Shot at 2,000 frames per second using high-speed photography, Sound of Ikebana is a series of videos that showcases vibrant images using various liquids (such as paints and oils) created from sound vibrations. The video installation also features the artistic influences of the Kyoto Rimpa School of thought, with a strong presence of the colour gold to signify motifs of life and culture.

Inspired by Japan’s four seasons, Sound of Ikebana also includes haikus (short poems) by famous Japanese poets Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson and Kobayashi Issa to represent the four seasons. Colours and cultures, such as Peranakan, as well as countries including Malaysia, India and China play a significant role in the Sound of Ikebana. The different seasons also signify the seasons of life: growth, activity and vitality, and finally, tranquillity.

Sound of Ikebana is an extension of one of Dr. Tosa’s earlier masterpieces, “An Expression.” The 1985 video art installation features sounds produced from the brightness of video images, and is part of the public collection artwork display at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Dr. Tosa shares, “I am extremely honoured to bring the projection event and my solo exhibition to Singapore, as one of our Asian stops. I hope visitors will experience the surprise of the unpredictable, organic movements of liquids while also discovering the basis of the connection of history and culture that ties the world together.”

“Naoko Tosa’s extraordinary works have captivated many of us. ArtScience Museum is glad to work alongside Naoko Tosa once again in sharing her artistic vision and providing the public a glimpse into the fascinating world of Japanese art and culture through the projection mapping showcase,” said Mr Ross Leo, Associate Director, ArtScience Museum.

Embracing Japanese tradition and culture through digital technology

Born in 1961 in Fukuoka, Japan, Dr. Tosa’s artwork reflects her strong interest in Japanese traditions and cultures through digital artwork, such as “Four Gods: 四神旗,” (2012) and “Art of ZEN” (2004) that were previously commissioned for EXPO2012 KOREA. Dr. Tosa received a Ph. D in Art and Technology Research from the University of Tokyo, and was a fellow at the Centre for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2002 to 2004. She is currently a professor at Kyoto University and a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore.

Dr. Tosa has previously exhibited her works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Japan Creative Center in Singapore, with public collections at the O Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, and National Art Museum in Osaka, Japan, amongst other locations.

The Sound of Ikebana exhibition is currently showcasing at ArtScience Museum’s Expression Gallery till 18 January 2014 and is free to all museum ticket-holders. For more information, visit

Photo credits: Naoko Tosa