Saturday, 15 December 2012

Virtual Perceptions: Mariko Mori

I first came across the otherworldly art of Mariko Mori in 2002, having written about her for my MA Fashion Studies project, a lifestyle magazine created with the collaboration of a few other students from the University of the Arts in London. Now she's exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts. One word: Unmissable!

Mariko Mori, 'Mirage', 1996
Mariko Mori, 'Mirage', 1996

The visions of this New York based Japanese artist emerge through a myriad of high-tech worlds to provoke our limited perception about life and death and reveal infinite possibilities within. In her early twenties she had a near-death experience which lasted for many hours, recalling her entire life before entering into a stage of nothingness.

"Life is illusion." Mariko Mori 

This experience was a turning point in her life and has influenced her work as an artist. "Mirage" (1997) is a series of video installations with Mori as a cyborg inspired character playing with a mystical crystal ball, featuring a shaman's prayer.

Mariko Mori, 'Dream Temple' (1999)
Mariko Mori, 'Dream Temple' (1999)

"Technology is a new vocabulary for art. It insists on defining what is absent, the unknown centre hidden within us." Mariko Mori

Energy, meditation and technology melt in "Dream Temple" (1999), a three-dimensional space where floating images and and surrounding sounds induce an introspective and liberating journey. The architecture of the temple was inspired by an ancient Japanese temple - Yumedono - from 739 A.D. and made with dichroic glass, which has a colour changing surface.

Mariko Mori, 'Wave UFO', 2003
Mariko Mori, 'Wave UFO', 2003

"I'm always thinking why I am here and looking for relationships between my existence and total existence, for connections between here and elsewhere." Mariko Mori

This visionary artist creates surreal worlds through elaborate technological processes, challenging our perception about reality and allowing an open space in our minds where we can simply be. Rebirth features new works created especially for this exhibition coinciding with the winter solstice of 2012. 

Mariko Mori art
Mariko Mori, 'Wave UFO', 2003 (inside)

According to ancient calenders it will either mark the end of the world or the birth of a new era. Let's make our lives meaningful and love ourselves and the whole world! This exhibition is definitely an insightful preparation for the year ahead! The transience of life is liberating, each moment is precious.

Other related blog posts:
Add a Japanese Touch to Your Look
An Explosive Mind: Yayoi Kusama
Yves Saint Laurent: Life, Love and Art