Seigow Matsuoka

  • Tadanori Yokoo

    Tadanori Yokoo has been talked about and written about throughout all the stages of his career—from a superstar poster designer and graphic artist in the ’60s, through his spiritual transformations of the ’70s, to his conversion to full-time painting in the ’80s. At this recent exhibition, entitled “Neo Roman Baroque,” a young man commented that “Yokoo is Tokyo’s William Blake,” a remark that said more about Yokoo and his work than anything I had previously heard or read. Although it is an exaggeration (and even a bit of a distortion) to identify Yokoo with Blake, one can see in Yokoo’s works


    VISUAL ART ORIGINATED IN THE question of how to represent the things of the world, and its first means. as Sigfried Giedion pointed out through his analysis of cave paintings like the Altamira murals in Spain, was the contour, the outline. There ensued a whole series of concerns with the surface, color, perspective—the history of trompe l’oeil, of the simulacrum, of art as a metaphor for both the real and the spiritual. We might call this set of interests—highly abbreviated here—the first metrics of art. A second metrics appeared with the emergence of Modernism, when the visual arts gained a

  • Kohei Sugiura: contemporary offerings to the shrine of the book.

    A BOOK IS NOT ONLY a vehicle for its author, it is also a container of emotion for its readers. It may produce laughter or tears; it may offer a leisurely promenade for solitary meditation, or be a convenient, replaceable object that can overshadow pictures on the wall as an element of interior design. It embodies access to circulating information. But there is more to it. A book represents the maternal, productive nature of design and the freedom of visual art. There is even a temple dedicated to books: the Shrine of the Book, in Jerusalem, created by Frederick Kiesler and Armand Bartos in

  • Abracadabra: the magic space of supple geometry.

    IT HAS BEEN TWO years now since Benoit Mandelbrot’s ideas of “fractal geometry” swept Japan’s computer-graphics circle. Interest in the field, a geometry of geometrically irregular shapes, has decreased recently, not because it has failed to perform in computer-graphics work, but because of its converts’ lack of insight into the connection that must be made between the image to be presented and the meaning of Mandelbrot’s concept. One of fractal geometry’s main weapons is the notion of “infinite self-embeddedness,” the analysis of the infinite number of structures that can be created through

  • Duchampian chance and poetry in Japanese-language word processors.

    THE MOST FASCINATING part of the system of thought known as information theory, devised in the ’40s by the American mathematician Claude Elwood Shannon, is the idea that information is transmitted more accurately if some degree of noise and redundancy are incorporated into the message. The extra noise may not be essential to the message’s meaning, but it is essential in conveying the meaning. An example of the theory in action is the handling of the deep-space craft Voyager II by NASA engineers, who arranged for “100 percent redundancy” in its transmission of images of Saturn; in other words,