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Tatsuo Miyajima Connect with Everything 2016 Museum of Contemporary Art Australia promo image feat curator Rachel Kent and Tatsuo Miyajima © MCA Australia photographer credit Anna Kucera
Photograph: Anna KuceraMCA chief curator Rachel Kent and artist Tatsuo Miyajima

The MCA is turning Japanese this summer

Written by
Dee Jefferson

You know spring is here when the art galleries start pimping their summer shows, and boy is it here: head to the Art Gallery of NSW where masters of art are stripping down for Nude: Art from the Tate Collection; and head to the Museum of Contemporary Art to escape the heat in the immersive LED installations of Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima.

The MCA will also run a 'Cherry Blossom' bar throughout the summer, serving up Japanese snacks and sake cocktails courtesy of QT Hotel's mixologist Jared Thibault.

Nude and Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything are part of the Sydney International Art Series, which within the last two years has brought Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry to the MCA, and Pop Art and masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland to AGNSW.

Miyajima is getting a career retrospective at MCA that will span from the 1980s to now, and encompass his numbers-obsessed and LED-heavy practice as well as his rarer performance, painting and drawing works.

According to MCA chief curator Rachel Kent, the highlights of Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything are his large-scale spatial works, in which viewers are immersed in a universe of light and data. In ‘Megadeath’, for example, Miyajima “casts across the 20th century to consider the idea of death on an industrial scale, but also the resumption of life and the idea that people survive, life goes on.”

Mega Death, 1999, Installation view at the Japan Pavilion, 48th Venice Biennale.
Photograph: Shigeo Anzai

The artist will also premiere his new installation ‘Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life)’, direct from its premiere as part of the Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibition, in New York. “It’s like a beautiful cosmic meteor shower,” says Kent.

'Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life)' (2016) installation view at the Met Breuer, New York
Photograph: Alyx Gorman

Connect with Everything is a love project for Kent, who has a long-standing passion for Japanese culture and art, and was behind the fascinating Tabaimo survey in 2014. “I’ve been following his career for over 20 years now,” she says, and points out that his ‘Death Clock’ (2011-2012) work was a key piece within her Marking Time exhibition, which marked the re-opening of the newly redesigned MCA in 2012.

“Since then he’s been right at the top of our list in terms of a major career retrospective.”

Find out more about Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everything.

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