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Art Works
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Art Works

The Tenth Sentiment


A modified N-gauge train equipped with LED, N-gauge rail with infra-red transmitters, motor, infra-red receiver, daily commodities

"Tenth Sentiment” is the latest breakthrough work for self-proclaimed “device artist” Ryota Kuwakubo who has repeatedly stunned the design world with his eclectic inventions of strange and fascinating toys. This installation applies theories of shadow puppetry that have been around at ancient time, and deliberately eschews the novelty and surprise that is typically technologically generated, in an attempt to rediscover the possibilities for art at the lowest levels of technology.

In the minimalist white cube space, a toy train equipped with LED headlights moves slowly down a track. Ordinary, everyday objects line the side of the track. These tiny objects cast enormous shadows on the wall as the train passes by, creating a 8-minute visual narrative. The work brings to the fore the audience’s personal associations with objects used in daily life.  These familiar scenes seen in abstract light and shadows create different narratives for each viewer based on their own life experiences, emotions and associations.

The silent, isolated environment creates an immersive space; while the movement of changing light and shadows creates a movie. The audience may feel like sitting on a train and watching the daily scenes flitting by. But the artist has included the production tools and technologies in the display, so a panoramic view of the work’s composition and technique is accessible to the audience. An immersive experience is simultaneously presented along with its production technology. Thus, technology is no longer hidden, and the myth of its magic is dismantled.