Taro Urashima’s Space Odyssey

A solo exhibition by artist Lyota Yagi

Taro Urashima’s Space Odyssey marked the artist’s 10th solo presentation at MUJIN-TO Production. In this exhibition, Yagi presented a new body of work reflecting on perceptions of time in a world affected by Covid-19.

Installation view, Taro Urashima’s Space Travel. Image courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production.

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quaeperumqui officiet earum res

Exhibition Concept

For the past year, when we were forced to refrain from going out and asked self-imposed control on business due to the declaration of a state of emergency and measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, some felt as if time has stopped, and some felt that the passing of time was slower than usual. Yagi started to work on the new works from the perspective that the existence of time may have differed from person to person, such as those who felt that the time has passed in a blink of an eye and those who felt that 2020 did not exist at all. The artist himself says that he sees that change of the flow of time positively. He has been able to take time to contemplate, which is a change from before when he had to make decisions quickly as if he were competing with time.

Yagi has continued to make time-themed works since his debut, but this time amid the pandemic, he had an idea that many different times may exist in parallel, not only the variety of time perception and time evaluation. He has taken “Taro Urashima” a protagonist of a Japanese fairy tale who returned from under the sea 300 years later from his disappearance as a symbol of the concept of time and has considered the concept from various angles.

The exhibition featured a series of new works such as “Time Signal,” an installation work with sound to capture time as something that can be experienced, a photographic work “Framed Time” that visually cuts out time with a clock as a motif, and “Everyone has different time” that visualizes that individuals [experience] different time in parallel, and “TODAY -10”, a programming work that revives “Taro Urashima” the experience that brings back the past to the present. He tries different approaches to “time” such as “Elephant” which visualizes the accumulation of time. Lyota Yagi’s thoughts on time, which are rich in variety, [were] reproduced as a multifaceted installation in the gallery space.
– MUJIN-TO Production

Installation view, Taro Urashima’s Space Travel. Image courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production.

Artist Statement

Time dilation in special relativity theory is called the “Urashima effect” in science fiction terms. The “Urashima effect” comes from the story of the fairy tale “Taro Urashima”. The story of Taro Urashima was reorganized as a modern version with a moral lesson from the Meiji era to the Showa era, but it was an interesting local lore when I traced it back. According to the “Tango no kuni Fudoki” (The records of Tango Province), when Taro Urashima (Shimako Tsutsukawa) was fishing on a boat, he caught a five-colored turtle, which transformed into a beautiful woman. It is said that 300 years have passed when he returned to the ground after living with her in Mt. Horai (paradise) for about three years. The children greeted at Mt. Horai are the stars called the Pleiades and Hyades in Taurus. The interstellar distance from the earth is about 150 light-years, which is a calculation that causes a delay of 300 years in the round trip from the earth, which matches the passage of time in the tale. So, it would be possible to hypothesize that Taro Urashima traveled to space instead of underwater.

In this exhibition, with the story of Taro Urashima in the background, I created the works with the motif of the time we have (the clock that made the time possessable). From a microscopic point of view, as a result of the Lorentz transformation*, the way the time progresses differs depending on the observer, and the way one person owns the time progresses differently. Also, from a macro perspective, I feel that “the present time” does not exist, just as the light of a distant star arrives with a delay. The more you think about time itself, the more you start to doubt its existence, which is detailed in Carlo Rovelli’s The Order of Time. By expressing such variations of “time” through actual production, I am pondering the transformation of time.

* The Lorentz transformations are a six-parameter family of linear transformations from a coordinate frame in spacetime to another frame that moves at a constant velocity relative to the former. The respective inverse transformation is then parameterized by the negative of this velocity. The transformations are named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz. Historically, the transformations were the result of attempts by Lorentz and others to explain how the speed of light was observed to be independent of the reference frame, and to understand the symmetries of the laws of electromagnetism. The Lorentz transformation is in accordance with Albert Einstein’s special relativity, but was derived first. (Quoted from Wikipedia).
– Lyota Yagi, 2021

Installation view, Taro Urashima’s Space Travel. Image courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production.

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia
quaeperumqui officiet earum res

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae. Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae. Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae. Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae.

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rem volorporro molorpo reperovitat et la volo volupta vernam aut aliqui ut doloressit quiduci aerfers perchicit ma ius magnimpero
vel magnime nonectore voles quae sume nobiti debis int, omnihitin nosam, con eum voluptate officimped que nima quo

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia
quaeperumqui officiet earum res

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae. Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae. Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae. Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum res veliatemolor adigeniamet ditatur sam nullupt isquodi cum fugit, vit fugitem quis cumquae.

Uptaquaepudi alias dolorepudi si dolupta ium deliquis sanit alicimusanis vel ium ratiisc ipiciistios dolectur, andignam nonsectest
rem volorporro molorpo reperovitat et la volo volupta vernam aut aliqui ut doloressit quiduci aerfers perchicit ma ius magnimpero
vel magnime nonectore voles quae sume nobiti debis int, omnihitin nosam, con eum voluptate officimped que nima quo

Installation views, Taro Urashima’s Space Travel. Image courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production.

Installation view, Taro Urashima’s Space Travel. Image courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production.

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia
quaeperumqui officiet earum res

CREDITS

Images courtesy of MUJIN-TO Production.

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