Ryota Kuwakubo is one of wmmna’s favourite artists. From loopScape, a shooting game that makes players run around the cylindrical LED screen to follow their spaceship to fluid that reformats live electronic jamming into a hand-held device, to PLX, a battle game where two people compete with each other but play totally different games, to his robots that mediate human interactions, etc.

I expect devices, gadgets, bits and electronics from Kuwakubo so who would have guessed i’d love his latest cardboard-based exhibition at the Galerie Lucy Mackintosh so much?


The Japanese artist didn’t work on his own but with Reico Yamaguchi as part of Perfektron (apparently he was a bit sick of navigating in a male-dominated techno-world.)

The installation is called COCOSOCOASOCO. Coco is “here”, Soco is “there” and Asoco is “further place.”

The giant tea cup, spoon, apple and mini buildings invite the visitor to play with their mental and spatial perception. The objects are painted in grayscale and have a distorted optical relationship between one another, created by different scales to emphasize the linear perspective. Walking through the white space of the gallery filled with these simple and odd 3D shapes was a bit surreal.

There is no visible technological process in COCOSOCOASOCO, but the objects are drawn and designed on the computer, to be reproduced with precision on a planar surface and then built in 3-D. Ryota Kuwakubo and Reico Yamaguchi want to surpass the disillusionment gravitating in technology nowadays.
On a table at the entrance of the gallery are cubes of different sizes, each of them contained a small world in soapy water. Same play on perspective but this time the shapes are flat and black. The difference of grey shades is created by the slight opacity of the liquid.

The gallery is also selling little souvenirs such as the Bitman devices Kuwakubo made with the Maywa Denki. Apparently, they stopped producing them, i immediately got my hands on one.

COCOSOCOASOCO runs until January 27 at the Galerie Lucy Mackintosh, Lausanne (Switzerland). My images on flickr.

Goodies: Nicolas Nova typed down the notes he took during Kuwakubo’s talk at the LDM/EPFL and Jonah Brucker-Cohen interviewed the artist on gizmodo a couple of weeks ago.