Ambient Kyoto: Brian Eno presents his first large-scale exhibition in Japan


If you’re living in Kyoto or traveling to Japan in the next two months or, who knows, maybe you’ve got a lot of miles saved up on your credit card, Brian Eno is hosting a career-long exhibit at the old center of welfare of the Kyoto Chuo Shinkin bank.

The live recording above features a selection of previously released ambient works, along with a panel of Japanese “Eno experts” discussing the musician/producer/artist/thinker. They play selections on vinyl, show clips from rare Eno documentaries, even manage to dig up a LaserDisc of Thursday afternoon and a CD-Rom of head candies.

Ambient Kyoto is Eno’s first large-scale exhibition in Japan and features “77 Million Paintings”, “The Ship”, his ever-changing “Light Boxes”, a stream of “The Lighthouse”, the SONOS channel. d’Eno from his unpublished archives, and a new work entitled “Face à Face”, which the exhibition site describes as follows:

This work began with a small group of photographs of the faces of 21 real people, each in a single still image. Using special software, the image slowly changes pixel by pixel from one real face to another. This creates a long chain of “new humans” between everyone’s real faces, such as those who didn’t actually exist, intermediate humans, and over 36,000 new faces, 30 per second. can do.

Yes, you say, it’s very pretty, but what’s on sale at the gift shop? Here you will not be disappointed. There are vinyl and CD albums, an exhibition catalog, t-shirts, tote bags and boxes of Oblique Strategies by Eno and Peter Schmidt. And only in Japan can you get this: a box of Japanese sweets designed to look like one of his light installations.

The exhibit is affordable (about $20) and you can stay as long as you want. Eno continues to fascinate and make art in spaces where he is often the first to start exploring – certainly in terms of ambient and generative art he was a pioneer. In an interview near the end of the eight-hour live stream, he describes his career:

“I don’t see anyone else doing [these installations]. And I know it’s powerful. So I think wow, I got all of that going for me. So instead of shooting arrows at someone else’s target, which I’ve never been very good at, I create my own target wherever my arrow landed.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

Related content:

Listen to “Brian Eno Day”, a 12-hour radio show spent with Eno and his music (recorded in 1988)

Brian Eno’s advice for those who want to do their best creative work: don’t get a job

Brian Eno lists the benefits of singing: long life, increased intelligence and a healthy civilization

Ted Mills is a freelance arts writer who currently hosts the Notes from the Shed podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmillsand/or watch his films here.


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