2. Events
  3. Iidabashi / Shinjuku
  4. Tribute to RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: Music / Art / Media at NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]

Tribute to RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: Music / Art / Media at NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]

The NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] holds the “Ryuichi Sakamoto Tribute Exhibition: Music/Art/Media” from December 16, 2023 (Sat) to March 10, 2024 (Sun).
This exhibition is in memory of Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away in March 2023, and considers Sakamoto’s enormous influence not only on music, but also on the field of media art. Come and experience the image of Ryuichi Sakamoto, who continued his future-oriented activities not only through music, but also through art and media.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, not only a musician, is here.

We all know Ryuichi Sakamoto as a musician, but some may not know that he has also made significant achievements in the field of media art.
Sakamoto’s work with YMO has shown us his innovation in music and his constant desire to try new things based on deep thinking. The NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] is also an organization and facility that has been driven by cutting-edge technologies and ideas in information and communications. As if in resonance with this mutual attitude, ICC is a place where Sakamoto repeatedly collaborated, and seems to be one of the most appropriate places for a tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto.

ICC is a pioneer at the forefront of knowledge at the dawn of media art.

ICC has introduced cutting-edge technologies in multimedia artworks, including virtual reality and interactive multimedia, as well as holding exhibitions that challenge formats and categories, introducing experimental tests and programs including workshops, performances, symposiums, and publications.

The basic concept of the ICC facilities began to be studied in 1990 and, after almost eight years of conception, construction and preparation, the facilities were inaugurated in 1997.
The first issue of “InterCommunication” was published in the spring of 1992 during its pre-opening period. In the midst of the evolution of information and communication technology, from pagers to cell phones, the Internet and smart phones, the magazine greatly stimulated our intellectual curiosity and broadened our perspective on intercommunication.
Even after the museum opened, we have learned through the exhibitions held there that its contemplation and research have further evolved and materialized.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, who had been collaborating with ICC since the pre-opening period.

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s relationship with ICC dates back to the pre-opening period (1991-). SAKAMOTO had a personal interest in the Internet since his formative years (early 1990s) and used the medium to conduct live online events and the like as part of his proactive efforts to incorporate media technology into his works.
As an artist, he developed far-reaching ties with ICC through collaborations such as the concert held in conjunction with the 2005 exhibition “Laurie ANDERSON: The Record of the Time” and commemorative exhibitions together with Shiro TAKATANI to mark the tenth and twentieth anniversary.
Ryuichi Sakamoto and ICC have in common that they have always been at the forefront of their time, seeking and opening new possibilities for creativity through deep, critical, and constructive thinking.

Composition that carries Ryuichi Sakamoto’s artistic aspirations into the future.

The exhibition, co-curated by ICC chief curator Minoru Hatanaka and Daito Manabe of Rhizomatiks, is composed of works based on performance data left by Sakamoto, works by artists from Japan and abroad who have been associated with Sakamoto, and documentation of previous exhibitions at ICC.
There, by succeeding and developing Sakamoto’s activities, they try to present how suggestive Ryuichi Sakamoto’s activities were for the future.

Exhibition Structure

“Piano 20110311” [2018/23] Shiro TAKATANI

The image of “Piano 20110311” is also used as the main image of the flyer. It is a work in which Shiro Takatani photographed a piano in a high school in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, which was damaged by the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, in a way that captures the object as if it were being scanned. The works are accompanied by commentary written in 2017 by Ryuichi Sakamoto, which makes us think about the “reincarnation” of things and the order of nature.

《Playback 2022》 [2022/23] “Playback 2022”
Dumb Type + Ryuichi Sakamoto

The sixteen vinyl records on display were produced by AUTORA FACTORY PLATE especially for this exhibition and contain field recordings from around the world conducted by Ryuichi Sakamoto. This recording was also incorporated into Dumb Type’s new work “2022”, produced for the Venice Biennale.

《insen live (short)》 [2009] “insen live (short)” TOTAL TIME: 27:13
alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto

Based on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s piano and Carsten Nicolai(alva noto)’s electronic sounds, the work presents the possibility of collaboration between electronic music and acoustic instruments, which can be heard with the video. Included in the video recording is a performance of “insen” (2005), the second work of the collaboration, in which the music is visualized through simple scenography and abstract images.

《try-out: behind the scene of utp_》 [2008]  TOTAL TIME: 41:19
alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto

The word “utp_” in the title is derived from the word “utopia” and introduces a piece Sakamoto performed with Ensemble Modern, a contemporary chamber music ensemble based in Frankfurt, Germany. Elements of video, sound, electronics, and improvisation combine to create a sound world of tense and penetrating beauty, with a sound based on electronic sounds and piano, and a chamber music ensemble.

“Breath or Echo” (reconstructed for the exhibition “Tribute to RYUICHI SAKAMOTO”) [2017/23]

This work, arranged in the center of the exhibition space, was created, and presented at the Sapporo International Art Festival 2017 by Yuko Mohri and reconstructed for this exhibition. Ryuichi Sakamoto provided the music for this work, and this exhibition presents a reconstructed version of the piece, focusing on the part of the piece that was played by an automatic piano, along with works by Mohri such as “I/O” (2011-13) and “Brush” (2017).
A video work, “After The Echo,” featuring a performance by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Camille Norment at the festival, can be seen in the theater.
* Reservations are required to see the screening programs in the ICC theater.

“Sound far beyond” [2022]
LEE Ufan

On display are “Sound far beyond,” a drawing by Lee Ufan for the cover of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s last original album before his death, “12,” and “Prayer,” which Lee drew to pray for Sakamoto’s recovery from his illness. Along with the drawings, a photograph of Lee himself guiding Sakamoto through a retrospective of Lee’s work at the Tokyo National Art Center in 2022 is on display, allowing us to reflect on the relationship between the two artists.

“Sensing Streams 2023 – invisible, inaudible” (ICC Version) [2023]

This work is a collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Daito Manabe, produced and presented at the Sapporo International Art Festival 2014. The flow of electromagnetic waves, which is an indispensable infrastructure in modern society but usually goes unnoticed, is visualized in various ways using special sensors. We can operate the dials and participate in the work.

“Resonant Echoes” [2023]
Strangeloop Studios (David WEXLER, Ian SIMON)

“Resonant Echoes” is an exploration of how Ryuichi Sakamoto allows listeners to time travel through his music. We attempt to understand and visualize this connection by exploring “resonance” as both a harmonic and cognitive concept.

“Generative MV” [2023]
MANABE Daito + Rhizomatiks + Kyle McDONALD

This work is a music video that uses artificial intelligence technology to change the background in real time according to the text entered by the audience. Initially, it took tens of seconds to add effects to a background image, but with technical innovations we were able to use this technology in real time in less than a year. Sakamoto was always eager to deepen the relationship between the technology of the time and his own expression and to raise questions, and this work itself could be considered a tribute to his attitude.

“The Sheltering Sky – remodel” [2023]
404.zero (Kristina KARPYSHEVA, Aleksandr LETSIUS)

The audiovisual compositions in this work explore Sakamoto’s spoken “language” through music and visual images. Musical notes from Sakamoto’s work “The Sheltering Sky” were used as input data and a series of algorithms were developed to convert this data into control signals for analog modular synthesizers and input parameters for sound visualization algorithms.

Title Ryuichi Sakamoto Tribute Exhibition: Music/Art/Media
Period 2023.12.16 [Sat] – 2024.3.10 [Sun]
Venue NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] Gallery A
Address Tokyo Opera City Tower4F, 3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Official Website https://www.ntticc.or.jp/en/
Opening Hours 11:00am–6:00pm (Admission until 30 minutes before closing)
Closed Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, then Tuesday), February 11 (Maintenance day)
Ticket Information Online reservation
Online reservation is available from 7days before the visit day.
The day tickets are available at ICC reception.
Admission Adults: 800 (700) Yen
University students: 600 (500) Yen
Age 65 and elder / High school students and younger:free
ICC Annual Passport: 1,000 Yen
Remarks * Rates shown in parentheses are for groups of more than 14 persons.
* Reservation is recommended.
* Admission free: Disabled persons (proof-required) and their attendants, Persons who have ‘ICC annual Passport’
* Opening hours and holidays are subject to change. Please visit the ICC website for up-to-date information.