Ekphrasis: Japanese Fun and Dreams at the LEA

‘Dreaming Machine #1’ by Yooma Mayo. Photo by PJ Trenton.

There are all kinds of reasons I – you – we are drawn to art. Sometimes, for me, and I imagine for you, it is simply sheer beauty. Sometimes, especially with immersive virtual art, it is the fun. When we are lucky, it is both.

That is precisely what you will experience if you head to the LEA right now and see the work of two absolutely brilliant Japanese artists, Mikati Slade and Yooma Mayo.

‘Pico Pico Life’ by Mikati Slade. Photo by PJ Trenton.

First, Mikati Slade’s PICO PICO LIFE at LEA 19 is a rather surreal journey through… a video game? The console itself? You’ll begin at a rather colourful beach, and take a long journey down a neon grid tunnel to begin collecting as many hearts as you can. A little friend, ‘Mimi’, will follow along and keep count as you descend deeper into the game machine, but beware of falling objects!

‘Pico Pico Life’ by Mikati Slade. Photo by PJ Trenton.

I took along my trusty accomplice PJ Trenton who astutely observed, ‘It’s like a cross between old Nintendo and a K-tel Record Cover!’

For a more serene experience, Yooma Mayo’s installation Dreaming Machine #1 is just next door at LEA 15. Rather surprisingly, I find myself without deep insightful comments or pithy remarks about this work, because it is simply beautiful. Stunningly beautiful.

‘Dreaming Machine #1’ by Yooma Mayo. Photo by PJ Trenton.

In the dawning age of mesh, Yooma shows us that primwork is not a dead art with eloquence and mastery. In the hazy lavender atmosphere, abandoned carnival rides rest silently in a pond of gargantuan lotus flowers, and the most epic seahorses and other creatures of the deep, all made of copper and steel, hover in a static moment amidst a winding coaster track.

‘Dreaming Machine #1’ by Yooma Mayo. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Steampunk Japonisme.

Really, need I say more? Go.

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See more of PJ’s lovely photos at his flickr sets for Pico Pico Life and Dreaming Machine #1.

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