Tatsuo Miyajima is one of Japan’s foremost sculptors and installation artists. Employing contemporary materials such as electric circuits, video, and computers, Miyajima’s supremely technological works have centred on his use of digital light-emitting diode (LED) counters, or “gadgets” as he calls them, since the late 1980s. These numbers, flashing in continual and repetitious – though not necessarily sequential – cycles from 1 to 9, represent the journey from life to death, the finality of which is symbolized by “0” or the zero point, which consequently never appears in his work. This theory derives partially from humanist ideas, the teachings of Buddhism, as well as from his core artistic concepts: “Keep Changing”, “Connect with All”, and “Goes on Forever”. Miyajima’s LED numerals have been presented in grids, towers, complex integrated groupings or circuits and as simple digital counters, but are all aligned with his interests in continuity, connection and eternity, as well as with the flow and span of time and space. “Time connects everything”, says Miyajima. “I want people to think about the universe and the human spirit”.

Tatsuo Miyajima was born in 1957 and lives and works in Ibaraki, Japan. He finished undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1986 after which he began experimenting with performance art before moving on to light-based installations. In addition to participating in numerous international biennales and important group shows, he has held solo exhibitions at Capsule Gallery, Tokyo (2014); a site specific exhibition entitled ‘House Lives with Time’ in a traditional house in Seoul, Korea (2012); Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland (2012); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011); Miyanomori Art Museum, Hokkaido, Japan (2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA (1997); Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, France (1996); and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, USA (1996). He has participated in the Venice Biennale (1988, 1999) and in numerous group exhibitions, including ‘Eppur Si Muove’, Mudam Luxembourg (2015); ‘Boolean Expressions’ at the Lewis Gluckman Gallery, Ireland (2015); ‘Logical Emotion, Contemporary Art from Japan’, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland (2014); ‘Asia Code ZERO’, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2013); ‘Marking Time’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2012); and ‘Dome’, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2008). In 2006, Miyajima was selected to serve as Vice President of Tohoku University of Art and Design. His work is featured in numerous public collections including Tate, London; La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan.

Tatsuo Miyajima
Tatsuo Miyajima
Tokyo, 1957

Past Exhibitions

Tatsuo Miyajima

Buchmann Galerie
28/04/2017 — 24/06/2017

Tudo Joia

Bergamin and Gomide
28/10/2016 — 26/11/2016

Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect with Everythin

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) 03/11/2016 — 05/03/2017

Solo Shows


Tatsuo Miyajima – KU, Lisson Gallery, Milan
Counter Painting 2014, CAPSULE Gallery, Tokyo


Tatsuo Miyajima: I-Model, Lisson Gallery, London
Life (Rhizome), Buchmann Galerie, Berlin


LIFE I-model, SCAI the Bathhouse, Tokyo
House Lives with Time, Seoul


Tatsuo Miyajima, Mitsubishi-Jisho ARTIUM, Fukuoka, Japan
Three Time Train / Counter Voice on the Wall, Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, St.gallen, Switzerland
Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust, UCCA, Beijing
Time train, Six, Seoul


Time train, Six, Osaka, Japan
Tatsuo Miyajima, Miyanomori, Hokkaido, Japan
Diamond in you, Galleri Andersson / Sandström, Stockholm
Tatsuo Miyajima, Bld Gallery, Tokyo

Group Shows


Logical Emotion, Contemporary Art from Japan, Museum Haus Konstrukiv, Zurich
Lifescape, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo
Art Meeting 2014, Former Minamiohira Branch of Second elementary school, Tabito-cyo, Fukushima, Japan


Asia code Zero, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, Seoul
Re:Quest- Japanese Contemporary Art since the 1970s, Museum of Art, Seoul National University (MoA), Seoul


Mediations Biennale 2012, Poznan, Poland
Carpe Diem- Seize the day, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan
Marking Time, MCA Sydney, Sydney
Double Vision: Contemporary Art from Japan , Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia / Haifa Museum of Art, Hifa, Israel


Die Kunst der Entschleunigung, Kunst museum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany


Iwaki Art Triennale 2010 [Yaruki], Amadaguan-tei, Fukushima, Japan
The secret of Lafcadio Hearn, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Tokyo Country of birth: Japan Date of birth: 1957 Lives in: Ibaraki, Japan