Woo hoo, it’s time for the annual art-as-entertainment Yokohama Smart Illumination 2018! This year, for some reason it took a giant leap in quality, and although the artspeak “explaining” each piece is equally opaque in Japanese and English, you don’t need to know what the artist was trying to say in order to have a hella good time wandering around and ogling them.
Okay, first of all, the feet. They’re so big, you can go inside. And the colors constantly change, to a soundtrack of footsteps and waves:
The illuminated suit man (Junichi Kusaka) made his annual appearance, and I spotted him making music at another art installation where you can play air drums & guitar. (“Star Jam Street” by Tetsujin Audio-Visual)
Here’s a little hypno-video, so you can see why:
(If anyone knows the name of the artist who made this, please tell me! I can’t find it on the website)
But by far my favorite thing at the Smart Illuminations was this piece of killer projection art called “The Wave” (made by the excellently named group, Fukopoly)
Here it is in motion, from down on the ground and from up above:
This unexpectedly entertaining floating ball piece is inside the cafe – the balls move mysteriously through the air, and only by looking very hard can you see the twin tracks of filament they’re rolling on (“Ascending and Descending -reflection-” by Rintaro Hara)
If you haven’t already guessed what I’m going to say in conclusion, here it is: if you’re in Tokyo right now, GO SEE THIS. It’s seriously worth the trek, and also seriously FREE. It’s on through Sunday, November 4, 2018.
Dates: October 31 – November 4, 2018
Where: Zo-no-hana Park, Yokohama (closest train station is Nihon Odori)
Hours: 17:30 – 21:30
And by the way, don’t miss all the amusing stuff that you’ll only see in
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Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!