AY-O, 300m Rainbow

Ay-O, Object Mandala at MOT: Piano, Sewing Machine, Umbrella and Rainbow Fall, 2012
Installation view at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo [MOT] Photo: Eiji Ina

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4/25 10:00 ~ 4/26 18:00
West Walk
[Participation fee]
The rainbow as visualization of the visible light spectrum has been a trademark of artist Ay-O since the 1960s. At that time Ay-O was exploring the state of the world through the senses - touch, hearing, olfactory and so on - and had rejected painting, and the rainbow could be described as his visual rendering of the light that renders the world visible to us. For the rainbow series he split the spectrum into red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, and proceeded to produce works in a variety of media. Rainbow Falls was used in a 1987 “happening” in which a rainbow banner 300m long and 5m wide was unfurled from the Eiffel Tower to the ground to coincide with the centenary of the Tower's construction, and also shown at a solo exhibition of the artist's work at Tokyo's Museum of Contemporary Art in 2012. On Roppongi Art Night, look for a dynamic rainbow cascading from the 40m-ceiling of the West Walk.



Ay-O was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1931. He currently lives and works there. He particapted in the Democratic Artists Association in the 1950s. In 1958, he moved to the USA and became a member of the avant garde artists movement "Fluxus" which spread from New York out all over the world, presenting works that appeal to the tacitile and perceptive senses that are on the border of art and everyday life. At the same time, he rejected painting painted with lines and presented his "Rainbow series" which are visualizations of visible light comprised from red to purple spectrum which create our visual world. Since then he is known as "the rainbow artist." In 2012, a large retrospective exhibition "Over the Rainbow Once More" was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.