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News Release

Soichiro Mihara x mui Lab Kyoto Steam 2022 “Study of Air 2022” exhibited at the Kyocera museum in Kyoto

Feb 8, 2022

mui Lab has collaborated with artist Soichiro Mihara to create a work for the Kyoto Steam 2022 International Art Competition.

The Kyoto Steam 2022 International Art Competition is an unique international competition held as part of Kyoto Steam – a festival of global cultural exchange – in which artists, companies and research institutions create works through dialogue and exhibit and be awarded. Out of the 41 companies and research institutes and 111 work plans that entered the call for entries during 2020, the jury has selected 11 groups of artists and companies. These 11 groups has collaborated with the aim of embodying the possibilities of “Art x Science x Technology”.

Soichiro Mihara x mui Lab 《Study of Air 2022》

Science / technology utilized: mui board, sensor technology, custom software

Aiming to make art that openly engages with the world, Soichiro Mihara began working with sound art methods to respond to the aural environment. He then expanded into works consisting of devices that render visible, in exhibition spaces, a variety of elements inherent to the natural environment, such as radiation, air currents, humidity, and bubbles, of which we have become increasingly conscious amid changing social conditions. His works, resembling miniature gardens meticulously created through media technologies, give the impression of representing various cycles continuously unfolding on a global scale.

These characteristics of Mihara’s practice are also present in this work, produced in collaboration with mui Lab, Inc., and based around the mui lab’s “mui board.” Symbolizing the company’s core concept of “Calm Technology & Design,” the mui board is an interface that enables access to information on the Internet or data entered by the user without visually disrupting the tranquil atmosphere of daily life. Mihara and mui Lab, Inc. made the mui board the centerpiece of this project, and produced a work that connects the “here and now” with the distant beyond. It can be described as an endeavor to create a circuit, at a comfortable human scale, that links to something vast and universal.

A chair is placed in the center of a circular space surrounded by a curtain. Participants who sit on the chair with the mui board on their laps will find that the chair is capable of rotating slowly. Like a compass directed toward the outside world, the mui board displays a minimal scene from a live camera in a city located somewhere in the direction the viewer is facing. The action of the mui board is accompanied by changes in the space that seem to complement the digitized scene, and a narrative commences, with flickering colors, air currents and scents evoking some distant place.

This work provides not only information, but also empty space for the viewer to imagine what lies outside that information. The space created by this calm technology sets the imagination free and connects the “here and now” with the beyond.

STEAM Dialogue between Soichiro Mihara × mui Lab

Here is the video of showing the work process that has been taken for over the half a year video-graphed by the Kyoto Steam official team .

Photo Gallery

Lighting device circuit design: 
Teruoka Masaki
Production support:
Murakami Miki
Sakamoto Kai
Hirabayashi Makoto
With support from:
Arts Support Kansai
Nippon Dentsu Media Arts Support Fund
#TuneUpforECoC / EU Japan Fest
Ogasawara Toshiaki Memorial Foundation
Project facilitated by Kyoto Art Center
commissioned by KYOTO STEAM-International Arts × Science Festival

10:00~18:00(entrance y 17:00), Jan. 29~ Feb. 13, 2022
※Monday off

Kyocera Museum Higashiyama cube 

General 1,000 JPY (incl. tax) /Under Junior high school students are for free 

Official Website