As Europe hopefully is about to open up many of us are eager to get going with life. And the new exhibition at The Strand will be something to really look forward to. The innovative Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda is bringing London a brand new installation, and it’s going to be just as immersive and thought-provoking as his former works. The self-titled exhibition will also be his largest in Europe to date, so there’ll be plenty to feast your eyes on. In 2017, he brought a mesmerizing floor installation to the studios at 180 The Strand and it consisted of intense strobing lights, known as ‘Test Pattern [№ 12]‘.

The collaboration between The Vinyl Factory and Fact is bringing this digital universe to life and on show will be some of Ikeda’s most popular works as well as plenty of new mind-bending additions. It promises to take viewers on a sensory journey through the maze-like studio space, making you question perception, time, and space…

Those attending will get to experience the feeling of entering a black hole. You can also look forward to a tunnel of strobe lighting, large speaker sculptures, and a new and improved Test Pattern experience. Ikeda is known for engaging with frequencies and aesthetics that challenge the human ear and mind, so if you feel inspired, overwhelmed and/or completely out of body, that is all part of the process.

Ikeda’s innovative work explores the essential characteristics of sound and light by means of mathematical precision and aesthetics. The artist engages with frequencies and scales difficult for the human ear and mind to comprehend, visualising sounds, and rendering the imperceptible through numerical systems and computer aesthetics.

By orchestrating sounds, visuals, materials, physics and mathematics, Ikeda goes beyond the conceptual to delve into extremes and infinites, testing the limits of human senses and digital technology. His long-term projects have taken a multiplicity of forms, from live performances and immersive audio-visual installations, to books and CDs, and have evolved over the years to encompass the latest iterations of his data-driven research.

Among those artworks premiering is the data-verse trilogy – a large-scale immersive project commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary in 2015. The installation will feature all three variations, shown for the first time together at 180 Studios, creating a rare opportunity for audiences to see the works in harmony in a new environment that is uniquely able to take on and maximise the trilogy’s’ scale. data-verse marks the conclusive chapter in Ikeda’s data-driven audio-visual research and aesthetics that first began in the early 2000s. It visualises and sonifies the different dimensions co-existing in our world, from the microscopic, to the human, to the macroscopic.

data-verse 1 first premiered at the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale de Venezia in May 2019, followed by data-verse 2 which was unveiled in Tokyo Midtown in October 2019. data-verse 3 will be premiered in London in a mesmerising showing of the three chapters. The trilogy’s sublime medley of bright lights, visceral patterns charging at high frequencies, and constant yet calming acoustic will be positioned at the centre of the exhibition and will allow viewers an impactful moment of reflection on the vast data universe in which we live.

The exhibition will also include UK premieres of other hypnotic Ikeda artworks including: point of no return – an intense audio-visualisation that creates a virtual experience akin to entering a black hole; spectra III – a tunnel of strobe lighting that made its premiere at the 2019 Venice Biennale and has been readapted to reflect the scale of the 180 Studios show; and A (continuum) – a sound installation comprising six colossal Meyer SB-1 speakers that will act as minimalist sculptures.