Life is Fleeting;
Therefore, Life is Beautiful

Takafumi Ide

December 16, 2010 - January 22, 2011

“Life is fleeting; therefore, life is beautiful.” This expression is based on one of the values in Japanese aesthetics: impermanence. The fragile and transitory qualities of impermanence are considered exceptionally beautiful. This idea describes the central theme of Takafumi Ide’s work: ephemeral human life and its beauty. Ide’s installations focus on the stages of life and are derived from his personal experiences.


The installations at AC Institute are created in three stages: propagate represents birth. generate and reverberate show memory, particularly the memories of his grandmother. Through escalate, a new work debuting at AC, Ide symbolizes the pathway to death.


Ide constructs his sound spaces with a combination of voice and fabricated auditory effects. Light, sometimes a blinking light that is synchronized electrically with the harmonized sound, communicates with the viewer while casting a shadow of the structure. Composite modules of repeated sound, small objects, and shadows propagate his message. The viewer is stimulated by the psychological and physiological effect of the piece on the senses.

Exhibition Images

About the Artist
Takafumi Ide is an interdisciplinary media artist specializing in installation with sound and light. He received his B.A. in graphic design from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1989, and his M.F.A. in studio art from Stony Brook University in 2007. He has worked for more than ten years as an illustrator in Japan and now teaches at Stony Brook University as a lecturer. He has received several honors, such as the Sculpture Space Fellowship and Residency, the Strategic Opportunity Stipend Program Grant through the New York Foundation for the Arts, and most recently the Nomura Cultural Foundation’s Project Grant, and the Vermont Studio Center’s partial-grant and Residency. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally.


This project is supported in part with funds from the Asahi Shimbun Foundation in Japan and the Strategic Stipend (SOS) Program through the New York Foundation for the Arts, administered on Long Island by the East End Arts Council.


Image courtesy the artist.