Subway Synesthesia
Kenji Kojima

November 6 - December 13, 2008

Since 1990, Japanese artist Kenji Kojima has been experimenting with the relationships between perception and cognition, mathematics, technology, music and art. Kojima’s Subway Synesthesia is the first exhibition in AC [Direct]’s Unearthed series and includes the works New York City Subway and RGB Music.


New York City Subway is a series of digital diptychs overlaid with simple text. Through RGB Music, the images are then reduced to color pixels that are transformed into a series of musical compositions. The pixels form Mondrian-like geometries where colors correspond to a note or chord in a selected scale. In RGB Music, Kojima digs beneath the surface buzz of New York to reveal the poetry and music within. As Kojima describes the work, “it is not an impression of a painting or a photograph of a musical variation. It composes a score from an image directly.”


RGB Music includes an interactive, synchronized 3-D drawing that follows the RGB values along an XYZ axis of the image. The lines become a distinct topography — a visual map of the both the musical score and photographic content. To experience this interactive component, visit


About the Artist
Born in Japan and currently living in New York City, Kenji Kojima is an accomplished artist, inventor and computer scientist who integrates both the visual and the technical. Concerns with knowing his medium have pushed him to build his own original tools from which to create his art. Kojima’s fascination with tempera painting techniques and early studies in design influence his current use and understanding of digital technology and art. Along with technical innovation and multi-disciplinary mastery, his pieces evoke poetry and humor throughout. Kojima’s work is archived at New Museum / Rhizome in New York. In both 1999 and 2001, he was selected by the Machida City Museum in Tokyo for excellence in Art on the Net.