SOTOROJI #0, 2020

"SOTOROJI #0" is an installation that presents an overwhelming number of QR codes—over 120,000—which is more than one could ever see in a lifetime. This number ironically reflects on tourists who shop compulsively, suggesting a shift from materialistic desires to a touch of spirituality. This work is part of the SOTOROJI series that represents the contemporary 'Sotoroji.' (※1)
The subtle differences in the size of QR codes create an optical illusion, and from a certain distance, fusuma paintings, traditionally used to entertain guests in ancient times, emerge. The structure and the vast, profound spiritual world behind the surface only become apparent when viewed from a broader perspective, something that cannot be seen up close. The entire airport is envisioned as a large tea room, with the international arrival concourse interpreted as the 'Sotoroji,' where visitors from abroad cleanse themselves of worldly distractions and immerse in Japanese spirituality.
This piece was created using image data from important cultural property fusuma paintings displayed at the Nagoya Castle Honmaru Palace, including "Leopard and Tiger in a Bamboo Grove," "Pine, Maple, and Camellia," and "Civet Cat," with the cooperation of the city of Nagoya. Twelve panels depicting these important cultural property fusuma paintings using QR codes were placed at intervals along the over 36 meters of the international arrival concourse at Chubu Centrair International Airport and were exhibited for a year.
(※1) 'Sotoroji' (= outer garden) Tea masters have long aspired to the sublime world depicted in ink paintings, expressing this worldview through tea rooms and tea ceremonies. The tea room, including its garden, is designed to gradually lead to this sublime world. The initial space from the 'rojiguchi' (garden entrance) to the middle gate is called 'Sotoroji (outer garden),' where guests participating in the tea ceremony cleanse themselves of worldly dust, immerse in the sublime world, and engage in elevated play.
《SOTOROJI #0》は、12万個以上という、一生をかかっても見ることのない圧倒的な数のQRコードを提示することにより、”爆買”目的の観光客には皮肉的にも映り、物欲的なものから精神性に触れることを即すインスタレーション作品である。本作は現代の外露地(※1)を表現するSOTOROJIシリーズの一つである。
(※1)外露地 茶人たちは水墨画などに描かれた幽玄の世界に憧れ、その世界観を茶室と茶会で表現してきた。茶室は庭園を含めて徐々に幽玄の世界へ誘うように設計されている。その最初の空間である露地口(庭園の入り口)から中門に至るまでの露地を外露地と呼び、茶会に参加する客はこの外露地で世俗の塵を払い、幽玄の世界へと没入し、高次元の遊びに興じるのである。


QR codes, panels
150(W) x 200(H) cm per panel x 12 panels

Editions / Versions


Artist: The TEA-ROOM (Ryuta Aoki, Soryo Matsumura)
Producer & Director: Ryuta Aoki
Project Management: Keita Uno
Exhibition Design: Jiro Endo
Graphic Design: Takeshi Kawano, Sosuke Sugiura
Web Design: Takao Neko
Production Support: MINIMA
Special Thanks: Nagoya City, dsgarage

Past Exhibitions

Mar. 2020 – Feb. 2021: Chubu Centrair International Airport

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