M+ Museum
Sonic Topologies: Hong Kong
Multi-sensory Installation

MetaObjects was invited to develop by the Learning and Interpretation Department at M+ museum to create a multi-sensory installation for the South Quad Breakout Space. As a semi-permanent installation, the commissioned work seeks to engage visitors with art through multiple senses of sight, touch and sound. MetaObjects facilitated the 3D interpretation and printing of an artwork from the M+ Collection, interaction development and installation design, resulting in a collaborative artwork developed in conversation with the museum. MetaObjects worked with sound artist Ryo Ikeshiro to create the sound map for the installation. The interior design was created with the architectural studio, Sky Yutaka.

Sonic Topologies: Hong Kong is an aural cartographic interpretation of Yamazaki Tsuruko’s 1967 painting, Work. Inspired by the interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit of the Gutai Art Association, the Japanese avant-garde artist collective to which Yamazaki belonged, the work creates a transcoding from image and touch to sound. By placing and moving one’s hands over different parts of a 3D printed topographic relief of the work, visitors are able to use the painting as a ‘sound map,’ where their hands are tracked using machine learning, creating a multisensory experience through sight, hearing and touch.

A collection of surround sound field recordings from Hong Kong are mapped to the colour, shapes and textures of Yamazaki’s abstract artwork. The soundscapes create a psychographic exploration of places of geographical and historical significance and sites of economic and social activity as visitors listen and 'drift' through the city with their hands. With the presence of two or more participants, the sounds become spatialised around the exhibition space. Visitors may ‘play’ the work collaboratively, where Yamazaki’s painting displayed flat on a table as a tactile map allows participants to embark on an immersive journey around Hong Kong.

Special thanks to Daniel Stempfer, András Blazsek, Manni Chen, Ho Tsz Yeung Jacklam, Steve Hui (Nerve), Sky Yutaka and the M+ Learning and Interpretation team (Keri, Winnie, Ruby).

South China Morning Post

About the artist

Ryo Ikeshiro (池城良) is an artist, musician and researcher. His work explores the possibilities of meaning and context presented through sound, as well as its materiality in relation to digital audio and audio technologies. He works across installation and live performances in a variety of formats, including immersive environments using multi-channel projections and audio, 360-video and ambisonics (spatial audio), field recordings, interactive works, teletext art and generative works.

He has presented his works internationally in exhibitions, festivals, concerts, screenings, and academic conferences, including in Asia Culture Center’s inaugural exhibition in Gwangju, KR and M+, Hong Kong. He is a contributor to the book, Sound Art: Sound as a medium of art, ZKM Karlsruhe/MIT Press, and has published in the journal, Organised Sound. He is currently an Assistant Professor, MFACM Programme Deputy Leader and co-director of the spatial audio art/research unit SoundLab at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.