Japanese, born 1967
Connected World (Photopaintings I–VI), 2002
Cybachrome prints and Lucite, edition 3/3
3 inches (7.6 cm) deep, 48 inches (121.9 cm) diameter
George B. and Jenny R. Mathews, Edmund Hayes and Charles W. Goodyear Funds, 2005
Mariko Mori’s Connected World works began with paintings, which Mori scanned into a computer, manipulated with a graphics program, and then printed as photographs that she surrounded with thick acrylic frames. The images seem at the same time infinite and intimate, ethereal and dreamlike—they evoke the feeling of looking inside a bubble, through a telescope, under a microscope, or even inside our own dreams. The artist has commented that she hopes to create a world that invites us to experience “a deeper consciousness in which the self and the universe become interconnected.”
The images she used for this series were also turned into graphic animations that were part of a public art project called Wave UFO. Three people at a time could enter the Wave UFO fiberglass capsule—which was thirty-seven feet long, seventeen feet wide, and sixteen feet tall—via resin steps shaped like lily pads. Inside, they reclined on chairs made of Technogel, a spongy surface that conformed to their body shapes. Electrodes were attached to their heads, gathering data from their brains which was simultaneously turned into visual imagery, combined with graphic animation, and projected onto the domed ceiling. Both the Connected World works and the Wave UFO project reflect Mori’s belief in the Buddhist principle that everything in the universe is interconnected: human beings, nature, and all other forms of life.
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