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Panasonic Powers Artists’ Vision at 21st Biennale of Sydney

As a major partner of the Biennale of Sydney, Panasonic is supporting the compelling large-scale artworks, Earthworks, 2016 by Semiconductor; Landscape with an Eye, 2018 by Yukinori Yanagi; and OTTO, 2018 by Laurent Grasso, with projection technology that meets the challenge of the artists’ unique vision and showcases their work in stunning detail.

Mami Kataoka, Artistic Director, 21st Biennale of Sydney, said, “These works offer a brilliant equilibrium of artistic approach and technology. It’s been instrumental to have high quality technology to execute some of the commissioned works – artists are always looking to new methods for the very best way to realise their concepts.”

The Biennale of Sydney is Australia’s largest contemporary visual arts festival. The 21st Biennale – SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement – is taking place at seven Sydney locations from Carriageworks to Cockatoo Island, until the 11th of June 2018, and features the work of 69 artists and artist collectives from 35 countries.

Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt work collaboratively under the name Semiconductor, and have created a five-channel immersive experience: Earthworks, 2016. At Carriageworks, projected layers of colour undulate and shift on a 25-metre long and 2.8-metre high wall, simulating natural geological activity that normally occurs over thousands of years.

Gotaro Uematsu, Technical Lead for the 21st Biennale of Sydney on the installation of the work, explained, “Earthworks is a zig-zag wall, so the projectors had to be precisely placed and color matched to deliver a single piece of work that creates a seamless experience for viewers. They can get up close and simply be captivated by the ever-changing vision and sound of this incredibly colourful and immersive work.”

At Cockatoo Island’s Powerhouse building, Landscape with an Eye, 2018 is one of three atmospheric Biennale works by Japanese contemporary artist, Yukinori Yanagi. In the darkened interior, a giant 2.5-metre eyeball is suspended from the ceiling and appears to float in space, while images are projected from within the iris. Mr Yanagi said, “This place used to be a Powerhouse, a place of creating energy, which inspired the idea for my work.”

Like a number of the Biennale works, the giant eyeball was built in Australia to the artist’s precise requirements. Gotaro Uematsu added, “As well as meeting the demands of suspending the artwork in the Powerhouse, there was the challenge of projecting onto a curved surface, using just one powerful projector that couldn’t be seen. Panasonic gave us a very bright 3-chip DLP projector with a specialised 270-degree fisheye lens designed for dome surfaces – the first time this lens has been used in Australia.”

With the projector hidden and suspended behind the work, viewers in the darkness of the Powerhouse can focus on absorbing the otherworldly experience.

The works selected for Carriageworks explore the themes of land, nature and spiritual connection to place.

French-based artist Laurent Grasso’s striking film was achieved using technology including hyperspectral cameras and drones. A Panasonic 3-chip DLP projector brings to life the unique and dramatic landscapes of the installation.

The film contemplates the notion of the immaterial and was produced in the country of the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory, in consultation with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation.

Jason Coleman, Managing Director, Panasonic System Solutions Oceania, said, “Bringing Panasonic’s visual expertise together with the creative talents of the Biennale is something we’re very proud of. Panasonic marks its 100th year in 2018, and as the official technology partner, it’s exciting for us to collaborate with the Biennale, which is also celebrating a key anniversary of 45 years.

“Sometimes the best use of technology is when you don’t know it’s there. Its role at the Biennale really is to showcase the talent of the artist, and importantly, enhance the experience for the many thousands of art lovers that visit these installations.”


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