Setsuko Ishii Fragment of Nature Grassland

Setsuko Ishii

Setsuko Ishii is a prolific holographic artist from Japan. Her work combines science and art to explore nature and natural phenomena.  Her exhibitions and public installations often bring sculptural elements together with holographic images.  Her installations charge architectural space with dynamic color and natural forms.  Her outdoor installations play an atmospheric conditions, making viewing contingent on sunlight. The limitation, or control, of viewing is also a property of the hologram which Ishii also utilizes to construct holograms from multiple recordings which can be seen from different positions.  Viewing her work then becomes a negotiation between physical and abstract space.  A synergy erupts through the dynamics of intense color, entrancing the viewer into an environment of light.

“Rainbows dance on your palm from the reflections of ripples in water. Spinning colors of light are threads that become a malleable form like clay. Holography is the medium by which such images can be realized. Each trace of brushwork from the drawing hand floats in 3-dimensions like streams of light in frozen time. Its appearance is always changing depending on one’s viewpoint. One is always aware of time and light. The enjoyment of the presentation and space unifies the artwork. By entering the space, participants enter the work itself and experience a symbiotic relationship with the work. They can take their own perceived understanding of the space, as if to steal it, yet they remain in the same time and space of perception in which it is originally experienced, if not in the visual memory then in the somatic memory. To be there and to feel; the physical is a very important thing.”

Setsuko Ishii

HoloCenter Exhibitions and Projects

IRIDESCENCE, 2017 & 2019 with Fragment of Nature – Landscape, 2016  (Holographic Art Grant)

Interference Coexistence, 2013 The clock tower of LIC, Setsuko Ishii hologram

‘Interference:Coexistence‘, 2013 with Photon Drawing Series: A Drop of Light, 1998
White light transmission hologram on film sandwiched in Plexiglas circle, 44″ diameter
Layers of abstract waves add together with shifting  color as you move towards and around the hologram
Produced at Holographics North with Dr John Perry, courtesy of MIT Museum

Self-portrait–Body with Fabric 1, 2003

Pulse Laser Artist Residencies, Court Square Studio to create:

Self-portrait, 2000 a laser transmission hologram, 50 cm × 60 cm where water was poured into a glass bottle containing two different transparent liquids, namely, water and oil. In the course of pouring the water, the boundary plane between the two liquids with different specific gravities was broken. In this hologram, all the liquids froze; the oil and water in the glass bottle look like solid crystal glass and not liquids.  In everyday life, we are unfamiliar with such scenes. They portray a completely different aspect of our real world. Thus, it is considered that our eyes are extended with holograms.  [Ishii, Artistic Representation with Holography, Forma, 21, 81–92, 2006]

Self-portrait—Body Wrapped with Fabric, 2000-2002 a series of pulse laser master holograms which were then composed into multi channel transmission holograms, each 100 cm × 80 cm.

The Self-portrait—Body Wrapped with Fabric holograms each comprise of about 20 different images. These images have their own positions in space and distinct field of view. Moving vertically upward or downward, you see a change in the color combination of the hologram. Moving horizontally different images appear and disappear. The fabric creates a space of intersecting planes that take on a dream like quality that extend from the artist.

Artist Biography, Artworks, Exhibitions and Collections

Ishii studied Fine Arts at L’École National Superieur Des Beaux-Arts and was a fellow of MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies.  Her exhibitions and public installation have received critical acclaim. Ishii has created solo exhibitions at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy;  Tsuruoka Art Forum, Yamagata, Japan; California Institute of Art, Los Angeles, USA and Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea. Significant  installations include Encounter II, 1979  at Henry Moore Grand Prize Exhibition at the Hakone Open Air Museum as well as those pictured below.

Setsuko Ishii, Apollonian

Apollonian Gift Series: 30 m × 30m
Parthenon Tama, Tokyo

Setsuko Ishii, Murmur of Aqueus, 1995 Centennial Hall, Tokyo Institute of Technology, holograms
Murmur of Aqueus, 1995 entennial Hall, Tokyo Institute of Technology,

Requiem, 1993 holographic installation, 2 m × 5 m × 4 m, multi-color rainbow hologram

Kamaishi mine, Japan

Light within nature, nature within light. Light is the closest aspect of nature to us, and our existence is linked to the great composition of nature,”

excerpt from interview, published in Japan Times, 2005