diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye

designboom explores osaka art & design 2024


The second edition of Osaka Art & Design is in full swing, transforming the bustling city into a vast showcase spanning nearly 50 public art venues. Under the theme Expanding Resonance, the festival fosters interaction and collaboration among creatives from Japan and around the world. It celebrates open expressions of beliefs, liberation from constraints, and a spirit of solidarity. During our visit to the vibrant event, designboom delved into various locations and the creative worlds they reveal, from Maki Takato’s inflatable Hopeful Monsters, and a colossal tree installation on the ceiling of a Umeda concourse to the dynamic neon light exhibition in the living room of the W Osaka hotel. Read more below to discover the projects that caught our eye.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
Hopeful Monsters by Maki Takato | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



Ray Kudo presents ‘VAPID’ at W Osaka


Emerging artist Ray Kudo (find more here) presents his exhibition, VAPID, in the living room of the W Osaka luxury hotel (find more here). This exhibition features a series of neon light installations centered around the color black. The inspiration for VAPID comes from stories about Osaka merchants during the Edo period (1603-1867), when luxury was banned, and clothing was strictly regulated. These fashion-savvy merchants would line their kimonos with rich, sumptuous designs and prints, and Kudo captures their playful spirit in his vibrant neon artworks.


W Osaka is designed by Tadao Ando with the concept of an adult playground. The building’s minimalist black exterior contrasts with its opulent, colorful interior, which is filled with artistic designs and decorations inspired by Japanese culture and the four seasons.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
VAPID by Ray Kudo at W Osaka | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



Inflatable hopeful monsters by Maki Takato


Visual artist Maki Takato (find more here) has created a series of intriguing inflatable objects, including a colossal gold face inspired by the artist herself and a pink and red insect hybrid monster, which are currently on display at Nankai Namba Station in Osaka. The Air Sculpture Series features fabric balloons that change shape with the air, animated by internal sensors that respond to their environment, bringing these monsters to life. This dynamic installation encourages viewers to become aware of their own physicality and engage in self-reflection.


The installation delves into the boundaries between human and non-human, nature and technology, and physical and non-physical entities from a mythological and ethnological viewpoint. The central piece, Hopeful Monster, explores the question: ‘What forms might life take when infused into the dissonance within everyday scenes?’ Historically, the Japanese personified emotions like discomfort and fear, along with inexplicable phenomena, into Yokai—pop culture characters—sharing them within their communities to foster empathy. Takato’s work updates the theme of Yokai for the modern era, depicting the myth of a woman transforming into a new life form with designs reminiscent of spiders and ants.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
Hopeful Monsters by Maki Takato | image © designboom



immersive textile installation ‘Nuno Nuno’ by we+


The immersive installation Nuno Nuno at the Takashimaya Osaka Store showcases the expressive textiles of the Sudo-led company NUNO (find more here). Designed by Reiko Sudo, renowned for her innovative textile creations, and the contemporary design studio we+ (find more here), this installation fills the space with textile cubes of different patterns, textures and hues. The exhibition highlights four key production areas in NUNO’s collections—Kurume, Tsuruoka, Kyoto, and Kiryu—expressing the dynamic energy of modern Osaka. Featuring textiles related to light, such as ‘kira kira’ (sparkling) and ‘suke suke’ (translucent), the installation reflects the city’s vibrant future.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
the Nuno Nuno installation at the Takashimaya Osaka Store | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



the final chapter of Kota Mochizuki’s Green Seed installation


GREEN SEED is a large, time-limited greenery installation exhibited on the ceiling of a concourse in Umeda, a bustling area in Osaka. The concept envisions a lush world emerging in the middle of a big city in early summer, with a wide variety of plants thriving together. These vibrant plants symbolize human-nature coexistence and hope for the future. Since its inception in 2022, this annual early-summer project has captivated passers-by. In its third year, the Final Chapter, the Seed will grow into a Big Tree, marking the project’s culmination.


Covering the entire ceiling of the 9-meter-tall and 16.5-meter-wide concourse, this year’s installation features the roots of a large tree. The roots, holding the soil, represent the embrace of people’s dreams and hopes. The Final Chapter of this installation is supervised by Kota Mochizuki (find more here), a flower artist who focuses on eco-friendly approaches, with the 2024 installation including artificial flowers made from recycled plastic bottles.


the Final Chapter of the GREEN SEED installation by Kota Mochizuki | image © designboom

sprawling flower art takes over Osaka Station


In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Osaka Station (find more here), a vibrant floral installation by Creative Quartet takes over the space. The plaza is adorned with striking pop art and unprecedented lawns, with flowers spreading across a green canvas. At night, when the lights are dimmed, a dazzling prism of light illuminates the canvas, spilling out vivid colors in a floral art presentation that changes dynamically over time.


Additionally, the station features a vibrant art piece by young artist Chihiro Yagyu (find more here). This artwork depicts a thriving microcosm inhabited by various tiny organisms such as water fleas, rotifers, green algae, and volvox. Yagyu’s colorful fictional realm showcases intricate and colorful creatures reminiscent of geometric patterns, creating a paradisiacal scene.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
flowers spread across a green canvas at the Osaka Station | image © designboom



Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves at Espace Louis Vuitton Osaka


The Espace Louis Vuitton Osaka (find more here) is hosting an exhibition dedicated to filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien (find more here) as part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s Hors-les-Murs program. This exhibition features Julien’s installation, Ten Thousand Waves (2010), from the Collection. The impressive video installation, which pays tribute to Chinese culture through a polyphony of actors, places, and periods, is presented on nine screens and lasts about 50 minutes.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
installation view at Espace Louis Vuitton (2024) courtesy of the artist and Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris | image © Jérémie Souteyrat / Louis Vuitton



Material Echo exhibition by graf


The MATERIAL ECHO exhibition by Osaka-based creative group graf (find more here) explores innovative approaches to materials and their environments, rethinking the conventional manufacturing process where materials are chosen primarily for function and design. Held at the graf porch alternative gallery, this exhibition emphasizes the importance of design beginning with the material itself. The team showcases furniture made from natural materials and the processes involved in creating these pieces, highlighting the significance of material-focused design.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
MATERIAL ECHO exhibition by graf | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



Maki Harigane combines wire art and manga


At Espace de SONDE (find more here), artist Maki Harigane (find more here) presents his three-dimensional works blending wire art and manga. The interplay between wire’s three-dimensional nature, often perceived as flat, and manga’s two-dimensional form, often perceived as three-dimensional, enables an expression that blurs the boundaries between wire and cartoon, two dimensions and three. 


Wire Anime by Maki Harigane | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



The Daimaru Umeda Store (find more here) presents an exhibition and sale of collaborative works by graphic artist Nick Walker (find more here) and street artist She One(find more here). The sale will be held via a bidding system.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
artwork by Nick Walker and She One | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



NONOTAK Unveils Immersive Exhibition at ESC GARAGE & CLUB


Paris-based artistic duo NONOTAK (find more here) presents their solo exhibition SIGNALS TYPE: ESC NONOTAK at ESC GARAGE & CLUB (find more here). The show creates immersive, dream-like environments where each element synchronizes to transcend traditional media art. This exhibition features the fusion of dynamic Kinect expressions and ambient sound, offering a simple yet powerful experience that redefines the boundaries of media art.

diving into osaka art & design 2024: installations and shows that caught our eye
SIGNALS TYPE: ESC NONOTAK | image courtesy of Osaka Art & Design



project info: 


name: Osaka Art & Design 2024: Resonance—Expanding the Echo
location: Umeda, Dojima, Nakanoshima, Tenma, Kyomachibori, Minami-Senba, Shinsaibashi, Namba, and other locations within Osaka City
dates: May 29 – June 25 2024

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