In the Summer of 2014 we discovered the inspirational work of Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto and his Kyouei Design when he released his elegant ‘Square Wind Bell‘. This year Okamoto has returned with another remarkable project named ‘Re-rain’, which was presented to the world at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. In his inspirational project the designer created a sound installation through which he aims to express non-visible elements such as gravity, magnetic force, and sound as physical elements. Created with the sound of rain recorded in Japan during the early days of 2016 as its soundtrack, ‘Re-rain’ is constructed out of a set of umbrellas placed on top of speakers. The vibrations of the sounds out of the speakers are transmitted through the umbrella to make a sound, but an umbrella cannot vibrate if the magnetic force of the speaker is too small or if the rain hitting the umbrella is either too high or too low in pitch. For this reason a device picking out a state in which the magnetic force of the speaker, weight of the umbrella, and pitch extent of sound are all in a perfectly balanced state forming this beautiful installation.
Natural phenomena such as rain travel through an object and are emitted as sound to the air – through this Okamoto aimed to express that everything is connected through a cycle.
Kouichi Okamoto, working under the name bekkou at that time, started as a musician by releasing the sound source work ‘hi light’ on Dutch techno label X-trax in 1997 and has since worked for his music with Dutch and English music labels. From 2004 he became enamored with design, somewhat in line with the ‘Dutch school’ and established Kyouei Design in 2006.
Kyouei Design products are now available in over 30 countries at design shops, stores and museums. He has participated in Israel’s Holon Museum opening exhibition ‘The State of Things’ in 2010 and his product ‘glass tank’ was included in the permanent collection at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2011. A designer whose work ranges from art, music and design, he was also selected as one of 100 artists for Contemporary Culture ‘NOVA’ in São Paulo in 2010, and again in Rio de Janeiro in 2011. In 2014 het presented his elegantly understated design of the ‘Square Wind Bell‘, which received praise from all over the world.
For more information and work by Kyouei Design see here