Mika Aoki’s Singing Glass

“fluctuation of life” 2010 (photos by kozaburo sakamoto) |click to enlarge

Japanese artist Mika Aoki creates exquisite glass sculptures inspired by her fascination with the visible and invisible qualities of the medium. What at first appears to be high-speed macro photographs of water droplets, turn out to be physical stationary sculptures carefully crafted from glass (and occasionally plastic). Aoki often derives her inspiration from the forms found in microscopic life such as spores, fungi, viruses or even sperm. With a masterful command of light and glass, Aoki depicts these propagating life forms in a haunting yet beautiful fashion, which she calls “singing glass.”

Here are some pieces from a 2009 solo exhibition Aoki did at Gallery Art Morimoto:

(photos by kozaburo sakamoto) | click to enlarge

Mika Aoki was born in Hokkaido but is currently working in the Marunuma Art Park (Tochigi, Japan). Most recently she showed at Art Fair Tokyo and the Biwako Biennial but I was surprised to learn she has never show abroad.

Here’s Mika, talking about her work

In some cases, we cannot see if window glass is there or not. Unless light shines on it, we can’t confirm the existence of it because it is transparent. But once the light shines on it, glass truly emanates a special presence. Although it is solid and hard, it is quite easy to be broken. It connotes conflicting qualities: solidity and fragility.

The interaction of light with this material reveals certain aspects of substance. We humans, with our limited imaginations and powers of recognition, call these aspects
“form” and ”color.”

And here are some shots of “her songs are floating,” an installation she did in 2008 at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, in which a rust-eaten old car is getting over-taken by spores of fungi.

Finally, here is an intriguing series she did in 2009. Titled simply “Bottle,” it depicts a liquid that appears to be spewing from a glass bottle.

photos by yusuke sato

source: machi-naka art project


  1. Those images are absolutely beautiful.

  2. Very fascinating! Thank you for sharing the great find with us! 🙂

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