Artist brings Tokyo’s subway system to life

Arts - September 26th, 2013

Tokyoites ride the subway system every day, and the way we take it for granted, it’s almost like a part of our bodies.

Artist Takatsugu Kuriyama has taken this idea, portraying Tokyo’s as a living, breathing metropolis with a colorful 3D map of the country’s subway system coursing through its pulsating heart.

In his art installation, Kuriyama captures various lines of the subway system as Tokyo’s arteries, pumping blood in and out of its heart and keeping it alive.

Kuriyama used little tubes entangled much like the subway’s complex tunnel network. Multi-colored water pulsates throughout 18 arteries, recreating what goes on below the streets of Tokyo.

“A city is a creature. The blood courses through and activates the body. A subway network is exactly the arteria that enables us to crisscross a city. Despite its significance on our daily life, we actually don’t face the fact,” Kuriyama, a Tokyo University graduate student, said of his work.

“With Tokyo Arteria we face the vivid, beautiful, and even mysterious ‘socially organized artifact’ that is nothing but our daily lives.”

Even though the model looks nothing like the maze-like subway itself with its wires and tubes, as a discussion on Spoon & Tamago explains, it’s hard to see this installation and not feel a little closer to this city’s pulse.

You can see two videos of the installation below.