Bending and shaping light itself to the form of a cloud Tokujin Yoshioka, a Japanese artist, and designer of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch, has engulfed the high-end department store Ginza Six with his grand installation titled “Prismatic Cloud.”

The Prismatic Cloud sits afloat in the center of Ginza Six in its atrium. This manipulation of light was painstakingly created by Yoshioka and his team through the stacking of about 10,000 prism rods. The prism rods are affixed in such a way that, just as a real cloud does, the very form of the art changes depending on the angle one looks upon it from. As such, as one travels deeper into Ginza Six, one’s understanding of this “Prismatic Cloud” shifts and adjusts depending on the angle of the vantage point.

Courtesy of Tokyo 2020

Designer of Japan’s Olympic Torch

Last year Yoshioka’s sakura-themed design was selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic torch. The Saga Prefecture native took inspiration from Japanese culture and nature to create a uniting flame which all, Japanese and others, can rally around. After seeing the hardships befallen upon Japan in the last decade, Yoshioka decided that the single cherry blossom could symbolize the spirit of the Japanese people and their ability to rebuild and stand up time after time.

Just as the Olympic torch, the “Prismatic Cloud” was inspired by the principles of nature. The 10-meter light sculpture is a work of light, but also because of its transparent layers, gives the illusion that the sculpture is as light as a cloud. It’s said that by looking at the cloud from various angles in the atrium space one can see all of the cloud’s forms and shape, and can also perceive the natural energy that flows around the space.

Prismatic Cloud, perspective image

Light Without Form

With installations all around the world produced under the same theme of the magnificent energy of nature, Yoshioka said that this theme allows him to contemplate Japanese nature. In regards to this piece, the “Prismatic Cloud,” Yoshioka was quoted as saying, “It will bring a heart-shaking experience, like a big cloud of sunshine.” A sentiment not lost on those who view the elegant cloud first hand.

The “Prismatic Cloud” installation is on view at Ginza Six through October 29, 2020. Check our event listing for details.