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Split Rock and Enso

teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

Split Rock and Enso

teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

This artwork makes use of a large rock (2.4m in height, 4.7m in width) that has been split by a maple tree growing from it. The light that draws the calligraphy is black, meaning there is no light, thus making it indistinguishable from the shadows of the maple breaking the rock. The calligraphy and the shadows become one, drawing the Enso.


Enso is the Zen practice of drawing a circle with a single brush stroke. This artwork depicts an enso drawn as Spatial Calligraphy. The brush stroke is suspended in space but the viewpoint changes to reveal the circle enso. 

In Zen, enso is a circle that has since ancient times been written with canes or sticks in midair. It is said to represent enlightenment, truth, the entirety of the universe, and equality. The circle also reflects the hearts and minds of those who view it, with its interpretation left to the individual. 


Spatial Calligraphy is calligraphy drawn in space, a form of calligraphy that teamLab has been exploring since it was founded. The artwork reconstructs calligraphy in three dimensional space to express the depth, speed and power of the brush stroke, and that calligraphy is then flattened using the logical structure teamLab calls Ultrasubjective Space. The calligraphy shifts between two and three dimensions.