Enso / Mugenso

teamLab, 2016, Digital Work, Endless

Enso / Mugenso

teamLab, 2016, Digital Work, Endless

This artwork adopts the motif of ensō from Zen calligraphy, circles and infinity symbols are eternally written over and over in "Spatial Calligraphy." teamLab has been working on Spatial Calligraphy since the collective formed. Spatial Calligraphy is a new interpretation of traditional calligraphy; it reconstructs Japanese calligraphy in three-dimensional space and expresses the depth, speed and power of the brush stroke. For this work, circles and infinity symbols are drawn and twisted 180 degrees like a Mobius strip, with no distinction between the front and back faces. In Zen, ensō 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. One explanation for the origin of the infinity symbol is the ancient ouroboros: a symbol consisting of a single snake or dragon curled in a ring consuming itself, or of two creatures consuming each other. It has many meanings: perfection, permanence, cycles, genesis, eternity etc. For human beings that understand the world as being finite, it is difficult to fully comprehend the concept of infinity. In a single moment, a new piece of calligraphy is written, then vanishes. It is not a playback of prerecorded images; new calligraphy is continuously being created, without duplicating previous works. The same calligraphy that is viewable one moment can never be seen again.