Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid

by deborah on 04/1/2010

Sachiko Kodama explores within her artwork ‘The Art and Science of Ferrofluid’ the pulsating nature of science and amorphous character of time and space based on the shape of magnetic waves…

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photos taken from Kontejner

The Japanese female artist Sachiko Kodama was born in 1970. As a child she spent a lot of time in the southernmost part of Japan. This area is rich in tropical flowers and plants, edged by the sea, and washed with warm rain. Sachiko loved art and literature from an early age, but also had a strong interest in science.

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photo taken from Kontejner

After Graduating Physics course in the Faculty of Science at Hokkaido University, in 1993, Sachiko matriculated in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Tsukuba, studying Plastic Art and Mixed Media. Then she completed Master’s and Doctoral Program in Art and Design at the University of Tsukuba. She studied Computer and Holography Art in her doctoral research.

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photo taken from barrettdesigns.com

In 2000, Sachiko began work on a ferrofluid art project that she named “Protrude, Flow”. The dynamic movement of liquids is the theme of this project. Kodama is currently an associate professor at University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo.

Her work has been exhibited at Ars Electronica Center /Linz, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Wexner Center for the Arts/Columbus, Skirball Cultural Center /Los Angeles, Science Museum/ Tokyo, The National Art Center/Tokyo. (bio taken from kodama)

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photo taken from Kontejner

‘The aim of The Art and Science of Ferrofluid is to create dynamic art forms and figures whose shape, surface structure, and color change dynamically, reflecting the echoes of environmental music, light, and human communication. To create such dynamic forms and surfaces, in 2000 I initiated the interactive art project Protrude, Flow, in which I use ferrofluids.’

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photo taken from Kontejner

‘Ferrofluids appear as black fluid and are made by dissolving nanoscale ferromagnetic particles in a solvent such as water or oil. They remain strongly magnetic even in a fluid condition which makes them more flexible than iron sand.’

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photo taken from patriciafauregallery.com

‘Ferrofluids form spikes along magnetic field lines when the magnetic surface force exceeds the stabilizing effects of the fluid weight and surface tension. In my work, the spikes under the magnetic field produce organic forms. Sensory technology and computers are used to transform the shape of the fluid according to environmental information. This transformation is an important aspect of the work.’

‘An important source of inspiration, when considering the kinetic and potentially interactive art forms, are the organic forms and the geometry and symmetry observed in plants and animals.The breathing rhythm in living things is an excellent metaphor for a texture that dynamically changes according to time. The continuously changing weather conditions of the Earth are also important motifs.’

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Sachiko Kodama: The Art and Science of Ferrofluid
Photo taken from patriciafauregallery.com

‘The motifs for the work Morpho Towers: Two standing spirals, were ocean, tornadoes, and lightning, in which a black tornado elegantly dances in sync with music. The Japanese concept of mitate, relating to mimicking natural phenomena, is a useful method in trying to understand the occurrence of natural shapes.’

‘It permits the comparison of ferrofluid forms to creatures such as sea urchins and jelly fish or to a tornado. The result is a high-tech version of the Japanese “Hakoniwa,” boxes containing small models of objects and landscapes taken from real life.’ (Text taken from Device_art 3.009 catalogue, curated by Kontejner)