Japanese-born, Harlem-based visual artist Tomo Mori has turned the Miller Theatre lobby into an immersive landscape, surrounding viewers with a waterfall of designs and digital images. Her site-specific work, Concerto Encircling, on view for the 2016-17 season, uses a cut-and-paint mosaic process. The artist has covered deep blue walls with transparent vinyl pieces and daubed paint-saturated sponges into designs to continue the colorful imagery across the lobby’s glass doors. Mori has created another work, Sakura Sanctuary, on the lobby’s southern wall, evoking the falling petals of cherry blossom trees.
This installation marks the fourth annual collaboration between Columbia’s Wallach Art Gallery and the Miller. “The transformation of our lobby has been a highlight of the last three seasons, as we—in partnership with the Wallach—have commissioned visual artists to use the lobby walls as their canvas,” said Melissa Smey, executive director of Miller.
Mori describes Concerto Encircling as a “journey through memory in time. It comes full circle and goes round and round. Aggregates of small bits of color create oblique, flowing forms similar to those found in nature, like waterfalls and trees, which are then filtered and disseminated through digital media.” Wallach Director and Chief Curator Deborah Cullen notes that “This is a moment to celebrate Mori’s unique work. Her labor-intensive, mosaic-like process reminds us of the designs that exist in both nature’s honeycombs as well as the digital realm.”
Mori’s work has been exhibited around the world. She has a forthcoming 2017 public art work, The Wheels on the Bus, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, at the Manhattanville Bus Depot on West 132nd Street, near Columbia’s new campus.