21_21 DESIGN SIGHT: “traNslatioNs – Understanding Misunderstanding”

Oct 16, 2020 at 12:00am ~ Jun 13, 2021 at 11:59pm

The word “translation” conjures up the idea of conversion between one language and another, with assorted acts of communication involved in those process. Since ancient times past, translation has been part of daily life as people seek contact with other cultures, and try to understand them. A remarkable evolution has recently come about with translation software, now routine in deployed to enable use to connect each other, “whenever and wherever,” beyond all linguistic boundaries. Modes of communication have changed so much that what was once in an unknown world is now familiar.

However, communication using “translation” is not restricted to languages. There are translations where visual or auditory sensations, or bodily expressions, play the role of bridge to transmit and receive communication. The diverse interpretations, conversion and expressions that are generated by all these processes can be said to have much in common with art and design. This exhibition is based on Dominique Chen’s idea that “translations is designing communication.” We define translation as “the trial processes linking mutually non-comprehending parties from different backgrounds” and use this to explore the possibilities of translation from multiple perspectives.

The venue includes experiential exhibits employing AI-based automatic translation and video work by creole speakers with multiple native languages. There are also instances finding translations by through the body expression, such as sign languages or gestures and communication between humans and other species, even with microorganisms. All the works enquire into the possibility of translation. We hope that through the notion of translation, this exhibition encourages visitors to realize the joy of finding emotions and cultures in “others,” and of discovering a world beyond.

Reservation required
Closed Tuesdays
Admission Fee:
General ¥1,200
University Student ¥800
High School Student ¥500
Junior High School students and under can enter for free



Start: Oct 16th 2020 at 12:00am

End: Jun 13th 2021 at 11:59pm