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NOBORU TSUBAKI'S BEFORE FLOWER at ROPPONGI ART NIGHT TOKYO 2010

From sunset on Saturday March 27th till sunrise the next day Tokyo's Roppongi neighbourhood metamorphosed into a public gallery populated with sublime art where monsters and peculiar creatures mingled with spring-fevered Tokyoites for a single night.

Artist and professor in the space design department of Kyoto University of Art and Design, Noboru Tsubaki's forty-foot high gymnospermous "Before Flower" dominated the show. Rear projections on the eye are controlled by TouchDesigner, changing colors and patterns based on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by visitors as sensed by detectors on the sculpture’s eye.

Other inflatables represent oxygen, carbon dioxide and spores. So what you're looking at or rather what's looking right at you is a looming one-eyed plastic monster reading your CO2 emissions right on the spot.

During the past seven years much of Noburo's work which is notorious for being large in scale, fantastical in nature and focused on social issues has incorporated TouchDesigner (Cochineal, Gold/White/Black) for aspects of its formation.

This new artwork refers to the gymnosperm family of plants which include conifers and Gingko trees and are plants that sprout "naked" seeds; they do not flower yet deliver vast quantities of oxygen to the surface of the earth. Before Flower is Noburo's expression of thanks to gymnosperms for their importance in maintaining the diversity of our planet's ecosystem.

Roppongi Art Night which coincided with Earth Hour this year posited on environmental protection and how nature can work with people to save the planet.