Exhibitions and Events

LIXIL's Cultural Acvtivities


Tokyo:August 8 (Sat) ~ September 30 (Wed), 2020

LIXIL Gallery is happy to present the special exhibition "CONNECT/DISCONNECT | Asao TOKOLO × noiz."

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread on a global scale, it demands that we make significant changes in the way we relate to one another and to objects in public spaces. In response to current circumstances, LIXIL Gallery presents a virtual exhibition that can be enjoyed online by any number of viewers without spatial or temporal constraints.
Designer Asao Tokolo, who utilizes geometric principles to create his beautiful patterns, has teamed up with the architectural design studio noiz, known for its exploration of new design frontiers through "computational design," to fill viewers' screens with an exquisite and exciting virtual world made possible by digital technology.
Further augmenting one's viewing pleasure is the music that resonates with the motion of Tokolo's kaleidoscopic patterns as they entwine, expand and explode in endlessly fascinating variations. This is an audio-visual experience that no one should miss.

Click here for a short movie.

Hunting for Patterns
Keisuke Toyoda (architect, noiz)

The shift from physical to virtual reality is accelerating. Work is increasingly conducted remotely, with meetings via Zoom. Lectures, talk events, concerts, even exhibitions are subject to the same inexorable drift toward virtuality. Granted, the trend is not a voluntary choice, but a response to the circumstances thrust upon us by COVID-19. However, one could also view it as a divine kick in the pants. As digital technology slowly but surely expands the possibilities for transferring or replicating values and experiences in ways that transcend the bounds of the body and physicality, the gods seem to be prodding our society, so fearful of change, to hurry up and jump to the new paradigm.

That said, change that is too abrupt gives us pause. We are accustomed to swimming in a thick soup of all-consuming, multidimensional information--tangibly experiencing, via our five senses and more, the texture, luster, weight and smell of the people we meet, the objects we hold, the places we stand on a daily basis. Suddenly, all that has been replaced by the thin clear broth of information that arrives via our computer screens. Unfortunately for us, information technology as it stands today is not capable of faithfully reproducing the multilayered texture and structure of the overwhelming volume of information generated by reality as we have known it.

The works of Asao Tokolo are, essentially, information. His materials consist of geometric relationships and clearly defined rules according to which he assembles information in unique, magical, surprising combinations. These he extracts at will from the infinite possibilities available, relying on his remarkable nose for the hunt. As an analysis of his work quickly reveals, even the simplest geometric rules generate an astronomical number of permutations, part of a vast order whose diversity defies comprehension by our feeble human brains. As an artist, Tokolo has the ability to hunt through that infinite cosmos and pinpoint combinations of elements and rules so simple that even we lesser mortals can grasp them, yet so richly variegated as to boggle the imagination. (For a discussion of this hunting instinct of his, please refer to my essay in the companion volume to this exhibition, Rhombus Connect.) Complex worlds have a tendency to be tedious, obscuring the subtleties and tensions of the rules that generate them, but the singularity-like combinations Tokolo extracts for his works harbor an unexpected life-force that dances on the edge of chaos. The background tiling patterns of his Harmonized Chequered Patterns, now famous as logos for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, are a rare example of success in rendering that potential visible. In short, his Harmonized Chequered Patterns dance.

One might say that Tokolo's work is, in essence, a dynamic world. His panels and tiles writhe and squirm as they seek a new balance. If the hunt for possibilities begins with only sixty tiles, say, we can still sense the infinitude of the universe there. It's a visualization of the language of mathematics, a manifestation of the life-force--or, ultimately, a primeval soup incubating a plasm of thought and intention. The concern with texture and quality that goes into Tokolo's work is of course critical to its appeal as a physical medium of expression. Yet even the most static of his creations have a quality that lends them to interactive digital representation, particularly in immersive environments. Precisely because his works are art, however, they cannot be confined to the either-or dichotomy of physical vs. digital. Once digitized they slip from the restraints of information, triggering raw sensations that make us want to capture their motion in tiles we can touch, so we can feel their heft and hear the sound of them colliding. Inevitably, his works constitute an interactive blend of the material and the informational.

For this exhibition, noiz has intentionally broken the rules for generating the perfect Harmonized Chequered Patterns used in the Olympic and Paralympic logos. Through a dynamic process of autonomously "hunting" for complete states via incomplete states, we give visual form to an immersive space of tiling groups whose individual elements warp, detach, and vibrate. Their rules are simple, yet their behavior is remarkably organic--in one instant evoking primordial organisms, in another resembling Conway's Game of Life, in which ruptures in the system send signals into infinity--the variations are beyond all expectation. By displaying the "struggles" of Tokolo's patterns in their incomplete state and adding to them the nuances of synchronized sound and motion, we have tried to impart at least a bit of the experience of limitless possibility to be found in the interstices between completion and incompletion, between the physical and the digital.

Date 8 August - 30 September, 2020
Pattern Design Asao TOKOLO
Direction: noiz
Visual Program Ryo SHIRAKI
Music Marihiko HARA
Web / UI Kousei IKEDA
Planning and production LIXIL Corporation



Asao Tokolo was born in Tokyo in 1969, and became interested in architecture as a child. After graduating from university he studied under artist and architect Shin Egashira. Since September 11, 2001 he has focused on the theme of "connecting," notably in the creation of patterns and other works at the intersection of art, architecture and design. Applying simple geometric principles, he designs patterns and logos that are reproducible with a compass and ruler, as well as 3D works based on the same approach. His works include the HARMONIZED CHEQUERED PATTERNS selected as emblems for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics; TOWER OF CONNECT, an outdoor sculpture for the Otemachi Park Building in downtown Tokyo; and the PPP TOKOLO PATTERN MAGNET series.


noiz was established in Tokyo as a partnership between Keisuke Toyoda and Jia-Shuan Tsai in 2007. Added Sakai Kosuke as a partner from 2016.Actively utilize computational methods and work internationally in a wide range of genres such as architectural design, interior and installation.We are actively developing education, research and consulting activities on design, fabrication and system implementation of the latest digital technology.