Heartbeat Drawing


Artist: Sasaki, Japan  
Museum: Venice Biennale, Italy   

Japanese artist Sasaki has devoted himself to an ongoing art and performance project, documenting the most elementary proof of life – our heartbeats. Having taken up residence at countless art museums throughout Japan, this single-minded creator hooks his subjects up to a pulse monitor in order to create portraits of the waves of the beating, pumping living heart. The more subjects he has, the deeper and more layered the portraits become, as the vivid red ink (representing life”™s blood) overlap in waves and waves of a visual depiction of the metronome of life.

The purpose of Sasaki’s work is powerful and pure; to demonstrate and remind us how people are connected through the commonality of blood and a beating heart. By capturing this rhythm in real time and inscribing its presence, Sasaki gives definition to the intangible and captures the elusive.

Sasaki uses a special process to make every Heartbeat Drawing. Firstly, a pulse monitor is attached to the finger of the participant, and the measured signal is outputted as real time audio through a set of speakers. Immediately, the sound and rhythm of your own beating heart starts echoing throughout the space. What was once virtually silent and private is now public and shared.

In response to this amplified rhythm, Sasaki draws the image of heartbeat waves for a period of three minutes. Clad in a silver suit and wielding an airbrush loaded with red ink, he draws the pulsing of the heart as he hears it, rendering it as a continuous trail of waves, pulses and peaks on sheets of white PVC.
With this wholly unique opportunity, participants experience the sound and rhythm of their own heartbeat while watching it brought to life visually by being rendered as a Heartbeat Drawing by Sasaki.

Technical info: PVC Sheet
Picture credits: Sasaki