In February 1963, Jean Tinguely arrived in Tokyo to prepare an exhibition at the Minami Gallery. As was his custom, the artist executed his sculptures on site in Japan, especially for the exhibition, using materials he found there. The parts he uses thus make reference to the host country. Tinguely searched Tokyo’s junkyards for pieces he could use in his sculptures and then put them together at the gallery. “J‘ai fait des Ikebanas stabilisés“, he wrote enthusiastically to his friend Pontus Hulten. He called his new sculptures “Casoar”, “Zing-Zing”, “Honda” and “Suzuki”. After the “Balubas“ and the other wild sculptures of previous years, these machines move in a calmer, more moderate rhythm. Nevertheless, a powerful, violent eruption still seems possible at any moment.
In transforming the Japanese influences he felt into the works he created in Tokyo, Tinguely manifests his role as “Homo Ludens“, playing with and mediating between the different cultures and connecting them with the help of machines and technology. A catalogue was published for the Tokyo show that came with a record album featuring the piece “Tinguely-Sound”, a composition by Japanese avant-garde musician Toshi Ichiyanagi.