Heroes at Borders

An Exhibition by Taiji Terasaki

Mad Systems are proud to have been involved with Taiji’s exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum – thank you Taiji, for a great project!

“Transcendients” combines two words, “transcend” and “transient,” to speak to the immigrant experience—one marked by uncertainty and vulnerability, yet also hope and transcendence.

Transcendients: Heroes at Borders is a contemporary art exhibition by Taiji Terasaki, in collaboration with the Japanese American National Museum, that honors individuals who advocate and fight for those who face discrimination, prejudice, and inequality at borders both real and imagined. Through video projections on mist, photographic weavings, and audience participation, visitors to this multimedia exhibition are invited to learn about, reflect on, and celebrate heroes in Los Angeles, across the nation, and within their own lives.

The heroes featured in the exhibition—some well-known but most unsung—were identified through extensive outreach to communities and neighborhoods throughout L.A. and beyond.

Mad created the highly customized container exhibit, and the ‘mist theater’ inside the museum. Both are very specialized exhibits that feature 8′ wide fog screens onto which images are projected, making for unusual, ethereal and beautiful story telling.

The container comprised a 40′ double-door, double-sided shipping container, that had to meet rigid specifications to maintain it’s sea shipping certification. Mad worked with a container/shipping inspector to ensure that the result of the necessary modifications would still be acceptable to ship, as that was part of the client’s requirements. A design was done that includes retractable ‘pods’ that comprise air and light locks so that the fog screen would see minimal disturbance even if conditions are not wind still.

The Mist Theater inside the museum was designed and built in such a way as to not increase the humidity inside of the museum, as the air conditioning system covering the gallery where the exhibit is installed also supplies (and shares) air with other parts of the museum including its archive.

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