Bass beats suddenly stream from Dwell on Design’s speakers. It’s not an African drum, but a public broadcast of someone’s heartbeat. Alongside the beat, Sasaki, the silver space suited artist with a sharp haircut approaches a wall, airbrush in hand, and proceeds to paint the wall in rhythmic concurrence.
The sight and sound together is arresting. As the clock ticks on, one can easily see the crowd accumulate. As the minute draws to a close, everyone also collectively shakes himself loose from the heartbeat’s spell.
Sasaki is a Japanese artist who has been drawing people’s heartbeats for over 16 years. He was first inspired by the overwhelming activity on the streets of busy Shanghai. “In Shanghai, there are probably 20 million people living and working. While in the middle of the street, I felt their heartbeat. I thought ‘Everything starts from a heartbeat. That’s when I started to draw it.’”
Sasaki is at Dwell on Design on behalf of Architecture for Humanity. For a $10 donation, Sasaki will draw a heartbeat for one minute within the elegantly shaped hexagon. Every donation will go toward the Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Fund.
As of this writing, over fifty heartbeats were represented on Sasaki’s canvas. One of those was Nicole Canta’s. After participating in the communal art project, she says her perspective has subtly shifted. “You start looking around thinking, ‘Wow, these are all different souls put up there.’”
Sasaki will continue his live performances through today at Dwell on Design.