Air Routes of Japan (Night & Day)

Langlands and Bell (1955;1959 - )

Diptych: screen process print on glass inside painted, glazed wood boxes


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  • About the work
    Country: Japan
    City: Tokyo
    Place: British Embassy

    This pair of works, or diptych, appears at first glance to be entirely abstract. The two images are, however, representations of air routes across Japan. They resemble the diagrams printed in in-flight magazines, showing domestic and international flight routes. Langlands and Bell have been working in collaboration since the late 1970s and are fascinated by the codes and systems which govern our lives. Night and day, and the twenty-four-hour pace of modern life, are suggested here through the artists' use of white on black and black on white.

  • About the artist
    Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell met as students at Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978 and have worked in collaboration ever since. Their practice is primarily concerned with the relationships between people and the architecture in which we live our lives. They have said ‘we shape our buildings, and thereafter they shape us.’ Langlands and Bell have exhibited widely around the world, including exhibitions in Tokyo at TN Probe (1998) and CCA Kitakyushu (1997 and 2020-21). In the late 1990s, they were part of the group of artists known at the time as the ‘Young British Artists’, and their works featured in the 'Sensation' touring exhibition that opened at the Royal Academy in 1997. In the same year, a major touring exhibition of their work from 1986–1996 featured at the Serpentine Gallery, London, the Grey Art Gallery in New York and the Kunsthalle, Bielefeld. In 2004, the artists’ exhibition, 'The House of Osama Bin Laden' won a BAFTA Award in the category of Interactive Arts Installation. The exhibition was shown at the Imperial War Museum, London and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Since 2008, solo exhibitions of Langlands and Bell’s work include shows in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Kitakyushu and Accra.
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  • Details
    Air Routes of Japan (Night & Day)
    Diptych: screen process print on glass inside painted, glazed wood boxes
    height: 77.00 x 77.00 cm, width: 64.00 x 64.00 cm, depth: 11.00 x 11.00 cm
    Purchased from the artists, July 1999
    left side, verso: AIR ROUTES OF JAPAN (NIGHT) / [DIPTYCH: LEFT HAND PANEL] / Langlands & Bell 1998 / 2/5 right side, verso: AIR ROUTES OF JAPAN (DAY) / [DIPTYCH: RIGHT HAND PANEL] / Langlands & Bell 1998 / 2/5
    GAC number