Air Routes of Japan (Night & Day)
Diptych: screen process print on glass inside painted, glazed wood boxes1998
About the work
At first sight, Air Routes of Japan (Night & Day), a diptych by Langlands and Bell, appears to be an abstract composition of dots and swirls. On closer looking, what emerges are images representing a map similar to those printed in in-flight magazines. Showing the domestic and international flight routes taken by an airline, these maps are an aesthetically visual means of conveying practical information. The ‘Night & Day’ referenced in this work is neatly symbolised by the use of white on black and black on white.
Langlands and Bell are concerned with the numerous systems which dictate and affect our lives. An earlier work, Air Routes in NW Europe (Night & Day), is described as ‘an image and effigy of some obscure force, abstract and elusive: an image not only of speed, but of the whole system of control over human travel’. (Serpentine Gallery exhibition catalogue, 1997).
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.
- 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