In Titian's "Bacchus and Ariadne," the riotous clash of cymbals and blowing of trumpets in the hands of the revelers can almost be heard. In similar ways, artists from at least the Renaissance onward, have attempted to suggest the presence of music in their paintings. By the modern period, many artists had abandoned representational styles altogether and were beginning to consider the language of painting as akin to music, a development that gave us the dynamic and wholly abstract compositions of Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and other pioneers.

Their work was contemporary with research into synesthesia: a neurological condition in which some people have the ability to hear colors or to see sounds. While the phenomenon failed to gain acceptance as a hard science, the links between our different senses, in a more general way, continues to be explored by many artists and musicians.

Works related to this theme have been brought together at "Tokyo Art Meeting (III): Art and Music — Search for New Synesthesia," the current exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. For the exhibition, an essential third element, not reflected in the title but underpinning the exhibition's concept, is the natural world and its processes that inform both our visual and aural senses.