2011.7.15(Fri) - 9.22(Thu)
Japan Media Arts Festival Executive Committee
KONDO Seiichi（Commissioner for Cultural Affairs）
HAMANO Yasuki（Professor, The University of Tokyo Graduate School）
HAYASHIDA Hideki（Director, The National Art Center, Tokyo）
TATEHATA Akira（President, Kyoto City University of Arts）
2012.2.22(Wed) - 3.4(Sun)
The National Art Center, Tokyo
TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills
Café, 1F, Mercedes-Benz Connection
ANA InterContinental Tokyo
TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills
Nico Nico Douga
We anticipated that the impact of the March 11 disaster and ensuing nuclear power plant accident might lead to a dramatic reduction in overseas submissions, and that entries might be slanted toward related themes, but such fears proved groundless in both cases. We received 2,714 submissions, exceeding the 2,645 from last year, including entries from 57 foreign countries and regions, an increase over the 48 of last year. Not just the number of entries but their quality, too, showed a marked increase. In the end, with less unevenness in quality, jurors found the task of choosing among rival works only that much more difficult.
It is worth noting that for the first time in the festival's 15 editions works from overseas—and not one but two—were chosen to receive the Excellence Award in the Manga Division.Works that transcend categories are a staple of the Japan Media Arts Festival, and there seems to be a tendency toward more of such works. This is particularly so with animation works, and in every division I heard discussion of how certain works might have fared better had they been entered in a different division. Jury members have worked hard to ensure an impartial evaluation while emphasizing creator independence, but the steady increase in entries now brings a yearly call for a jury system better in keeping with the festival's scope.
The introduction of the New Face Award this year strengthened the festival's role in cultivating talent, but also prompted calls to increase the number of Special Achievement Awards. It must be noted that because this award is the only one to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of media arts, including non-artist experts, there was strong sentiment among jury members to confer one such award for each division rather than one across all divisions.
President, Kyoto City University of Arts
This year marks the 15th edition of the Japan Media Arts Festival, now firmly established as Japan's most important media arts event and steadily gaining international recognition. The Japan Media Arts Festival is certainly distinguished by its unparalleled breadth, covering works ranging from interactive art to manga.
This year's festival drew the greatest number of submissions yet. That these included entries from 57 foreign countries and regions was also a pleasant surprise. The door is open to a diverse range of entrants from seasoned pros to newcomers and we take pride in the high quality of the selected works, which make the festival an event of such originality and substance.
What was particularly striking about this year's competition was the shift away from the conventional media arts tendency to emphasize technical novelty and toward more profound works with a sense of expressive uniqueness, depth of message, and strangely poetic allure. Although tackling technological challenges remains an important part of the competition, it also seems clear that 15 years has brought a level of maturity to the field of media arts.
Another notable trend in this year’s exhibition is the marriage of ideas that transcend geographic territory (and even cosmic) through instantaneous information transmission—a hallmark of digital media—with an interest in the complex issues facing the immediate environment. We hope visitors to the exhibit will find much to enjoy in these deeper examples of the evolution of Media Arts.