12th Art Division Critiques
This year is a truly epoch-making year for the Art Division of 2008 [12th] Japan Media Arts Festival as it attracted over 1,000 entries, accounting for approximately half the entire number of applications to this festival. It is also significant that among them were nearly 400 entries from overseas counties. This could be proof that the Art Division must be attracting interest not only from Japan but also from other countries. This year, I noticed there was a difference in the conceptual vectors of the works between entries from Japan and those from overseas. In the first place, the origin of the art works lies in the artist's awareness of his or her personal problems. But the direction of the vectors decides the style of the work, and when it finished, it is either inner-directed (personal) or outer-directed (socially conscious). The vast majority of works from overseas questioned their relationship with society. We cannot determine which vector is correct based on one viewpoint. However, when I consider that many of the foreign entries have won awards at prestigious international festivals that invite public participation, I strongly feel that the screening criteria of this Media Arts Festival are being brought into question from a global perspective.