8th Art Division Critiques

Trend Setting: new expressions based on object and phenomena in the world

In this second year since the establishment of the Art Division, we again received more than 800 entries. Because works from abroad were concentrated in the art division, I strongly feel that the Japan Media Arts Festival plays an important role in the global expansion of media art. The overall quality of the works submitted was high, many of which had previously received prestigious recognition at major international contests. Young artists or students' works with innovative ideas and expressions also drew our attention. In the screening process, we evaluated the originality and perfection level of each of the submitted works, regardless of the artist' s reputation or exhibition history. At the same time, we placed a special focus on examining how the individual work provides a completely new dimension or experience to viewers by utilizing characteristic features of the media, and opens up new horizons for media art. It was an extremely difficult task to select the six prizes out of all competent works. After many hours of discussion by all adjudicators, I think we came up with the best selection, suitably representing the year' s most fruitful results in this field. Meanwhile, the recommended works by adjudicators also attained a level as competent as that of award-winning works. We hope that the viewers will take a close look at these works as well, in order to feel the diversity and global sense of media art. As for the trend this year, new ways of expression based on objects and phenomena in the real world came to our attention. Some adjudicators referred to this as "the return of reality" ; however, this trend actually symbolizes a higher integration between imaginative/virtual expression and the tangible world. Through the use of digital technology media, a new aspect or dimension has been added to the depth of our perception of reality or phenomena that we had previously overlooked or taken for granted. However, no matter how rapidly digital, visual and Internet technologies advance, people still exist in the real, physical world and depend on social relationship. We reconfirm this profound meaning through these artists' expression of unique ideas and rich imagination.