Award-winning Works
Art Division

Grand Prize

Excellence Award

Jury Selections


  • MIYAJIMA Tatsuo
    Vice President, Tohoku University of Art & Design
    [Critique by work category] Web
    We could find hardly any impressive works among this year's entries to the Web Genre, and consequently, no web work received an Excellence Prize. One obvious constraint of this genre is that viewers have to see works in an Internet environment, plus the nature of this medium requires them to be viewed on a display. In comparison with other genres, it is therefore difficult to fully stimulate the five senses. Furthermore, since web works consist of programs and Computer Graphics, they have a tendency to be small-scale. In my opinion, this is the main reason why web works lack dynamism. Among the nominated Web works in this Festival, BODY IN BITS AND PIECES by Carolien HERMANS made me feel like flesh and blood, but it would be improved if it had moving images and an interactive approach. (the tender indifference) by Jorn EBNER makes full use of pop-up technology, which is fun, but the timing and sound of the pop-ups that appear should have a sense of speed, and regrettably, the critique expressed by the photographic content is weak. In any case, I feel we have reached a point where we should consider the nature of the Web Genre in the Art Division.
  • SATOH Taku
    Graphic Designer
    [Critique by work category] Still Image
    In general, the Still Image works contained a diverse array of presentations and directions, and in this respect, they were impressive. However, apart from OUTSIDE, I did not encounter a work satirizing modern society, or carrying a strong social message. In that respect, it is no exaggeration to say that for me personally, OUTSIDE was the only piece of work that could be described as excellent. Why don't artists pay a little more attention to how amusing presentations or experiments are linked to modern society? If one's aim is merely to do something amusing, this will result in the work being weak. In this chaotic modern society, where nothing can be defined clearly, I would like artists to open up my eyes with some sharp dimensions. If the power of art cannot achieve this, what else can? It is no surprise that artists can produce skillful work if they use modern technology. The question, therefore, is whether they are aware of social issues before they tackle the work. The right direction would be to go toward the areas the artists are most aware of. Anyone without a strong awareness of social issues will never be able to create a work with a strong message. That is to say, in art, the question is how far you are able to drive yourself, which means a work will reveal the way of life of the artists themselves, and artists can never escape this.
  • HARADA Daisaburo
    Professor, Tama Art University
    [Critique by work category] Visual Image
    Visual Images is a presentation in which the length of time of a work has become one of the essential aspects. Viewers are forced to stay for a certain length of time in front of a screen on which a work is projected. The viewers will feel happy if their experience is varied and meaningful. In the Visual Image Genre this year, I have the impression that many works attempted to pursue an original approach to visual texture on the part of the artist by combining digital and analog presentations. This trend is especially significant among entries from Japan, and it is encouraging that we were able to observe signs of a new and delicate sensibility toward Japanese technology. On the other hand, many works from oversea countries were experimental images such as video art. In Japan, we feel that video art is already obsolete, but with the current state of affairs, in which it lives on and continues to generate new works, I get a sense of the large-boned approach of overseas artists. However, the common impression of the majority of entries is essentially the length of time of the work. Does the duration of the time built into the work offer a certain value that is worthy of detaining the viewer who encounters the work? I hope that artists will continue to scrutinize their work.
    [Critique by work category] Installation, Others
    All the entries to this year's Installation Genre were characterized by the great effort that had gone into them. The works are mainly related to visual images, but Oups! is a very amusing interactive exhibit that elicits audience participation. There are also sophisticated exhibits containing the essence of advanced technology such as a kinetic installation for the BMW Museum in Munich, in which silver balls go up and down with controlled precision to create a three dimensional illusion. In performance art, Search Engine is a successor to Neo-Dada and the avant-garde style of John Cage, brilliantly fusing the performance ability of the pianist who plays the randomly output music with an ironic take on information. This year, from low-tech to high-tech, I feel that many of the works have a human element and appeal to viewers' emotions. Also, characteristically for this Genre, many fine works from abroad were submitted.
  • HARASHIMA Hiroshi
    Professor, University of Tokyo Graduate School
    [Critique by work category] Interactive art
    When I encounter interactive arts, I always have something to think of. What appeal does the artist wish to make? Their appeal is not necessarily philosophical thoughts. It can be seeking amusement or pushing humor to the limit. Or it can be something that expresses the wonder of science in the background as if it is magic. I wish to find the artist's message there.
    Regarding the entries to this Festival, there were quite a few works from overseas countries, like touched echo for example, that carried clear messages. Compared with these, I had the impression that the scale of the works entered from Japan was limited. Is it because of our national character? Or do we have some sort of preconceptions about interactive work that affects the work? I hope I can encounter challenging works in the near future. This year's audition made me fully aware of it.
  • HARADA Daisaburo
    Professor, Tama Art University
    HARADA Daisaburo
    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.