©︎ 2021 Masaya Ishikawa + nomena + Hiroaki Nakaji.

Photo: 2021 Takako Iimoto.

25th Art Division Excellence Award

The Square Makes It Through

Media installation

ISHIKAWA Masaya / SUGIHARA Hiroshi / NAKAJI Hiroaki / Campbell ARGENZIO / TAKEI Shohei[Japan / United States]


The Square Makes It Through is an installation comprised of two mechanisms: three quadrangle boxes that move to pass through the three physical barriers and one quadrangle box that moves through barriers only shown in CG animation. The boxes change their positions and orientations to traverse holes in the impending barriers. Through such conceptual presentation, the work makes viewers notice the existence of rules that the boxes follow and silently conveys the amenability and horror of blindly following them. It also alludes to the possibility that there may be more than one solution to break through the rules. The movements of the boxes hint at a kind of regularity and the viewers may notice that it resembles the state of society. The barriers, which are only shown in the animation, suggest the existence of invisible rules such as laws. In making this work, the creators put together various technologies to realize the movements previously only possible by CG and stop-motion animations.

Reason for Award

It sometimes seems to me that many recent media artworks are “large-scale projection art” created using multiple projectors. I can’t denounce this trend as it is an inevitable result of advancing technology. Still, I cannot help but think there is more to media art. This work is relatively small for the size of the artwork and it looked simple and modest in the pictures submitted. Yet, the actual work in action yields magical phenomena. The little objects that pass through the barriers by various means resemble creatures. I was fascinated by the fact that even I, a creator working in this field for quite a while, could not imagine the construction and mechanism of this work. These talented creators dug into the theme of the Rules? exhibition (21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, 2021) for which this work was created. I see their mutual respect for one another’s expertise and appreciation for technology in this astounding work. I look forward to seeing more work from them as a group and as individuals. (HACHIYA Kazuhiko)