KUBOTA Akihiro

Artist and Professor, Tama Art University
(Planning director of Japan Media Arts Festival special exhibition at 12º Bienal de Artes Mediales in Santiago, Chile)

Being able to hold an event in Chile on the opposite side of the globe featuring selected works from the Japan Media Arts Festival proved more fruitful than expected. People in Chile showed not only a considerable interest in the Japan Media Arts Festival, they also showed that they were well-versed in art and able to engage in diverse and serious discussions about the featured works and their content. At the same time, it was also great to see Chile’s Media Art Biennale, which was already being held for the twelfth time. It has its own unique culture reflecting Chile’s historical and political background, while the open tools characteristic of current technology (such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi) and the pervading hacker ethic produced a wonderful ambience.

In conjunction with this event, I was also able to take up residence at the ALMA radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert. It was a very valuable experience. The very weak radio waves picked up by the 66 gigantic radio telescopes from the far reaches of space are synthesized and processed by ultrahigh-speed computers operating at an altitude of 5,000 m into stunningly beautiful images, which give an unreal (and yet real) sensation that can only be described as truly wondrous. It is an experience I would like to share with others.

Once again I would like to express my gratitude to the participating artists, the supporting staff and the people at the National Astronomical Observatory of Chile. I can only hope that there will be further cultural and artistic exchanges between Chile and Japan of the kind that invited us.

GOSHIMA Kazuhiro

Video artist
(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at 12º Bienal de Artes Mediales in Santiago, Chile)

The response from people in Chile was greater than I had anticipated, and they provided a great deal of frank and cordial impressions. I felt that I was able to experience a common enthusiasm and perspectives of the unknown on the opposite side of the globe. Thank you very much.

Alex Verhaest

(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at 12º Bienal de Artes Mediales in Santiago, Chile)

I am much honored to have been a part of the Japan Media Arts Festival overseas project. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to show my work in a wonderful setting and make connections with Japan Media Arts Festival’s overseas network of curators and artists.


(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at 12º Bienal de Artes Mediales in Santiago, Chile)

The local staff, despite the language barrier, put the utmost effort into showing the works to their best advantage. After returning to Japan, I was contacted via Facebook by a local artist who had been inspired by my work, and who wanted to use it is a motif for a new work. This event on the others side of the globe from Japan was an opportunity underscoring the importance of creating work and showing them to people and of exchanges.


Independent curator
(Planning director of Japan Media Arts Festival special exhibition at MATADERO MADRIDO, Spain)

I am happy we attracted so many visitors, partly because of the considerable coverage from the major Spanish media networks. I was pleased most of all by the comments of so many people who said that they had come expecting a so-called manga display, only to find something different, a field synonymous with contemporary art. I always wanted to show that part of this culture is firmly bound up with life, history, people’s lives, feelings of a delicate nature, as well as literature and art, that it is one field of the arts that constantly wants to speak as a person. This was not just a private little gathering of manga fans. This display was able to show the good aspects of a particular culture and we got to see links with societies with different cultures.

UKAWA Naohiro

Genzai (Contemporary) Artist / Professor Kyoto University of Art and Design / Representative, DOMMUNE
(Planning director of Japan Media Arts Festival special exhibition at EYEMYTH Media Arts Festival, India)

Mumbai, India’s largest city, with its rows of high-rise buildings alongside vast slumified markets, is developing economically with each passing day and month! It hosted the Japan Media Arts Festival @ EYEMYTH, a festival portraying, as its name intended, the blending of history, tradition, and the media, as well as the frantic struggle between technology and the human body. We earned acclaim in being able to give performances before live audiences that were a honeymoon of modern technology and somatic impulses, which emanated from the whole body and soul of the performers as a source of creativity! The performances took place in a 150-year-old cinema, the Dolby Laboratories, and other venues symbolizing Bollywood, the South Asian movie capital. The art and entertainment of Mumbai prowls the slums, where the traces of human existence have seemingly become a city without ever having been cleansed! The place to which we were invited from Tokyo, which itself is beset by major problems, such as a dwindling population, the shifting of its urban functions to the suburbs, and decline of communities, the place we laid eyes on, was a market brimming with energy just like the markets in Japan after the war selling black-market goods! It is a market expanding without any kind of order . . . The fragrance of spices wafting here and there blending with the overpowering smell of cow dung . . . People peddling misshapen merchandise on the streets . . . Children hawking things they picked up in the alleys, as well as the beggars, beggars and more beggars . . . There were stray dogs, stray cats, and yet more stray dogs. It’s been a while since I’ve seen any stray dogs in Japan, but the ones in Mumbai vividly assert themselves, tenaciously surviving on the scraps they get from people eating at stalls. So is that the case? Was it the case? Were the stray dogs an important filter breathing life into the community, binding local identity and the community . . . ? The theme of the exhibition was “The Medium as Somatic Impulse.” The media and technology are both necessary, of course, and it is also vital for us to co-exist with the likes of drones, robots and artificial intelligence! However, a live catalyst like the stray dogs is the medium we Japanese perhaps require . . . Mumbai was very much alive!!! So what about Tokyo? And Japan? This tour provided much in the way of suggestions and issues.


Guitarist, daxophone player, and composer
(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at EYEMYTH Media Arts Festival, India)

It was first experience of India. Despite various anxieties, the displays and performances were concluded without mishap with the help of the staff. I have very fond memories about the Indian staff; they were very helpful and sincere, never once refusing any of our requests. And more than anything else, I was impressed by how everybody taking part enjoyed themselves. The audiences seemed deeply interested in the concerts. They provided a sense of relaxation, in the good meaning of the term, to my performances, and there was tension as well. I am convinced we were able to spend a good time together. The pleasure of learning about something unfamiliar is wonderful, and I am grateful for the pleasure of performing in front of strangers. I understand many people also spent a long time at the displays. I felt I was able to perform in Mumbai’s own unique atmosphere. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude for receiving this valuable opportunity, and I would like to convey my thanks to the local staff and staff from Japan, who were so helpful. I look forward to the day I can come again.

SAITO Hisashi

Sound Designer/Creator
(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at EYEMYTH Media Arts Festival, India)

The performance took place in the historic Edward Cinema built in 1818. Being a cinema, everyone was seated. But I was surprised at the cheering and the action coming from the seated audience to our electronic dance music, just like they were dancing at a dance place. India produces a lot of films. The people there are constantly watching films and there is a deeply rooted style and tradition of singing and dancing along to them. I spent some very fulfilling days in being able to have cultural contacts with local avant-garde musicians.

Lena (galcid)

Analog Synth Girls
(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at EYEMYTH Media Arts Festival, India)

The students attending the workshop in the Dolby Studio listened intently to our lecture.
Everyone laughed at the occasional joke. We were able to have to have a lovely exchange, with the students getting to touch our musical instruments and have sessions with us. The audience responded with cheers to the vibe from our performance at the Edward Cinema. It shows we certainly conveyed groove. The venue reverberated to calls for an encore after our performance. I’m relieved that we were able to convey our music without any mishap.

Neon (galcid)

Analog Synth Girls
(Participated artist of JMAF special exhibition at EYEMYTH Media Arts Festival, India)

In the workshop, I wanted people to get in their minds and get a sense of what it means to play an instrument, and how to incorporate a synthesizer in music. Their eyes were bright with excitement as they played, ultimately confirming how the synthesizer is the newest instrument in the world at large that must be played instinctively rather than with skill. It was not only a thrilling discovery for me, but I would be also be really happy if the audiences in India can go on and find something with it.