This was the first time I had ever served as a judge. Continually asking myself what media art is, this proved to be a much more difficult job than I had imagined.
In my own work as a painter, I use moving images to develop paintings in time. In that sense, my work considers the nature of media. Just as the speed, sites, and subjects of paintings changed as oil paints in tubes and acrylic paints were developed, artists' use of moving images seems like a natural progression. I have the sense that an artwork is nothing more than "something I painted" as a moving image, so it is ultimately an exploration of what a moving image is.
Thus, the reason the term "media art", - which deals with media-related innovations and ideas, new relationships between people, and new ways of looking at things - seems heavy is not because of the weight of the works themselves but the questions that arise from them. Every expressive act should include a search for new viewpoints and relationships, but to take this process one step further, it is necessary to take a critical view of one's own position. And this is exactly what the Grand Prize winner did. The reason that some of the more charming works that conveyed the joys of creativity in a more straightforward manner were not selected had nothing to do with their artistic merits or demerits.
It seems especially important that IIMURA Takahiko received the Special Achievement Award. He is a trailblazer in the field and deserved this award much sooner. His countless works have created a wealth of connections between people and a creative foundation, and his way of living also raises many questions about the nature of media art.
Born in 1972 in Tokyo, ISHIDA is a painter and film artist. He most commonly uses a technique of drawn animation in which he draws lines in the space and shoots images of them one frame at a time. By interposing multiplying lines, moving points, and other mobile elements, his installations change the quality of the space. He received the Most Promising Young Talent Prize of the Gotoh Commemorative Culture Award in 2007. He is an associate professor at Tama Art University. His recent major exhibitions include MOT Collection Silent Narrator: On Plural Stories Special Feature: Takashi Ishida (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2011), Double Vision: Contemporary Art from Japan (Moscow Museum of Modern Art, 2012), Distilling Senses: A Journey through Art and Technology in Asian Contemporary Art (Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong, 2013), and BILLOWING LIGHT: ISHIDA Takashi (Solo Exhibition, Yokohama Museum of Art / Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, 2015).
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