Social Impact Award
This is video content using a 3D illusion for Cross Shinjuku Vision in Shinjuku Alta Square. Instead of a simple 3D image, the giant cat was designed to be a landmark character living in the building. The cat wakes up in the morning when the airing begins, appears many times during the daytime, and goes to sleep at night with the light turned off. The cat is elaborately presented by integrating the cat’s nature of preferring high and narrow spaces, and the movements of the ears and tail associated with emotions. This fictional character was covered in foreign media as a humor unique to Japan, where “myriads of gods” coexist in everyday spaces, such as character signboards and monuments. Many secondary works of the cat were created and spread through social media. This phenomenon on social media of developing background stories demonstrated its potential as a new participatory entertainment medium that transcends the boundaries of urban outdoor signage. It is also new to see a virtual character on an open outdoor city billboard, rather than in a closed virtual space such as VR or a PC.
Humans love cats after all (laughs). Any other animal—dog, bird, or even dinosaur—would not have attracted as much attention. The work has an excellent idea of focusing on our special friend, the cat, and in a sense, simply linking it to the world’s interest. Furthermore, taking into account its influence in attracting crowds to the site, this work seems suitable for the Social Impact Award, given to works that change people’s awareness and behavior through media. Frankly speaking, the design is so brilliant in using optical illusions and time to create a new character / human relationship in Japan, where various characters are ubiquitous (such as signboards, ornaments, posters, and monitors). The depiction of the cat that seems to be living there—everything from its paws to its eyes looking down from that angle is adorable—urged people to post it on social media, resulting in the action to “go see the cat.” I sincerely praise such detailed creativity. (KONISHI Toshiyuki)
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