Programmed by Kathy Rae Huffman to coincide with The Conquest of Imperfection the first major UK exhibition of Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata’s acclaimed interactive work, this talk by Keith Whittle, Floating World to Floating Point: An introduction to Japanese media art, explored contemporary Japanese media art. Japan has produced some of the leading figures within the international media art community but does Japanese media art hold distinct characteristics that have contributed to its international appeal, and if so are such attributes informed by production and curatorial strategies different to those found in Europe?

Maywa Denki, Nonsense Machines. © Maywa Denki. Courtesy of the artist

Japan has produced some of the leading figures within the international media art community, and Japanese media art is recognised as a major contemporary art form, gaining acceptance from cultural institutions, festivals, and media art competitions alike. But does Japanese media art hold distinct characteristics that have contributed to its international appeal, and if so are such characteristics informed by production and curation strategies different to those found in Europe.

Tatsuo Miyajima, Pile up Life no. 1 - Katrina (2008). © Lisson Gallery & SCAI the BATHHOUSE. Courtesy of the artist
Tatsuo Miyajima, Pile up Life no. 1 – Katrina (2008). © Lisson Gallery & SCAI the BATHHOUSE. Courtesy of the artist

Introducing experimental (something from talk here) media art which have emerged in Japan since the 1990s, and drawing on extensive research undertaken in Japan in collaboration with leading Japanese academics, curators and media artists, the presentation highlighted some of the key aspects of and historical background too Japan’s contemporary media arts scene with example works by Maya Denki, Ryota Kuwakubo, Maywa Denki, Yuko Mohri, Masaki Fujihata, Motoshi Chikamori ++ Kyoko Kunoh.

Research funded by Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and held in the collection of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong.