THE NEW JAPAN ISLANDS 2020

Click here to view the March 22nd (JST) live broadcast.

Following the cancellation of SXSW 2020 by the City of Austin due to COVID-19, The New Japan Islands 2020 was switched to a live March 22nd (JST) broadcast called the Online Streaming of The New Japan Islands featuring Official Event Selections from SXSW 2020. This endeavor is also a prototype for a new reality, that is, knowledge-sharing without having to be in the same physical space. Click here to view The New Japan Islands YouTube Channel to see our 2020 theme video and selected broadcasted sessions.

Virtual Performance

3/22 Sun. 8 am (JST) - 3/22 Sun. 4:30 pm (JST)

3/21 Sat. 6 pm (CDT) - 3/22 Sun. 2:30 am (CDT)

Sataurday, March 14 thru Monday, March 16, 2020
11:00 am - 18:00 pm
800 Congress, Austin. TX

PROGRAM

View programming details such as Content, Program Schedule and Exhibits that were planned for the March 14th through March 16th event in Austin as well as such details of the actual live broadcast on March 22nd from Tokyo.

MISSION

The series of Industrial Revolutions marked its beginning with the invention of steam engine. Now in its 4th stage, the transformation is led by IoT and AI. However, the unconditional condoning of material wealth has engendered environmental destruction, placing earth—the home of humanity—in danger. Furthermore, in pursuit of efficiencies such as economies of scale, businesses are tending towards monopolization and oligopolization, leading society to be homogenous and intolerant against diversity.

0th Industrial Revolution is a concept keyword that breaks through the limitations of modern capitalism and growth-oriented mindsets. Under this concept we aim to reexamine the merits of the conventional centralized society and mass production processes and suggest that perhaps a shift towards a society where individuals and organization act autonomously may actually bring stability to the environment, including humanity.

Central to the concept are values found in Eastern thoughts, that is, views on nature and harmony. For example, Japan fully embraces the artisan’s techniques and artistry into daily life as we can see in Japanese gardens. Old architecture is designed to harmonize with nature, for example, accepting deteriorations of wood carvings and ceramics in its natural state.

The message from Japan is to consider a Nostalgic Future, that is, to revisit the original ways of human life to construct a future that softly connects industry and culture.

CONCEPT

Main Concept - Cycles of Hyper Intuition

When you step into the abyss of the mountains, when you receive a spray from a sublime waterfall on your skin, you can feel something sacred, something beyond human intellect. In the past, people were in awe of the grandeur of nature and felt the uncontrollable time and space directly through their bodies.

When "spirituality" rises from within the body, from bathyesthesia so to speak, a new world opens up between the world and the body. This can be called "Hyper Intuition," which is evoked only by receiving every possible texture and mass in this world at ultra-high resolution. This super sense unconsciously creates new sublimity and beauty through the human body and brain.

And now, our bodies constantly connected to digital information, are situated in a new “nature” that combines digital and the original nature. The myriad images and information that travel on the internet flow into our bodies as uncontrollable turbulence. What is this "Hyper Intuition" that rises in this environment? It may be found in memes that are born on the internet every day. When "digital nature"—which transcends human wisdom—and “hyper sense”—which transcends human skills—cross, a new vernacular creation is born.

In The New Japan Islands 2020, the spirit of the ancient Japanese aesthetic "Reisei"—the ability to sense and express spiritual power from nature—will be fused with the sensibilities of the digital age, revealing a new philosophy of creation and beauty.

concept image 1

This photography with no relation to Japan Folk Crafts Museum

Space Concept - Field of Divine Nature

A walk between reality and illusion. As you continue through the hazy room, you will see a variety of Japanese folk crafts projected in 8K video. These crafts, once created by unnamed predecessors, are crystals born from introspection and intuition towards the “beauty” embedded in materials, rooted in the local nature and transcends human subjectivity.

When you literally "feel" these crystals with 32 million pixel 8K video that exceeds the criticality of human vision, you will shift from "see" to "observe." In this digital age, Hyper Intuition can rise beyond the boundaries of analog and digital. In a place where you do not know where you are, the super sense of space and mass is revived.

Only in this place of spirituality are the seeds of future creation. The "beauty" of folk craft projected by 8K will bring out a resilient aesthetic sense which brings insights to us who live in the world beyond the binary conflict of technology versus tradition, and human versus nature.

concept image 2
concept image 3

More About Mingei

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

YOICHI OCHIAI

YOICHI OCHIAI

Dr. Yoichi Ochiai, born in 1987, is a media artist and Associate Professor at University of Tsukuba. He received his PhD in Applied Computer Science from The University of Tokyo. He is also a representative of Digital Nature Promotion Strategy Research Foundation and a representative project researcher at JST CREST xDiversity.

His statement as an artist is as follows: "Since my studies regarding boundaries during the creation of my exhibit, End to End Transformation of Material Things, I continue to explore boundaries between images and materials, nature and computers. I freely travel across the bounds of computer science, applied physics and media arts in my work."

His solo exhibitions include Image and Matter (Kuala Lumpur, 2016), Sehnsucht Nach Masse (Tokyo Amana Square, 2019) and Yoichi Ochiai, Beauty of National Resolution ∽ End to End Transformation of Material Things ∽ Digital Nature (Omotesando, Tokyo) which delved into the aesthetics of Eastern philosophy.

His work has also been shown in group exhibitions including Ars Electronica Festival, SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, Kempoku Arts Festival and Media Ambition Tokyo.

Yoichi has received numerous awards, including a World Technology Award from the US WTN in 2015, the Prix Ars Electronica 2016, an Honorary Mention in the EU STARTS Prizes 2016 from the European Union (EU) , the Laval Virtual Awards in from 2014 through 2017, the 2019 SXSW Creative Experience ARROW Awards and more. He was included in the Best Knowledge Pool at the St. Gallen Symposium and the Global Shapers at the World Economic Forum.

He has been widely featured in the media, including in magazines, on television and radio, as well as on the cover of numerous design and art magazines, including Axis, Leonardo, and Nature Index 2017. He has given many lectures at universities both in Japan and abroad and at symposiums such as TEDxTokyo.

Executive Director's Message

Phantom between the Curtains / Line of Haze / Three Worlds

There is an unusual sight that stands out in the street corner of an American landscape, where SXSW is held. That is the SXSW Japan Pavilion called The New Japan Islands. At the entrance, a Japanese festival is held. Many people surround the scene, food is offered and there are lively voices of those who enjoy tea and sake. Visitors enter the long tunnel of the pavilion based on an indigenous festival space inspired by the world of "Hale"—a festive, bright and sacred time and place opposed to the quiet, subtle and daily time and space. Then light shines through in the middle of the tunnel.

As you enter from the exit by the side, what appears before your eyes is a phantomic space between curtains where image and matter, digital and analog, phantom and physical are mixed. There is a space in which fog, images, mirrors and a sense of mass coexist, like how a line of haze and a sea of clouds exist between everyday life and the world of Hale. 8K ultra-high resolution images and dim mirrors, stones, iron and industrial products open a connected world that crosses analog and digital boundaries.

Once you enter another tunnel with a sense of not knowing where you are, what you see in the next world is a scenery connected with current Japanese life. Entrance to Japan, such as sponsor products and Japanese specialties, are exhibited for you to experience the techno-geopolitics’s folk-artistic unfoldment while connecting with food, health and traditional products. We hope to share a chance with you to return home with new ways to think and interpret digital and tradition.

ABOUT

The New Japan Islands is a project that explores and portrays visions and landscapes of the future based on culture and views that are original to Japan. This initiative is brought by a team consisting of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), industries, artists, academics and intellectuals from Japan.

The series of Industrial Revolutions marked its beginning with the invention of steam engine. Now in its 4th stage, the transformation is led by IoT and AI. However, the unconditional condoning of material wealth has engendered environmental destruction, placing earth—the home of humanity—in danger. Furthermore, in pursuit of efficiencies such as economies of scale, businesses are tending towards monopolization and oligopolization, leading society to be homogenous and intolerant against diversity.

0th Industrial Revolution is a concept keyword that breaks through the limitations of modern capitalism and growth-oriented mindsets. Under this concept we aim to reexamine the merits of the conventional centralized society and mass production processes and suggest that perhaps a shift towards a society where individuals and organization act autonomously may actually bring stability to the environment, including humanity. Central to the concept are values found in Eastern thoughts, that is, views on nature and harmony. For example, Japan fully embraces the artisan’s techniques and artistry into daily life as we can see in Japanese gardens. Old architecture is designed to harmonize with nature, for example, accepting deteriorations of wood carvings and ceramics in its natural state.The message from Japan is to consider a Nostalgic Future, that is, to revisit the original ways of human life to construct a future that softly connects industry and culture.

THE NEW JAPAN ISLANDS 2020
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