ICC Report


Japanese Image Creators
--the ICC Collection

November 13 - December 27, 1998
ICC Theater
SHIMANO Yoshitaka's TV Drama (1987)

In visual imaging as an expressive genre, is video a medium with distinctive characteristics and securing a distinctive position for itself? Yes, for, like experimental film and private film, it has its own qualitatively different expressive vocabulary. This screening underscores that conclusion by presenting a selection of work from the ICC collection by Japanese artists working in visual images. Most date from the mid 1980s or later and are the work of younger artists; these are works created (we presume) on the assumption that video would be the expressive medium. (Several works on film, such as MATSUMOTO Toshio's pathbreaking films, that had considerable influence on people working in the field in that period were also shown.)

What, then, are video's characteristics as a medium? Its strengths would include the equipment's ease of operation and maneuverability, as well as the manipulability of the recorded image (in creating, for example, composite images and special effects). Today, video recording and editing and computer graphics tools have become so inexpensive, and so powerful, that artists working alone can create works of high technical quality. But technology is not the main story: the artists who created many of the videos in this program regard the video images and the tools used to create them as an apparatus for thought. Acting, shooting, editing--in their view, all those steps intervene to create works in video that may seem at the opposite pole from work featuring SFX effects. Nonetheless, the very simplicity of video tools as an apparatus for thought did encourage many creative artists to begin to regard video as a new expressive medium.

The 17 works screened cover a wide expressive range.
SHIMANO Yoshitaka's TV Drama (1987) records a performance that sadistically destroys a television monitor. De-sign 1 (kunren) (1989) by Visual Brains (KAZAMA Sei and OTSU Hatsune) is a series of works produced annually since 1989 that satirizes contemporary society. KAZAMA and OTSU treat the year's hot topics as their material and apply the latest image processing techniques, so that at first glance their work looks like technical simulations of television programs and commercials. YURA Yasuto's Case (1994) imaginatively interweaves computer graphics and video images.


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