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IWAI Toshio


Born in Kira, Aichi Prefecture, in 1962.

It was following his matriculation in the Fine Arts Department at Tsukuba University in 1981 that IWAI became involved in experimental animation, the experience which inspired his interest in making videos. While becoming involved with film and video, he became interested in the potential of flip books, zoetropes and other visual illusions that were precursors to film. His interests then shifted to art produced on computers. In 1985, while IWAI was still a student, his installation Time Stratum won the High Technology Art Exhibition Gold prize. He also won the grand prize at the 17th annual Modern Japanese Art Awards, becoming the youngest artist ever to win the award. In 1987, following the completion of his work at Tsukuba University’s Plastic Art and Mixed Media master’s course, he went on to exhibit his interactive art at shows both in Japan and overseas, winning wide acclaim.

His works were displayed at the Seville EXPO in 1992 in Spain, at the EC Japan Fest in 1993 in Antwerp, Belgium, at the Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon in 1995, at the Mediascape Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1996, and at the G7 Summit Exhibition in Lyon in 1997. As these examples demonstration, he has become one of Japan’s leading artists and continues to exhibit his work world-wide.

IWAI is a multitalented creator whose works also include the creation of characters and computer graphic designs for Fuji Televisions, “Einstein TV” and “Ugo Ugo Lhuga” TV programs, as well as computer game software.

In 1996 IWAI published a Windows CD-ROM “Simtunes” in the United States, issued in Japanese, German and French editions. He has also been active in many locations overseas. In 1991–92, he was based at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In 1994–95, he was a visiting artist at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany, where his work included a major one-man show. In 1997 he had a retrospective exhibition/ innovative workshops at ICC in Tokyo.

In recent years, IWAI has been particularly interested in the relationship of sound and image. One major result of this interest was the performance in collaboration with SAKAMOTO Ryuichi first at the Art Tower Mito, Japan. This performance went on to which the Golden Nica the Interactive Art Division at the 1997 Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. Currently IWAI is a visiting artist at the Mixed Reality Systems Laboratory Inc. in Yokohama, where he is involved in research and creative work related to Mixed Reality, preparing new work for display on TV as well as in exhibitions both in Japan and abroad.



Exhibitions & Events

5F Lobby (admission free area)

ICC Annual 2024: Faraway, so close

5F Lobby (admission free area)

Artists’ Talk IWAI Toshio x MANABE Daito

ICC Annual 2023: Shapes of Things

ICC Annual 2022: Life / Likeness

Open Space 2021: New Flatland

[Temporary Closed] Open Space 2019: Alternative Views

Open Space 2018: in transition

Media Art in Transition: 20 Years of Media Art and ICC

Open Space 2017: Re-envisioning the Future

Open Space 2016: Media Conscious

Open Space 2015

Open Space 2014

Open Space 2013

Open Space 2012

Open Space 2011

Open Space 2010

Open Space 2009

Open Space 2008

Open Space 2007

Open Space

Possible Futures: Japanese postwar art and technology

Art meets Media : adventures in perception

「ICC Workshop on Workshop」

“Iwai Toshio Kids”

Workshop on Workshop - A Workshop on the Meaning of Workshops and how to Conduct Them

Frontiers of Communication

Symposia “Border between Art and Science”


Media Park at ICC

“Artists-in-Residence Program for Media Education”

Symposium (IWAI Toshio)

ICC NEWSCHOOL Adding Media, Subtracting Signs

ICC Collection: 2nd Term

RemotePiano Installation: R. Sakamoto + T. Iwai + K. Eto

Related Events

Art and Technology / Projecting from the Past to the Future

Opening Events - Symposium -Towards the Museum of the Future-

OPEN STUDIO - The Trace of Toshio Iwai’s Media Art

ICC Collection: 1st Term

IWAI Toshio Interview

The NewSchool’s PC (Personal Computer) Club

InterCommunication’95 “on the Web -The Museum Inside The Network-”


InterCommunication’91 “The Museum Inside The Telephone Network”