INFORMATION

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions is a unique annual event founded in 2009 which combines exhibitions, screenings, live performances, and talk sessions. Over the years, the festival has aspired to be a forum for exploring the question of how to nurture and sustain the development of visual expression and media with a wide range of stakeholders, while revitalizing creative activities in the visual arts.

With these things in mind, the logo for this festival was designed to express the idea of approaching matters of “imagery” together, with the aim to come up with more than just one answer. There are things that only become visible once they are included in the bracket of “imagery,” so rather than implying exclusiveness, the brackets here represent an open frame, an open stage that invites and at once highlights all kinds of things going in and out.

About the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023

Aiming to re-examine the increasingly diversified manners of creating and appreciating images, The Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions has been dedicated to “imagery” not as an exclusive category, but with an eye to the various alternative views it embraces. The ultimate goal of our continuous efforts is to establish a platform for promoting and sustaining alternative visions that art and imagery can inspire in us. Within the 10+ years during which the festival has repeatedly introduced image-based works from Japan and abroad, along a general theme that asks anew for each edition, “What is imagery?”, the circumstances surrounding imagery have changed dramatically.
Against the backdrop of such changing social conditions in terms of imagery, the festival’s 2023 edition – the 15th in total – marks the start of various new programs, including the ”Commission Project,” to dig even deeper into the question what imagery is all about. The idea behind these endeavors is to reinforce the function of a constant platform that this festival aims to assume.

THIS YEAR‘S THEME

Technology?

Photography, film, video, animation – all these are forms of imagery that we encounter within everyday life. Having significantly developed since the 19th century, the various imaging technologies we have today enable us to handle even high-resolution images and longer moving pictures. We can perhaps say that these technologies have been developed for the purpose of creating images with even higher definition, and greater amounts of information.
One aspect that comes along with technology, is its popularization and establishment as a tool for broad, general use. But who is it, and how and when, that the criteria for sharing technologies are determined? High-resolution movies have become a common standard today, but who can say what kind of reality they will represent in the eyes of those who look at them 100 years from now? When looking back on history, we come across examples of technologies that worked when applied as an unexpected element. Adding a “handmade” touch to a high-resolution movie, for example, can increase its sense of reality, and it happens that the works of artists emerge from such kind of dialogue with technology, with the potential to trigger completely unforeseen discoveries.
With a focus on “technology” as a general theme, the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023 examines a diverse range of activities in the field of imagery and other visual creation, with the aim to explore various possibilities regarding the dialogue between art and technology.

The new endeavors of the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions as a constant platform ― In pursuit of the eternal question, “What is imagery?”

1) Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions – Commission Project
Opportunities for new encounters from visual experiences offered for the first time in Japan

Artists based in Japan are commissioned to create and exhibit image-based works as products of the “New Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions.” The long-term plan is to expand this program to encompass cultural facilities and organization also outside Japan, and thereby establish a scheme for supporting the creative activities of artists. The international network that the festival has built up, will be utilized for selecting candidates from among a variety of creators who take on various challenges including new creative methods and techniques, at different stages of their careers. From these candidates, four outstanding artists with plenty of originality and potential to carry the “New Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions,” will ultimately be chosen by an international expert jury.* These artists’ newly created commissioned works will be displayed for one month and a half from the opening of the “Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023,” after which the jury will further select one of the four artists for a Special Award.

The activities of the participating artists will result in opportunities for unexpected encounters with forms of visual expression, which are presented in Japan for the very first time.
In the long term, these “commissioned works” will be shown also at other cultural facilities in and outside Japan, to give even bigger and broader audiences a chance to enjoy and familiarize with these creations.

* Chosen from among the candidates are creators whose work can be positioned within the history of imagery, while at once pushing the boundaries of visual expression.

2) The Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions as a platform for collaborative and practical work with the latest technologies

Imaging technology is constantly innovated on a daily basis. In order to explore its broad potential, from the creation of new visual expression, to active participation by visitors as key players, the festival is going to further intensify the pursuit of possibilities regarding experimental and collaborative work with new technologies. As part of the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023, an installation by Tomoki Hiramoto, Kota Iguchi and Asao Tokolo, who choreographed the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and participated in the “Art Incubation Program” at the Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]**, will be presented at an offsite venue.

** On October 23, 2022, this new and first ever hub in Tokyo for creative work with digital technology, opens as part of a new cultural program for citizens and artists to actively and creatively utilize technology. The aim is to connect enterprises and creators based in Tokyo, and thereby help produce internationally inspiring art and culture, and at the same time, a new generation of creators.

3) Annual theme-based programs at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Exploring the subject of imagery from additionally diversified points of view

Previous editions of the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions were occasions for both creators and audiences to enjoy exploring visual works, by offering multiple possible answers to the larger theme under which each festival examines the fundamental question, “What is imagery?”
For visitors to enjoy the subject of imagery from additionally diverse points of view, future editions of the festival will each revolve around a theme that is also reflected in the respective year’s annual (collection) exhibition of image-based works at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, as one among other opportunities for discussing and experiencing the matter throughout the year.

About the Commission Project

As a new program of the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, the “Commission Project” is launched at the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023, with the aim to foster and communicate new cultural values on the international stage.
Utilizing the international network that the festival has built up to now, four artists based in Japan will be selected and commissioned to create and exhibit image-based works as products of the “New Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions.” In the long term, these will also be presented at other cultural facilities and institutions in and outside Japan, as part of a newly established scheme to support the creative endeavors of artists.
Submitted works will be screened by an international jury of 5 experts in the field of visual creation, as a result of which four artists will be selected and commissioned to create new works that will eventually be unveiled in the 3F exhibition room of the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. After a second screening of these new, as-yet unpublished works, the jury will further choose one Special Award winner.

International jury members:

  • OKI Keisuke (media artist, Specially Appointed Professor at Tokyo Zokei University)
  • SAITO Ayako (film researcher, professor at Meiji Gakuin University)
  • Leonhard BARTOLOMEUS (curator, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]/Gudskul Ekosistem)
  • May Adadol INGAWANIJ (film and media Researcher, curator, professor at University of Westminster)
  • TASAKA Hiroko (curator, TOP Museum and the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions)

Selection Secretariat

  • Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
  1. Artists who are able to expand the network that has been accumulated by the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions and the TOP Museum.
  2. Artists who are able to take on various challenges including new techniques and methods of expression at the respective stages in their life stages.
  3. Artists must currently reside and work in Japan.

Selection criteria for commissioned artists:

  1. Submitted image-based works should display originality and all-round excellence in terms of planning, content and technique, as well as potential for exhibition at the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions.
  2. Works should not only employ new techniques and methods of expression, but should be positioned within the history of film media, while at once pushing the boundaries of visual expression.
  3. Works should possess qualities of uniqueness and connectivity that can be communicated to audiences overseas.

EVENT INFORMATION

Title
The Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2023
Technology?
Period
Friday, 2/3 – Sunday, 2/19/2023 [15 days] Closed on Mondays
Venues
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Center Square of Yebisu Garden Place, affiliated local facilities, galleries, etc.
Time
10:00−20:00 (Until 18:00 on the final day)
**The Commission Project (3rd floor exhibition room) is open until Sunday, 3/26
10:00-18:00(2/21–3/26 Until 20:00 on Thursdays and Fridays only)
Admission
Free
*Admission will be charged for some programs such as screenings etc..
*We recommend that you book online.
*Kindly note that hours and details are subject to change. Please check the latest information on this website.
Organized by:
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government / Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) / Nikkei Inc.
Co-organized by:
SAPPORO REAL ESTATE CO., LTD
With assistance from:
J-WAVE 81.3 FM
Sponsored by:
Corporate Membership of Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

CONTACT

General Inquiries

For general festival inquiries, please contact us at:

+81(0)332800099 (Main Number)
Staffed Tue. Wed. Sat. Sun. 10:00-18:00 / Thu. Fri. 10:00-20:00 / Closed Mondays (except when Monday falls on a holiday, in which case the museum is open and closed the following day), New Year’s holidays, and temporary closures.

yebizo_press@topmuseum.jp

Press Inquiries

For details regarding coverage of the festival
and publication inquiries (limited to members of the press/media), please contact us at:

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita Meguro-ku
Tokyo 153-0062

+81(0)332800099 (Main Number)
Staffed Tue. Wed. Sat. Sun. 10:00-18:00 / Thu. Fri. 10:00-20:00 / Closed Mondays (except when Monday falls on a holiday, in which case the museum is open and closed the following day), New Year’s holidays, and temporary closures.

yebizo_press@topmuseum.jp