For the occasion of our upcoming event at BFI Southbank with multitalented Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, we’ve compiled a list of our favourites Japanese masters. From sound artists, musicians and film-makers to designers and performing artists, the list illustrates a whole generation of artists who have the ability to unlock your imagination and take you on a journey of discovery.
For the past 10 years internationally acclaimed Japanese multimedia artist Ryoichi Kurokawa has mixed video images, audio recordings, graphics and animations to produce stunning audio-visual installations, presentations and live performances. Kurokawa was born in 1978 in Osaka and currently lives in Berlin. Recently Kurokawa won the prestigious Golden Nica 2010 – Prix Ars Electronica (Linz) in the category of Digital Music & Sound Art with his latest pentaptych audiovisual installation ‘rheo: 5 horizons’ produced by Cimatics. http://www.ryoichikurokawa.com/
Born in 1966 in Gifu, Japan, Ikeda lives and works in Paris, France. His work is described as focusing on “the essential characteristics of sound itself and that of visuals as light, by means of both mathematical precision and mathematical aesthetics. Ikeda elaborately orchestrates sound, visuals, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions into immersive live performances and installations.” http://www.ryojiikeda.com/
Multidisciplinary solo artist Hiroaki Umeda commands all elements of his unique spectacle: choreography, dance, lights and computerized sound and video images. Minimal and radical, subtle and provocative, Umeda’s extraordinary butoh/street dance-inspired choreography appears within an environment of sparse, dramatic lighting, flashing cyber-imagery, electronic beats and crackling digital soundscapes. Based in Tokyo, Umeda studied photography and began dancing at the age of 20, delving into his own extraordinary original movement and refining a powerful sensuality in his work. Umeda founded his company S20 in 2000 and has since created numerous works that have been presented at dance festivals and theaters throughout Asia, Europe, South America and the U.S.http://hiroakiumeda.com/
Born in 1976. Graduated from the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, and Dynamic Sensory Programming Course at International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS). He participated in various projects that made use of his programming skills, across a range of genres and fields. His face performance “Face visualizer, instrument and copy” has been invited by about 30 music/art/film festivals, such as at Sonar Festival(Balcelona) and Transmediale(Berlin) . He also devotes his energies to educational activities such as workshops in various countries, including at MIT Media Lab and Fabrica. In addition, he has participated as a presenter in the openFrameworks Developer Meeting and at cycling ’74 Expo. He served as a member of the judging panel for the 2009 Prix Ars Electronica in the Digital Music category, and received the 2011 Award of Distinction in the Interactive Art category. He has won the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Prize twice and has been recommended by the jury on seven occasions.http://www.daito.ws/en/
Ryuichi Sakamoto is a Japanese musician and composer. Sakamoto studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he graduated with a BA in composition, and a Master’s degree with special emphasis electronic and ethnic music. Sakamoto began his career in the late 1970s, working as a composer, arranger and producer with some of Japan’s most popular rock, jazz and classical artists. He won the Academy Award for his score to the 1987 Bernardo Bertolucci film The Last Emperor. He has also written soundtracks for Pedro Almodovar’s film High Heels, and Oliver Stone’s Wild Palms.http://sitesakamoto.com/
Japanese visual artist Keita Onishi completed his postgraduate studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2006. He is the mastermind behind the music, visuals, and stage presence of Haisuinonasa. In his work, Keita is interested in exploring how image and music coexist.
Born in 1963, Shiro Takatani graduated from the department of Environmental Design, Faculty of Fine Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. He joined Dumb Type as a founding member in 1984 and since then has been involved in the production of Dumb Type performances and installations, working in video, lighting, graphic design, stage design and as a photographer. Takatani has collaborated with a number of artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Fujiko Nakaya, Gisèle Vienne.http://shiro.dumbtype.com/
Born in Hyogo Prefecture, 1980. He studied visual image at Osaka Kyoiku University, Image Forum Institute of Moving Image and the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts. He started producing animation works on his own since 2002, and released HANA NO HI (DAY OF NOSE), SOU IU MEGANE (WELL, THAT’S GLASSES), and more. IN A PIG’S EYE won the Best Film Award at the Fantoche International Animation Film Festival in 2010 as well as the Best Animated Film at Curtas Vila do Conde Film Festival the same year, and his work, HARU NO SKIKUMI (THE MECHANISM OF SPRING), was screened at the Venice International Film Festival. His latest work, THE GREAT RABBIT (GUREHTO RABITTO) won the silver bear in the Berlinale International Film Festival 2012. —festival scope. http://kankaku.jp/en-index.html