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Animated Short Films in Contemporary Japan

Shiho Hirayama/swimming

Masanori Okamoto/Top: Grandma / Bottom: Fixing a Flat

Akinori Okada/Top: Ashes of Time / Bottom: Hyoutan Dance

For this exhibition, we have chosen about 30 recently produced independent animated films from Japan. Because it would be confusing to introduce the films individually, I hope this will serve as an overview of the group.

The majority of the artists are undergraduate or graduate students of art and design schools and young adults who graduated in the past few years. Therefore, as a group, these films clearly exhibit a strong generational characteristic.

Some of Japan’s good points―the safety of its well-kept public order, its tranquility―have their counterparts in extreme loneliness, hopelessness, and neurosis. There are several causes that I can think of.

First, these creators live in a Japan that for 20 years has not been able to expand economically, and is experiencing a continual aging of its society and the gutting of its industrial structure. The younger generation is determined, living in a Japan that gives them no vision for the future, to face the difficulty of holding out hope, of dreaming. Furthermore, urbanization and suburbanization have diluted regional and family bonds, and the Internet and the expanding mobile environment have led to an advanced information society. So on one hand, the stronger community is fading away, and on the other, there are more and more loose connections or relationships to choose from. Then, with the layering of relationships in real space and relationships in virtual information space, there are more invisible relationships. With the diminishing of compulsory relationships, people begin to think that they are not capable of connecting with others. Anxious about this perceived incompetence, they need to create a place for themselves. If these people are placed in a business setting, they feel burdened because they are really expected to be able to communicate, and those who fail to cope sever their relationship with this communication-heavy society, taking refuge in their homes or within themselves.

I believe that expression through animation is both affected by these various economic and social circumstances and portrays the mentality and desires of those in these circumstances. And sometimes, by transcending the boundaries of the circumstances, animation ends up delineating the underlying abyss.

(First appearance: Foreword for 2010 Korea-Japan Design Exhibition (November 2010) *Edited)

■2010 Korea-Japan Design Exchange Exhibition:Animated film exhibits[IdcN]

●Tokai Region Educational Institution-Related
Tatsuya Iwakoshi/Input Output
Akinori Okada/Ashes of Time/Hyoutan Dance/asura
Tetsumasa Saito/Nirvana/Tetsumasa Saito
Miho Saito/Mermaid
Takashi Sugita/Flightless Birds/AESTROOP

Nagoya University of Arts
Naoko Asakura/Pinkmental
Yuri Ido/iDo Friends
Koujiro Inoue/Dreams
Marie Sakamoto/Cell Division
Yoshihiro Yoshida/The Continuation of The Dream

International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences
Ayako Ide/Dedicated to my Hair Dedicated to My Hair
Masanori Kitagawa/Emo
Shinya Sato/Cube
Chihiro Sawamura/Good bye Good boy
Yasuhiro Sera/13
Tsumugi Harunari/Abu-chan and the Stylish Fox/Tsumugi Harunari
Jun Yamada/Unity

●Contemporary Japanese animated short film
Yuji Arai/The Morning of the End
Kenji Iwaisawa/Fukuraimachi, Man in the Tunnel Alley/Iwai-sawa web
Wataru Uekusa/Chisato Mukogaoka Just Stared/ADHENSIVE TAPE
Masanori Okamoto/Grandma/Fixing a Flat/peamar03
Teppei Kuroyanagi/C++/If time pass/Teppei Kuroyanagi Website/1980 yen
Teppei Koseki/Engrave/TEPPEI KOSEKI
Shunsuke Saito/Dream
Tomoyoshi Joko/Buildings/JO-KO-JO 
Kousuke Sugimoto/The TV show/Sugimoto Kousuke.net
Taijin Takeuchi/A Wolf’s Pursuit of Pork/Zero gravity and Zakuro Dokuro
Shiho Hirayama/Swimming
Mirai Mizue/Playground/WONDER -TRAILER-
Syo Yamaguchi/Paper Play/Trip
Sonoko Yamada/Family

Left:Design Center Busan/Right:Animated Film Sector

IdcN-DCB Design Exchange Project 2010
Korea-Japan Design Exchange Exhibition “Qi – Digital Energy”
In 2007, concurrent with the opening of Design Center Busan, International Design Center NAGOYA (IdcN) and Design Center Busan (DCB) implemented the IdcN-DCB design exchange project, aiming for the promotion of mutual understanding and exchange of designers from both regions through the centers’ cooperation and coordination. 
This year, the Korea-Japan Exchange Exhibition was part of the comprehensive design event Design Week 2010 Busan. With the theme, Qi-Digital Energy, we developed an ambitious plan in order to show you the now of digital design. To the conventional poster exhibition, we added film and animation, presenting a total of about 120 creators from Japan and South Korea.

Period: Mon., November 15 2010 -Wed., November 17 2010

Venue: Exhibition Hall I・II, Design Center Busan

Poster Section: 56 pieces by 56 individuals (IdcN:26/DCB:30)
Animated Film Section: 64 films by 59 individuals (IdcN:35 by 31/DCB:29 by 28)

Organizers: Design Center Busan, International Design Center NAGOYA Inc.
Supporters: Busan Federation of Designers, Busan Film Animation Forum, Chubu Creators Club
Japan Animated Film Planning Supervisor: Masahiko Yoshida
In corporation with: Nagoya University of Arts, Institute of Advanced Media Arts Sciences

Masahiko Yohida