Winning entries in this year's Japan Media Arts Festival are to be shown off to the public at The National Art Center in Tokyo from February 3.
The judges singled out 24 works for special praise in this year's event, which was first held in 1997 but has since grown rapidly in scope and scale. Organizers received 2,592 submissions this year, with entries drawn from 54 countries around the world.
According to the festival executive committee, the award-winning works explored themes ranging from "the relationship between humans and nature" to "humanity throughout the course of history" and "media and the body" - often on a grand scale.
The Awards Ceremony is scheduled for February 2, with the Grand Prize in the Art Division to be awarded to American artist David Bowen for his "Growth modelling device," a machine that replicates the daily growth of the above-ground part of an onion as an examination of time and space.
Top prize in the entertainment division goes to the creators of the video title "Hibi no Neiro," a moving mosaic of facial images that interact and are carefully choreographed around the screen. Mamoru Hosoda wins the grand prize in the Animation Division for his work "Summer Wars," while "Vinland Saga," the adventure tale of a boy pitting himself against the Vikings who have killed his father, takes the Manga Division prize for Makoto Yukimura.
Media arts is defined as a field that is the constantly evolving examination of the evolution of technology, the media and society as a whole, and its growth is underlined by the fact that this year's event will have four times as many symposiums and presentations as last year. It will also include a series of workshops and incorporates the 15th Computer Graphics Contest for Students.
The exhibition will include 180 of the works that were entered for the awards in the categories of art, animation, video, video games, web works and manga. Full-length theatrical animations will also be screened in full.
Media Arts Festival
Exhibition dates: February 3-14
Times: 10 AM to 6 PM daily, except Fridays, when the event closes at 8 PM. Closed February 9.
Venue: The National Art Center, 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo.