MEDIA/ART KITCHEN AOMORI -Politics of Humor and Play

10:00am - 6:00pm, July 26 –September 15, 2014 / Admission Free


The Aomori Contemporary Art Centre will hold the "MEDIA/ART KITCHEN: The Politics of Humor and Play" to introduce the activities and works of Japanese and Southeast Asian artists who critically investigate the coming relationships between daily life and society with a spirit of humor and play.
We expect the exhibition to unfold as something uniquely from Aomori while inheriting the concept of MEDIA/ART KITCHEN (hereafter M/AK), an exhibition organized by the Japan Foundation and held in four countries throughout Southeast Asia over a six-month period from 2013 into early 2014, as part of the anniversary projects to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation.
Participating artists have been selected from the pool of 71 artists who participated in the M/AK exhibition across Southeast Asia. A total of five artists from Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan have been invited to take advantage of the artist in residence, the ACAC's chief activity and defining characteristic, to produce and present new works which incorporate the keywords of "humor," "play," "life," "society," and "politics." Additionally, we have chosen to present several formerly showcased M/AK works by Southeast Asian and Japanese artists to match the theme of the Aomori exhibition. M/AK exhibitions use workshops and laboratories as two of their underlying features; workshops serve as aids to interpret artists' work while laboratories allow the audience to experience production and expression. The ACAC uses both workshops and laboratories to create opportunities for the audience to not only appreciate media/art but also become an active participant in it.
Until now, we have had few opportunities in Aomori to introduce artworks associated with new media art. That is why one goal of this exhibition is to use our daily lives as an introduction to the concept, a springboard to apply a do-it-yourself attitude to the media environment around us as a way to give shape to the knowledge and creativity in our lives. Another goal is to convey the appeal of each artist and the concepts of "humor" and "play" that they value. Behind the humor and play of each artist we can find specific mechanisms which cast light upon the society in which we live and the inevitable reasons for the art's production. Developing a vibrant, exhibition-centered program will form an environment in which we can turn our gaze to the political perspectives and social context behind the works and pursue the relationship between media and art.
Meanwhile, on the opposite end of Honshu, the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media is also holding "MEDIA/ART KITCHEN YAMAGUCHI: Open Call Laboratory - An Exploration into Social Anthropology in Asia" from July 5 to September 28, 2014.

※about the title Media/Art Kitchen - Reality Distortion Field
This project departs from the new formulation “Media / Art” (media that is also art), which, with its insertion of a slash between media and art, can now be reinterpreted as “that which mediates and its technology.” The theme “Media/Art Kitchen” is inspired by and encapsulated in the image of a kitchen activated by daily invention and creativity. The subtitle, “Reality Distortion Field,” is meant to suggest the kitchen, as workshop or laboratory, as a space where reality is distorted and the impossible becomes possible; this is also the term that has been used to describe Apple-founder Steve Jobs’ talent for drawing out the maximum potential of the people around him.

Hagihara Kenichi (Japan)
Bani Haykal (Singapore)
Horio Kanta (Japan)[※]
Kuwakubo Ryota (Japan)[※]
Mohri Yuko (Japan)[※]
Narpati Awangga a.k.a. oomleo (Indonesia)
Renan Ortiz (Philippines)
Prilla Tania (Indonesia)[※]
Chulayarnnon Siriphol (Thailand)[※]
FairuzSulaiman (Malaysia)
Takeuchi Kota (Japan)
Tamura Yuichiro (Japan)
[※]The 5 artists participate in the Artist in Residence program to produce new works.

Outline of M/AK project held in Southeast Asian countries.
Special website for M/AK.


Hagihara Kenichi


Hagihara Kenichi (b. 1978, Yamagata) received his MA from the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in 2007. He worked at Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) as a domestic researcher with a grant from Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan for from 2005 to 2006. With photography as the central axis of his artistic expression, he has been producing still and moving images utilizing various visual media. His HD video portrait sight seeing spot was awarded a Special Prize at the Art Award Tokyo 2007. This work was nominated for one of the jury selections for the 11th Japan Media Arts Festival. His solo exhibitions include scopic measure #6 – sight seeing spot (YCAM, 2007), A Blow to the Everyday (Osage Gallery, Hong Kong, 2010) and Ogaki Biennale (Gifu, 2010). He is also a lecturer for the Faculty of Media Theories and Production of Aichi Shukutoku University.

sight seeing spot, 2013
Photo: Martin Vidanes

Bani Haykal


Bani Haykal (b. 1985, Singapore) is a musician and sound artist. His work examines culture, language and the perception of sound and music. As a musician, he is a founding member of b-quartet and a member of The Observatory. Presently an Associate Artist of The Substation, he has also completed a residency project (Dormant Music) at Platform3 in Bandung, Indonesia, under The Art Incubator 2012 Residency Programme. Haykal recently exhibited Inside the Subject at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore, 2013. As a composer and performer, he has collaborated with several collectives and individuals including THE Dance Company - Silences We Are Familiar With (Dans Fest, Esplanade Theatre Studio, Singapore, 2012), The Necessary Stage (Singapore) and Trafik (Croatia) - Crossings (Esplanade Theatre Studio, 2012) and artist Ho Tzu Nyen and musician Randolf Arriola - The Clouds of Unknowing - Singapore premiere (Gillman Barracks, Singapore, 2012).

The recycle, 2012

Horio Kanta


Horio Kanta (b. 1978, Hiroshima) studied Acoustics at Kyushu Institute of Design. His performance and installation works are assembled with his self-made circuits, mechanical structures and objects found around him. He employs sound, light, magnetism or any kind of energies for his work to show physical phenomenon. His works were shown in several international festivals and exhibitions including Sónar (Barcelona, Spain, 2006), Time Based Art Festival (Portland, US, 2007), The Kitchen (New York, US, 2007), International Festival for Arts and Media (Yokohama, 2009), EXIT festival (Paris, France, 2010), ensembles2010 (Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, 2010), Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec (Canada, 2012). He is also an engineer of electronic devices and interactive systems for commercial projects include installations, events, films, or prototypes.

Interpolation(inside a box version), 2014

Portrait (Photo : Matsuo Ujin)

Kuwakubo Ryota


Kuwakubo Ryota (b.1971, Tochigi) received his MA in Plastic Art and Mixed Media from Tsukuba University in 1996, and graduated from International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in 2001. A pioneer of Device Art, he has been creating electronics based works that explore the relationship between contrasting matters such as analog + digital, humans + machines, and information transmitters and receivers since 1998. Some of his earlier representative works include “Bitman” (created in collaboration with art unit Maywa Denki), “ShliFulin,” and “Nicodama”. His work has won prizes at ARS Electronica – “PLX” in 2003 and “BlockJam” in 2003, as well as the Japan Media Arts Festival - “DigitalGadget #6, 8, 9” won the Grand Prize (Art Division) in 2004 and The Tenth Sentiment won the Excellence Award (Art Division) in 2010. His cylindrical video game for battles, “loopScape” was nominated for Nam June Paik Award in Dortmund, Germany. He is also an associate professor of IAMAS.

lost and found, 2013
Photo: Takashima Kiyotoshi
Courtesy of ROKKOSAN Co., Ltd.

Mohri Yuko

tn_Jpn_MohriYuko_p_Takuma Uematsu

Mohri Yuko (b.1980, Kanagawa) is an artist who lives and works in Tokyo. Mohri received her MFA at Department of Inter-Media Art, Tokyo University of Arts and Music in 2006 and her BFA at Department of Information Design, Tama Art University in 2004. Mohri combines kinetic sculpture, sound, light and/or found materials to construct mixed media installations/environments in which physical phenomena evolve. One of her projects Vexations - Composition in Progress a co-production with MIHARA Soichiro, won second prize at transmediale06, Berlin and also received an Honorary Mention in the Interactive Art category at the 2007 Prix Ars Electronica. In 2010, she organized a series of solo exhibitions at three galleries in Tokyo. She has also been collaborating with performing artists and musicians such as OTOMO Yoshihide.

Calls, 2013

Portrait (Photo: Takuma Uematsu)

Narpati Awangga a.k.a oomleo


Narpati Awangga a.k.a oomleo (b. 1978, Jakarta) has a degree from Institute of Art Indonesia (ISI) in Yogyakarta, majoring in printmaking. He multi-tasks as a pixel-artist, GIF Animation artist, web & graphic designer as well as an IT & multimedia technician/consultant, radio announcer, comic artist, writer, curator, columnist, karaoke organizer, MC, hair-stylist, DJ, and band member of GOODNIGHT ELECTRIC. In 2012 he presented his first solo exhibition bits & pix (PLATFORM3, Bandung) and participated also in ARTE 2013 – Indonesian Arts Festival (Jakarta Convention Center) and “Archive Aid” IVAA at ARTJOG13 (Taman Budaya Yogyakarta). He is a member of ruangrupa and lives and works in Jakarta.


Renan Ortiz


Renan Ortiz (b.1977, Manila) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Ortiz is the recipient of the Thirteen Artist Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (2012). He is an artist/curator and community organizer known for his political activism that resonates in his multi-media works (which also includes media and technology). He has been a member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines Secretariat since 2006, Start Art Foundation board member since 2008, a member of the Philippine Printmakers Association since 2009, and a member of the Executive Council of the National Commission for Culture and the Art’s Visual Arts Committee since 2010. Among his recent exhibits were: Lupa: Struggle for Land (U.P. Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Quezon City, 2013), Populus (The Drawing Room Gallery, Singapore, 2012). Ortiz currently teaches at St. Paul’s College in Quezon City, Philippines.

Murmur, 2012

Prilla Tania


Prilla Tania (b.1979, Bandung) studied fine art at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). She makes soft sculptures, installations, videos and photographs. She is also a performance artist. In 2004, together with two other video artists, Ariani Darmawan and Rani Ravenina, Prilla established a video collective called VideoBabes. She was an artist in residence at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan in 2010 and at Heden, Den Haag, Netherlands in 2012. Her work has been screened in a number of events, namely, Recorded Waves: Moving Images from Indonesia (Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, 2010). Her latest solo exhibition E was held at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space Bandung (2013).

Ik Eet Niet / I Don’t Eat, 2012

Chulayarnnon Siriphol


Chulayarnnon Siriphol (b.1986, Bangkok) graduated with bachelor’s degree in film and video from the faculty of architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Thailand. His interest in motion picture started from the rapid interest and popularity of the medium. His works trigger questions that reveal a thoughtful side of the subject often through sarcasm and dark humor, opposing mainstream subjects and ideas. Many of his films have won awards and have been presented in national and international screenings and exhibitions: Hua Lam Pong (2004), Ban Sai Tong (2005), Sleeping Beauty (2006), A Brief History of Memory (2010). He is now based in Bangkok.

Vanishing Horizon of the Sea, 2014

Portrait (Photo: Wachara Kanha)

Fairuz Sulaiman


Fairuz Sulaiman’s (b. 1982, Petaling Jaya) multi-tasking inter-disciplinary practice covers extensive ground. Combining digital and analogue formats, Fairuz has made music videos for local indie-bands, live video projections (VJ), animation for short films, designed visuals for stage using stop-motion, puppetry, hand-made masks, 3D animation and live video mixing. His VJ-oriented work includes moving visuals (often video) on large displays or screens to complement performance art, theatre productions and live music events. Exploring everyday objects is central to his creations. He recently presented Salam 1 Jepun (National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, 2013), a cross-cultural response event based on his experience as internship with Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Japan in 2012 through JENESYS Programme: Invitation Programme for Creators administered by the Japan Foundation. He is the Programme Director of Digital Art + Culture (DA+C) Festival in Penang.

Beberscope, 2013

Takeuchi Kota


Takeuchi Kota (b. 1982, Hyogo) graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Inter Media Art in 2008. Interested in the nature of public mind and phenomenon caused by group consciousness, Takeuchi has made artworks which intervene with urban landscape. Presupposing that unconscious desires of individuals pull the strings of group surface’s consciousness, Takeuchi’s works extract images of people and society today and uncover the artificial forces which define the landscapes and senses. Since 2011, his work has been addressing the historical development of modern industries in Japan as well as the physical and emotional impact these industries have made in our surrounding. His latest exhibitions include Site Consuming Shadow (MORI Museum, Fukushima, 2013), Open Secret (Snow Contemporary, Tokyo, 2012) and MOT Collection: Afterimages of Tomorrow (Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2013).

From the Moment of Recording, It Became Peeping. 2011
Courtesy of Snow Contemporary

Tamura Yuichiro


Tamura Yuichiro (b. 1977, Toyama) graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts. He is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University’s Graduate School of Film and New Media. He has consistently pursued the possibilities of the moving image, taking photography as a point of departure while straddling various other media and frameworks, including film, installation, and performance. He samples not only images that he has taken himself but also preexisting footage, coaxing unique relationships out of them in order to create new landscapes. He received the excellence award at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2010 for NIGHTLESS, and this work has been screened internationally at The 57th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (2011) and Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2011). In 2012, NIGHTLESS ver. 6 was acquired for the public collection of Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. He is a recipient of Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists 2013 at Institut für Raumexperimente under the Berlin University of the Arts, Olafur Eliasson Class, and University of the Arts London.

The Dream I Dreamt in the Forest, 2013

Co-oiranized by Aomori Contemporary Art Centre [ACAC], The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fisical 2014
Cooperated by the Drawing Room, Easy Living
In collaboration with Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

Logo design: Hashizume So
Graphic design & Art direction: call and response (Sakakibara Akira / Odawara Fuminori)
Curator: Hattori Hiroyuki