9. -13. September 2020


What is the benefit of an online festival?
How we can utilize this unfortunate but unique opportunity?
TOKYO GARDEN will be a place where we exhibit current Japanese artists’ works, but, will also be a chance to trace the origin of Japanese Media Art through talks, interviews and a sharing archive.
KEY: Online, 2020, TOKYO, CONTEXT, ARCHIVE, LIVE, Map the new world.

Seiichi Saito (JP)
Creative Director, Rhizomatiks
Director of TOKYO GARDEN, Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion

TOKYO GARDEN / Exhibition

  • Video

Shadows as Athletes (short version)

Masahiko Sato (JP), Masashi Sato (JP), Masaya Ishikawa (JP), Tomoko Kaizuka (JP)

One of the video productions created as welcome visuals displayed at the Japan Olympic Museum. It centers on shadows of around 10 different sports athletes, including those of fencing and rhythmic gymnastics. The figures are shot either from up above or else upside down, and they move as soft piano music plays in the background. As the athletes’ bodies are shot from unnatural angles and are often cut out from the screen, viewers are inevitably forced to watch while focusing on their shadows. They cannot glean any personal information on the athletes from these shadows, such as their names, physical features, nationality or age, nor can they see any facial expressions or detailed muscle movements. At some moments, the form of the shadow itself gets distorted, preventing viewers from being able to decipher any movements or postures of the athletes at all. This video, by showing only a limited amount of information and forcing viewers to try to comprehend by filling in missing information themselves, successfully brings across the athletes’ intense drive and single-minded efforts. In addition to the mechanism by which viewers watch while activating their own imagination, the non-verbal nature of this video, containing no narration, renders its image universal.

Cooperation: Japan Olympic Museum
Director’s message
It's not just artists that aspire to be as good as Masahiko Sato, but many people in creative fields such as advertising. His ideas are pure, unadulterated and simple. That's why they bring out the beauty that is not created by adding on to them, but rather the beauty that can only be seen when you change your perspective. There lies a richness of beauty.


Shadows as Athletes (short version)

Inspired by the original work of:

Shadows as Athletes

Masahiko Sato (JP), Masashi Sato (JP), Masaya Ishikawa (JP), Tomoko Kaizuka (JP)

23rd Japan Media Arts Festival / Entertainment Division Grand Prize
Video work

  • Masahiko Sato (JP)

    Professor, Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts
    Using original methods and ideas, he is involved in cross-disciplinary research and development of video, animation and graphic design, as well as research on brain science and expression. He specializes in educational methods and methods of expression.
    His representative works include the PlayStation software "I.Q," NHK's educational television program "Pythagora Switch" and "Texico." Exhibitions include "Arithmetik Garden" and "Pool of Fingerprint." Publications include "Duality" “A Conference on ‘So, That’s What the Economy is All About” and "Mole Bus.” Awards include Asahi Advertising Award Highest Award, New York ADC Gold Prix, the Mathematical Society of Japan Publishing Prize, D&AD Award (Yellow Pencil), 2011 Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts, 2013 Medal with Purple Ribbon, 2014 and 2018 Cannes Film Festival's official invitation for short films.

  • Masashi Sato (JP)

    Film Director
    Affiliated with EUPHRATES. Recent activities include "Crafting Creatures Gesundroid" (SIE, 2019), "Thinking Crow," "Texico" and "Pythagora Switch for Adults" (NHK). and exhibited works such as "The Room Where Things Barely Fit" (Maison Hermes, 2018).

  • Masaya Ishikawa (JP)

    Film Director/Graphic Designer/Visual Expression Researcher
    Born in 1980. Studied at Masahiko Sato's laboratory at Keio University, he joined the creative group EUPHRATES from 2006 until 2019. Founded his design studio cog in 2020.

  • Tomoko Kaizuka (JP)

    Art Director
    Studied at Masahiko Sato's laboratory at Keio University, she then joined the creative group EUPHRATES. She has been working on the development of new forms of expression in all media, including video, animation and books, and has been involved in the planning. Her works include art direction of NHK Educational program "Pythagora Switch" and "0655/2355." Her publications include picture book series "Kon Gara Gacchi" and "Abebe's Adventure" (Shogakkan).

Cooperation: Japan Olympic Museum

Production Company: GEEK PICTURES INC., EUPHRATES, Dentsu LIVE, Geekpictures
Art Director: Masahiko Sato, Masashi Sato
Director: Tomoko Kaizuka, Masaya Ishikawa
Executive Producer: Shigeki Tomiyama / Producer: Soichi Ono
Account Producer: Tomoyasu Higuchi, Hiroki Gedo, Kosui Yamashina / Account Assistant: Marie Hoshino, Iku Miura, Nao Yasuoka, Akira Kadoya / Lighting Designer: Ryo Shima
Music Composer: Masaki Kurihara / Creative Agency: Dentsu
Client: Japanese Olympic Committee / Music Artist: Masaki Hayashi / Planner: Mio Ueta, Hirofumi Yonemoto, Kohji Robert Yamamoto / Advertising Agency: DENTSU INC. / Design Agency: DENTSU LIVE INC.