About Video Art in Japan
The first portable video camera was developed in Japan by Sony in 1964, but Japanese artists did not begin to work extensively with this new medium until they had been exposed to work by artists from North America and Europe. The influence of western conceptual art shows strongly in much Japanese video from the 1970s, but the focus is quite different. Japanese artists focused more on video as a communication tool capable of creating new situations that modify social behavior, and they explored the formal and technical capabilities of video in great depth. For example, Japanese artists experimented with single- and multi-camera live feedback setups well into the 1980s. Japanese artists also engaged in a careful dissection of the formal and poetic complexities allowed by editing and were unaffected by the headlong rush into narrative being pursued in other parts of the world.
DVD Vital Signals is a survey of the vibrant, interdisciplinary video art scene in Japan in the 1960s and '70s. Produced by Electroni Arts Iintermex, the DVD anthology features sixteen works by fifteen Japanese artists, among them key figures such as Takahiko Iimura, Mako Idemitsu and Toshio Matsumoto. The DVD is accompanied by a 100-page, bilingual (English and Japanese) illustrated catalogue publication. Essays by Barbara London, Glenn Phillips, and Hirofumi Sakamoto draw out the unique art historical and cultural contexts of early Japanese video art, and its relation to film and other visual art forms.
*CTG, *Kohei Ando, *Takahiko Iimura, *Keigo Yamamoto, *Toshio Matsumoto, *Video Earth Tokyo, *Mako Idemitsu, *Nobuhiro Kawanaka, *Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, *Norio Imai, *Hakudo Kobayashi, *Tatsuo Kawaguchi, *Saburo Muraoka, *Keiji Uematsu, *Morihiro Wada