Curatorial Theme

The Power of the Unseen

Time, Sound, Resonance, Ecosystems, Social Bodies, Bonds and Life

This is an era in which technology blankets the entire world and all societies, and underlies people’s cognition and behavioral patterns. Until this point, we took technology for granted as a mere tool, but now we live in a world where unperfected technology interacts with itself so rapidly as if it were mutating into something we have no control of. As humans lose their grip on technology, we are being questioned about the meaning of life as human beings.

Without exception, we are all now aware that modern civilization is being shaken by what we cannot “see,” such as the overly standardized social system which lacks diversity and tolerance, and the vulnerability of our overcrowded cities, in their constant pursuit of greater efficiency. There are no spectators. It's time for us to start the Digital New Deal.

The previously unseen forces of time, sound, resonance, ecosystems, social bodies, bonds and life have also brought new sensations to our inherent cognitive powers. Knowing that we can now perceive the world by using all the functions of our bodies, we can receive wisdom, have the courage to live, and perceive those areas of human life that are unchanged. The time has come to redefine the world itself under these new conditions.

We are pleased to introduce the winners from the Japan Media Arts Festival, by exploring the work of artists and practitioners who continue to express the signs of change in society. We are also highlighting various collective movements in the industrial world that go beyond the boundaries of art.


Director of Garden TOKYO, Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion
September 2021



General Manager, Corporate Technology Strategy Division,
Sony Group Corporation

Visiting Researcher, The University of Tokyo

Adviser, The Project to Support Emerging Media Arts Creators, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, 2017–2019

TOMURA has 25 years’ experience as a content-plus-sustainability professional, with a particular focus on the integration of advanced technology into new experiences, entertainment and social issues. After completing her master’s degree in Chemistry and Media Arts at Keio University, she started her career at Shiseido in advertising. She then joined Sony Corporation in 2001, and while employed at Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) and at Aniplex, Inc., oversaw the launch of the digital content distribution business for film and animation. Afterward, as Head of CSR Innovation in Sony HQ, she engaged with NGOs, the United Nations and other organizations on projects that utilized technology to tackle social issues from 2010 to 2014. She also acted as community manager of creators for Sony’s new concept Life Space UX in 2015. Currently, she oversees content development, Sci&Tech communication and sustainability.

As a visiting researcher at the KAKEHI Yasuaki Laboratory, the University of Tokyo Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, she is researching the collective creations of artists and engineers.

Award: Sound installation Acoustic Vessel Odyssey, the 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival Entertainment Division Jury Selections, 2018

About Garden TOKYO

The Japan Media Arts Festival will participate in the Ars Electronica Festival 2021, as part of the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ project to support and promote the award-winning works and creators overseas.

This year’s Ars Electronica Festival, under the theme “A New Digital Deal,” will be held at on-site venues in Linz, Austria, and at approximately 100 virtual venues, called Gardens, around the world.

The Garden TOKYO special site welcomes TOMURA Asako (Sony Group Corporation), who has been engaged in the development of various radical content, as the director. The site will showcase the award-winning works by Japanese artists at the Prix Ars Electronica 2021 and the Japan Media Arts Festival, with live-streaming performances, online talks and more.

Press release

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