The newly released “Tokyo Light Odyssey”, with its 360° imagery, brings a new possibility to VR representation

WOW magazine 109 - Oct. 13th, 2016

We would like to announce that WOW’s new film installation work “Tokyo Light Odyssey” will be exhibited at the Japan Media Arts Festival 20th Anniversary Exhibition, “New Styles, New Artists: The Contemporary Trend of Artists,” which will open on October 15th, 2016.

Tokyo Light Odyssey

From the lights of skyscrapers against the curtain of the night sky, neon lights in the street, the headlights of trains and cars in motion, to the lights that fill each and every home... fragments of the city float like stardust out of the darkness, leading to a new vision of the city of Tokyo with omnidirectional motion graphics (screening duration: about 5 minutes).

A dome-shaped screen with a diameter of six meters was built for this exhibition. We developed two versions of the work: one is an installation work that can be viewed by looking up at the film projected on the screen, and the other offers a full celestial sphere experience by wearing an HMD.

Project Background
Ever since the birth of moving pictures, the development of the medium has been based on the assumption that movies are shown on a flat presentation medium, such as a monitor, and that the viewers have a fixed relationship with them. However, virtual reality technology, beginning with head mounted displays, disrupts this status quo; movies in this realm have a display range of 360°, far greater than a person’s field of vision, and are bestowed with a dynamic level of interaction born from tracking the viewer’s line of sight. The advantage of this is not limited to vicarious experiences of the real world, or an overwhelming sense of immersion. Movements like shaking and spinning can derail one’s sense of balance, and induce psychological reactions, giving a new dimension to the influence that films now have.

From this background, WOW’s in-house project, “Beyond Motion Graphics”, is exploring new possibilities in motion graphics, and, in addition to the technological aspect of virtual reality, is putting an emphasis on the breakthrough movies in this medium as being artistic expressions. Just what will happen when the visual designs that up until now had only been something to view, are turned into whole worlds through this new medium?

After a year of trial and error, investigating the issue peculiar to virtual reality where the audience are not all looking in the same direction at the same time, and the methodology for guiding their line of sight extremely naturally via the direction of motion and information content held in the scenery, WOW completed the original omnidirectional movie, “Tokyo Light Odyssey”.

About Beyond Motion Graphics

Reflecting on “the expression and technology of the next generation,” this WOW internal project was set up by wowlab, an experimental laboratory established to create movies with a new perspective. Means of expression and techniques are closely related, and the techniques to materialize the thoughts and ideas of creators shift from generation to generation. In the future, mediums such as the head-mounted display that directly affects our visual perception will be widespread. While these mediums give a sense of immersion, they are also capable of controlling one’s sense of balance. “What feelings will be generated?” and “what kind of designs are needed?” when a user dives into the world of motion graphics? “Beyond Motion Graphics” is a project by WOW that challenges the future of motion graphics.

Beyond Motion Graphics

New Styles, New Artists: The Contemporary Trend of Artists

At the Japan Media Arts Festival 20th Anniversary Exhibition, “New Styles, New Artists: The Contemporary Trend of Artists” where our “Tokyo Light Odyssey” will be exhibited, there will be exhibitions by four groups of artists that illustrate new methodologies with the use of technology, as well as movies and display panels presenting their broad areas of activities.

In recent years, we have witnessed the establishment of a new trend in media artists’style of activity; they freely traverse the fields of art, design, and entertainment, sometimes engaging in works commissioned by clients, and at other times expressing themselves through creative activities in the arts field. They also tend to establish production entities together with fellow artists rather than engaging in activities on their own. The emergence of new artists who engage in such expansive realms of activity in expressing themselves has been increasing in prominence since the late 1990s, which coincides with the beginning of the annual Japan Media Arts Festival. In this exposition, we will give a selective introduction to the works of art by these new creators.

Artists:WOW, plaplax, rhizomatiks, Takram

Period:Saturday, October 15 - Sunday, November 6, 2016 (except Mondays)
Opening Hours:11:00 - 18:00 (last entry 30 minutes prior to closing)
Venue:NTT InterCommunication Center[ICC]
Address:Tokyo Opera City Tower 4th Floor, 3-20-2 Nishi Shijuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-1404
Exhibiting Work:“Tokyo Light Odyssey” by WOW
Japan Media Arts Festival 20th Anniversary Exhibition, “New Styles, New Artists: The Contemporary Trend of Artists”
Japan Media Arts Festival 20th Anniversary Exhibition - Power to Change

Talk Session “New Styles, New Artists: The Contemporary Trend of Artists”

The talk event at the Japan Media Arts Festival 20th Anniversary Exhibition, ‘New Styles, New Artists: The Contemporary Trend of Artists’
Four artists exhibiting their works based on the theme of the title above will talk about the exhibited works and the future of creativity.

Sekiguchi Atsuhito (Visual Artist / Professor, Aichi University of Arts / Former Japan Media Arts Festival Jury Member [Art Division]), Hatanaka Minoru (Chief Curator, NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]), Tazaki Yuki (Conceptor / Creative Director / WOW), Nakazi Takuma (Executive Director / Art Director / WOW), Manabe Daito (Media Artist / Rhizomatiks Research), Ishibashi Motoi (Engineer, Artist / Rhizomatiks Research), Chikamori Motoshi (Artist / plaplax), Kakehi Yasuaki (Media Artist, Researcher / plaplax / Associate Professor, Keio University), Ogata Hisato (Director / Design Engineer / takram)

Date:October 28th 18:00 - 19:15
Venue: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] 4th Floor
*Click here to for more detail.

WOW magazine