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CCBT ShowCase

Media Art Studies 2023 “Playing with Your Eyes” Directed by Iwai Toshio

Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]
Mondays (Open if Monday is a public holiday, in which case CCBT will be closed the following day)
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT]

Try out nineteenth-century animation devices. Rediscover famous media art works. Make your own animations. A playground for exploring the rich world of moving images!

Civic Creative Base Tokyo transforms into a playground for experiencing, discovering, and creating the principles and mechanics of moving images with a series of events overseen by the media artist and children’s book author Iwai Toshio.
The advances in telecommunications and digital devices have meant that we are now surrounded by more images in our everyday lives than at any time in human history, putting vast amounts of information at our fingertips. But in this playground, images that are usually static comes to life and move, offering you the opportunity to rediscover the playful visual trickery and wonder and awe intrinsic to moving image and animation. Learn how early animation devices from the nineteenth century worked, “replay” Iwai’s Time Stratum series, a major work in the history of media art, and experience the creativity of art and technology!

Direction: Iwai Toshio
Program direction: Hashimoto Norihisa, Myokam Hiroko


[Installation View]
Iwai Toshio: A Retrospective—A House of 100 Stories and Media Art”(2022 / The Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki)

Animation Devices and Special Exhibits

Before the arrival of celluloid film, many optical and animation devices were invented, especially in the nineteenth century, including the phenakistiscope (phenakistoscope), camera obscura, and stereoscope. Try using these early devices for yourself and experience the sheer, unadulterated wonder of seeing pictures come to life and move. Around twenty pre-film devices are available to try in the venue. Other exhibits include works by the likes of Iwai Toshio, Furukawa Taku, and Hashimoto Norihisa who uniquely developed the principles of moving image.

Iwai Toshio, Time Stratum Ⅳ (1990)

Replaying the Time Stratum series

The Time Stratum series (1985–90) is an early, major work by Iwai Toshio that uses TV monitors as a strobe light source to animate pictures and objects. Though Iwai later developed the series into the well-known Bouncing Totoro exhibit at Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, it has not been shown publicly for over twenty-five years. CCBT has worked with the artist to restore and recreate three of the works from this “lost” series (Time Stratum I, Time Stratum III, Time Stratum IV), which made a pioneering impact on new media art in Japan.

CCBT Art×Tech Lab “Make a Praxinoscope Workshop” Lecturer: Hashimoto Norihisa (2023)

DIY Corner and Workshops

Experience firsthand the principles and mechanics behind animation and moving images, and make your own device. You can draw your own pictures and try creating your own animations using a phenakistiscope, zoetrope, or computer. During the summer holidays, instructors will also lead workshops.

■Special Exhibit

The House with 100 Stories (Mirror Version) (2022)
The House with 100 Stories is an immensely popular series of children’s books about houses that get taller and taller as you turn the pages. The exhibition includes a three-dimensional version of the titular house created with mirrors. Don’t miss this chance to experience firsthand the latest work by an artist whose exciting practice straddles both media art and children’s books. See how much of the mystery you can solve with your own eyes!

Iwai Toshio

media artist, children’s book author

Born in 1962 in Aichi, Iwai Toshio started making experimental animations during college, and in 1985 became the youngest recipient of the Contemporary Art Exhibition of Japan Awards for Time Stratum II, which was inspired by nineteenth-century animation devices like the phenakistiscope and zoetrope. He subsequently became a pioneering new media artist whose wide-ranging output includes the TV show Ugo Ugo Ruga, the Bouncing Totoro exhibit at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, the Nintendo DS game Electroplankton, and the Tenori-on electronic musical instrument made for Yamaha. Iwai won the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica for his 1996 performance with Sakamoto Ryuichi. He made his debut as a children’s book author in 2006. His bestselling series The House with 100 Stories has sold 4 million. In 2022, a comprehensive overview of his career, “Which One’s Which? Iwai Toshio: A Retrospective—A House of 100 Stories and Media Art”(2022), was held at the Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki.

Hashimoto Norihisa

Primitive media artist

Hashimoto Norihisa creates minimal yet powerful work from perspectives rooted in various devices related to the history and development of moving image. He has run numerous video media workshops and his major work includes Panorama Ball (1995) and Super High-Resolution Human-Size Photographs life-size (2003). Hashimoto’s work has appeared at such festivals and exhibitions as Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2006, Hashimoto Norihisa’s World: Magnifying (Insect) Glasses and Globes (Gallery A4, 2011), Matsudo Art Picnic (2017), and Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2022. He is a part-time instructor at the Musashino Art University Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences.


Myokam Hiroko

curator, archivist/researcher

Born in 1976 in Ishikawa, Myokam Hiroko graduated from the University of Tsukuba School of Art and Design and Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, and did graduate studies in media art history at University for Continuing Education Krems. After a stint as a curator at the NTT InterCommunication Center, she began working on various projects and research related to documenting and preserving media art. From 2013, she was involved in digitizing and building a database of video art for the Inter Media Art Institute in Düsseldorf, Germany. From 2018, Myokam founded Eizo Workshop with Kimura Noriyuki, which strives to uncover dormant cultural and artistic resources, and link them up with future creativity.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT] (Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)

Project cooperation: Tokyo Photographic Art Museum