Featured on Netorabo, Nov 28, 2011

メイド喫茶が電脳化! デジタルとリアルのメイドがお迎えします

電脳と萌えの世界へようこそ、ご主人様――メイド喫茶「電脳喫茶☆電脳酒場『めいどりーみん』」が12月6日、東京都渋谷区にオープンする。サイネージに住む萌えキャラが店内の状況に合わせて動き出すなど、店内にさまざまな「電脳仕掛け」を施しているのが特徴だ。(Excerpt from the text)

Featured on International Symposium of Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON, Oct 2011

An information society, Technology, Design, Art, Culture, and Industry 

Making the borders between Technology, Art, and Design more Ambiguous.  Before the information age, technology, design and art were clearly divided areas. However, the border has become blurred within the digital domain. For example, if we look at the interface of an I phone, it is difficult to define which parts are programming and which are the designer’s work. It turns out that both technology and design are concerned with the processing and relaying of information. Before digitalization it was necessary to have a physical substance for information to be transmitted through design or art. The situation changed with the digital age when information was released from the confines of having to be mediated through a physical substance, which in-turn necessitated the boundaries of design, art and technology.  In the information society people tend to become expert in one particular field and therefore it has become harder to create art on an individual basis, this is why TEAMLAB utilizes the skills of a group of artists and technicians. [1] Competitive superiority = Region highly dependent on culture In informational society, another change has been taking place. The common speed which is verbalized domain becomes too fast. Therefore the region is no more the necessary condition in order to have an advantage in the competition. Before the information society, in case of iron-making technology, technological gap is caused by the country. But the technological gap has been reduced IT can logicalize and verbalize.  However in domain where is highly depending on culture, can not explain verbally; for example, in domain such as “Cool, nice, interesting”. This methodology is difficult to share. We think that really is where the advantage of developed countries. The differences are much more in region where heavily dependent on culture. As a result, it leads to competitive force.  In other word, we believe that the industry which rebuilds the region highly depended on culture with technology, and the developed countries with social infrastructure can get by in the world. In the informational society, a change has been taking place. The speed at which the verbalized world can be shared has increased so dramatically that competition for a particular geopgraphical area is no longer an advantage. Before the information society, in the case of iron-making technology, a technological gap was caused by the country. But the technological gap has been reduced by IT’s ability to logicalize and verbalize.[2]Japanese Culture and Japanese Spatial Recognition So what is Japanese culture? What is behind Japanese culture? How do we grasp culture? How do we take in, understand and see the world? At TEAMLAB we believe that we may be able to find answers to some of these questions through making art and through the creative process.  Before the introduction of Western culture, the late Edo period (late 19th Century), Japan was a closed country to foreign commerce. During that time it is possible that people had a different way of seeing the world. Japanese painting lacked Western Perspective, and because of this it is often said that Japanese painting is flat. However, we propose that Japanese ancestors saw the world exactly as it is depicted in a classic Japanese print. When they looked at a Japanese painting they were able to see or feel the space in the painting, just as we see space and depth information in a modern day photograph. Considering this we at TEAMLAB began to wonder if Japanese didn’t have a different logic of space recognition to Western perspective.TEAMLAB video production  TEAMLAB has made a number of video works that attempt to recreate the recognition of space of our Japanese ancestors’ in 3 dimensions. We hope that in the process we may be able to discover a new mode of expression.  Example; the installation movie 100 YEARS SEA -Animation Diorama- [3] This work was created in a three dimensional computer space and the motion of the waves was computer generated.  Then we converted the animation so that it could be visualized inline with our ideas concerning Japanese spatial recognition – the hypothesis that, Japanese painting was founded on a different logic of spatial awareness to that of perspective. Producing video works using Japanese spatial awareness has advantages over perspective [4]. For example, the middle of a movie theater is often considered the best place to view the movie, the visual experience becoming impaired with distance from the screen. However, using Japanese spatial awareness, there is no focal point and there is no need to identify with the location of the viewers. Therefore, the viewers can freely walk around the exhibition space.  In addition it is not necessary to use a flat surface on which to project the image. In the case of the installation of “100 Years Sea”, the work was exhibited on screens that were at 90 degrees to each other without damaging the installation experience. Perhaps this can be understood in relation to the tradition of painting on Japanese folding screens. The work, ”Life survives by the power of life” [5] was exhibited as part of  TEAMLAB’s “Live!” exhibition at Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei in April of 2011, at the 54th “Future Pass” Venice Biennale, Hong Kong’s art fair “ART HK”, and “VOLTA” Basel, Switzerland. This work also uses the concept of Japanese spatial recognition. When shown as a still image the work appears flat, just as a Japanese print, but during playback it appears to occupy a 3 dimensional space.Japanese Subjective Space Description which supports “Narikiri” (Entering a Picture, or Visualizing a Picture from inside it) Western perspective is drawn from the view point of the artist and recognition of space can be thought of as fan-like. If you were to try to see the view as if you were in the picture, narikiri, then what you see would change. (In the case of a portrait painting the person in the picture would look back at the artist or viewer / figure A)  However, the concept of the observing point in Yamato-e (Japanese painting) is weak, and the grasp of space is very different from that of perspective. If I draw a picture from the observation point of the person who is depicted in a Japanese painting, then the recognition of the space would almost be the same. [6] As mentioned above let’s assume that you are able to see the world as an ancient Japanese saw and recognized the world, as in Japanese paintings, and that you enter into a yamato-e picture. Unlike with a perspective painting the picture doesn’t change. Even though you become the character in the picture while viewing the picture, you can still keep watching it (Figure B). In the video game “Dragon Quest”, the players enter into the character whilst watching and playing the game. It gives them enjoyment because they enter into the world of the character and experience the picture the world of Dragon Quest as if they were in it. That is the spatial representation of “Dragon Quest (Figure C) [7]. However, as mentioned above, with Western perspective a person cannot enter the picture in the same way. Therefore the player of the game only sees details like the hand, handle, and cockpit of the airplane. Japanese spatial recognition supports the notion of “pretend” and its recognition is highly subjective. This subjective awareness goes together well with the information society.We believe that in the future when new industries emerge, if the industry and culture fit together well, then the strengths of the culture will be preserved for the benefit of the whole world. [1] We at TEAMLAB create teams of specialist among various fields who are able to transcend the boundaries of their own field of research. We attach importance to utilizing the discoveries that are made during the creative process for future projects.[2] We are Japanese and the topic is based on Japan, but it might share something in common with South East Asia.[3] 100 YEARS SEA -Animation Diorama- TEAMLAB, 2009, Animation Installation, 10min 00sec(19m 200mm × 2m 400mm) & 100 years(16:9 × 5) *2 versions, sound: Hideaki Takahashi[4] There are also disadvantages. Objective and physical size information is lost.[5] Life survives by the power of life[6] Some people would consider this idea ridiculous. However, perspective is also unnatural. The focus of the human eye is very narrow. The human eye does not clearly see detail like that of photographs and paintings of the Mona Lisa. The eye moves rapidly and the focus changes along the timeline. Information is synthesized along a narrow and shallow range of focus in the brain; the image just looks like a picture in perspective. That eye continuously takes thousands of photographs and synthesizes large numbers of pictures with a certain law in the brain to recognize the spatial perspective.[7] The method of expression of Japanese art fits well with game contents in which the main character is manipulated interactively. We believe that the Japanese game industry achieved much success due to utilizing the strengths of Japanese art representation.

Featured on TechCrunch, Oct 14, 2012

Shopping 2.0: Interactive Hangers Used In Japanese Clothes Store (Videos)

“Since it is said that the next of Web 2.0 is Shopping 2.0, an “interactive hanger” may first have an interview with Japan, or it must not be surprised. This overservice, overshopping, an overfashion, Taegu Noro   It is as natural as it in the country where ジ is superfluous.The store Vanquish of the problem is in department store 109 MEN’S of the center of Tokyo. It is introducing as “.

Featured on, Sep, 2011


CEDEC 2011の3日目となる2011年9月8日の基調講演は,「ウルトラテクノロジスト集団チームラボ」の代表である猪子寿之氏による「情報化社会,インターネット,デジタルアート,日本文化」だ。アートというと,それだけでなにやら得体の知れない雰囲気が漂うが,講演は終始具体的かつエキサイティングなものであった。以下,その模様をご紹介したい。

Featured on, July 29, 2011

Venice Biennale Report | "WORLD CULTURE REPORT Vol.19"

Creators, editors, and writers who related in various ways become contributors at PUBLIC-IMAGE.ORG. Here comes “WORLD CULTURE REPORT” that delivers the information of hot creators from all over the world. On this time, Mr. KurandoFuruya who is an editor reports the art festival “Venice Biennale” in Venice, Italy. Text: KurandoFuruyaHello, everyone. I am KurandoFuruya who is an editor.I am an editor that usually deals with videos and graphic designs, but I arrogantly came to Venice Biennale. I don’t have words to talk about arts and know not many artists. But “Venice Biennale”, the biggest art festival in the world, is the party every one wants to go at once. My complex interest drives me to book the flight ticket. I could ride the staff bus with the consideration of Mr. Inoko Toshiyuki of teamLab, who was the one of a few Japanese artists attend Venice Biennale. I spent 3 days for press preview and was able to complete Biennale. Please enjoy this with the pictures taken by iPhone.teamLab exhibited the video artwork “LIFE SURVIVES BY THE POWER OF LIFE” that was also reported our main site. teamLab, Calligraphy: Sisyu “LIFE SURVIVES BY THE POWER OF LIFE” (2011)It has beendisplayed until November 6, 2011 in the “FUTURE PASS” satellite hall with Taiwanese and Chinese artists.The First DayAs soon as we got Venice, we went to the hall directly because teamLab had to install their works.BUT!!!! Their works and monitors were not arrived yet.Mysteriously the waterbus route that usually is a foot of Venice was stopped the whole line for its strike even if that day was one day before the press preview of the Biennale.The hall in where the works were not arrived yet was empty and had full of heavy calm air. I who am slightly not a related person can’t stand to stay, so I went to the Natural History Museum in the neighborhood. There was no visitor and no feeling of Biennale at all. The place was cool. The museum was the recommended place even though it wasn’t in a guidebook. Eventually, teamLab can’t install their work and finish their first day.The Second DayIn the morning, it seemed there was something happened when I got to the exhibition hall. The story was the press pass that we could look around everything in Biennale weren’t handed out by a staff’s mistake. WHAT! It was going to be just traveling Venice until the end. It was the happening that made our goal upset from the base. I was embarrassing. After the staffs of teamLab kept complaining, we could get two passes that had the name of Chinese female artists. We wouldn’t care to be found out whether we were Chinese or Japanese, male or female as long as we are Asians. But we who related to teamLab including me were 4 people. After we do the rock-paper-scissors really seriously, Inoko and I went into the exhibition hall.Because I had to give my pass to two members who were remained, I desperately looked around the exhibition. After I finished to wait on the long line for entering the exhibition, I have suddenly noticed something at the moment the barcode of my voucher. I went directly to the trashcan close to the entrance. It was right there. It was the voucher is for the press preview. The press pass of Biennaleis at the trashcan of the exhibition. This is a little knowledge of Biennale. (Currently the entrance fee is 20 euros.)Venice Biennale is held once in 2 years. It has the three major exhibition form. The first one “Garden” is held on the main exhibition hall next to the En’nareStation. (It says a station but it is a waterbus.)“Arsenal” is a historical shipbuilding area.The festival itself is called Biennale and there is the station called Biennale. It’s very complicated. There are the National Pavilion that is organized by each country and the exhibition hall that is produced by the main director,BiceCuriger. (The title called an artistic director) It is exhibited with theme “ILLUMInations.”Each county’s pavilions that tell the history of this modern art festival continuing over 100 years on the hall “Garden” were lined in the method of Expo. Representative artists of each country use all pavilions and show their skills. By the way, the representation of Japan was TABAIMO. Pavilion is certainly not only solo, but competent of numbers of artists.GardenSomehow the each country’s fever of arts is understandable to see the line on the hall “Garden.” There were long lines on America and England. Germany and France were also success. Japan was in good condition. By the way, Italy’s place in Arsenawas pretty much empty.American’s pavilion had pretty much long line at the hall “Garden.” A person was running on the tank’s caterpillar that was installed upside down. After waiting about 30 minutes, there was the Olympic gold medalist were doing Gymnastics on woodcraft of airplane’s first class seat!And an ATM with a pipe organ.Disgusting. Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s works show disgusting parts of America. And the money was suffering.The exhibition of France was Christian Boltanski. Pictures of baby’s faces were repeating on a rotary press machine surrounds the venue, and there was Montage of baby and adult at the back room. Countdown was made at the both left and right side of room. It was suggestive although I didn’t understand well.While I was walking around the hall with full of green, I arrived to the main pavilion bigger than other places. There was an exhibition place by the main director, BiceCuriger. (The title called an artistic director)First, Suffered pigeons lined up on the ceiling.SigmarPolke who passed out last year. Acrylic plate on the wave is affixed on dot paintlike noise of the old copy machine. Cool~There were full of ideas for helping life and interior.This is a permanent, Café at the Biennale venue. Cool~. The interior was so vivid that it seems to be weak in sight if staying for long time. I would copy this~.And the one that was awesome was Swiss. It was an odd space that was configured in garbage like aluminum foil, crackedbottle, magazines, and etc.Awesome~. It would be just a garbage room if I copied this. But these density, size, and equivalent. It’s crazy. Awesome. I would copy this~.Above, it was the report of elementary student levelaboutBiennale “Garden” area. There were high quality pavilions in “Garden” area. If you want to feel the air of Biennale, you need to go here first.At the second day’s night, I went to the Middle Eastern pavilion’s presentation with my t-shirt and short pants. I completely misread TPO and wanted to die. The palace… The Third DayArsenalBecause of my scavenging on the second day, four of us would be able to enter the exhibition on the third day. The exhibition work of teamLab was installed yet, but the reception party of “FUTURE PASS” on the Satellite venue would be held on 6 o’clock in the afternoon. I was worried about as their friends, but there would be nothing to be solved even though I was waiting with them. So anyway I decided to leave “FUTURE PASS.” I went toward one more main place, “Arsenal.”The place was used to be a large warehouse of shipbuilding field.It started from a really small entrance. It was indicated on water place instead of Biennale venue was surrounded by green. However, it was large after I entered the venue. There was the dismantling and rebuilding old house artwork by Song Dong. An art booth that displayed Franz West’s drawings, photos, and trashes. This kind of things even became look cool if the place is big. I would copy it~. And here is the movie work “The Clock” by Christian Marclay. It was conscious of the clock by cutting up from movies from all over the world, and it showed waiting people. After I watched for an hour, I was thinking that it was not going to be the end. As what I heard later, it was a long film of 24 hours. It would be shown at Yokohama Triennale on October 6. I would like to watch full of the movie. This one is a huge candle work. By the time the session is over, even the trace would be gone.Until here, it was perfect organized area by a curator. Of course, it had high quality average compared to the each country’s area.There was demo of “FREE Ai WeiWei” in front of China pavilion. Chinese visitors were watching the demo.I think it needs to be explained that Venice Biennale is mixed with good and bad things. Each country’s pavilions were organized by the curator who represented by the pavilion. So, there was more like a national trade fair than an art exhibition. The Italian pavilion lined up lots of their artists to crush the host county.SatelliteThe Arsenal and Biennale pavilionswere packed tightly, but there are the exhibition hallscattered around in the city of Venice. “FUTURE PASS” that teamLab participated was the one of them. Venice that has more than 100 years buildings everywhere looked great even though it was decorated with whatever. What a good infrastructure. I forgot to take a picture while walking around the Satellite. Good one was good, and bad one was bad in the Satellite exhibition that participated in the town like a maze. The qualities were different because each country organized the exhibitions. “Punta dellaDogana” that built in the 17th century and has been repaired by Tadao Ando in recent year was full of modern artworks of star artists; Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Mike Kelley, SigmarPolke.At the last night, all of us went to a club. It was amazing. Because Venice is historic landfill, the ground is small. The club was also amazingly small. So few clubs were all packed and packed. DJ was using MacBook to play music. The music didn’t play, so I looked after. Then iTunes was showed up. Venice was distorted.Despite of the lower interest to local people, groups from around the world show off their big collection at the modern art museum. There were beautiful islands, historical town, and distorted amusements. It was weird but the only one in the world festival. I want to say, “See Biennale before die.”

Featured on STUDIO VOICE , Jul, 2012

About the exhibit works “LIFE SURVIVES BY THE POWER OF LIFE” at the exhibition of Venice Biennale. Toshiyuki Inoko(TeamLab) Interview

The Video work of teamLab "Life survives by the power of life" (a.k.a. “Live”) has been created for their first solo exhibition in Taiwan. It has been exhibited until the end of November 27 as a few Japanese artists at the exhibition of Venice Biennale since June 2011.This work that was exhibited with the works by Takashi Murakami and Kaikai Kiki in “Future Pass – From Asia to the World” is expressing Japanese calligraphy “生”(means “to live”) as 3D. And it represents an overflowing life that following around the season by showing that vegetation sprout from the character.We asked Toshiyuki Inoko, who has done with the construction and reception party after the third day of the press review of Venice Biennale, about the background of how the work was created and the thoughts that was put in the work.History of "Gallery debut"– I think that it may be good to say that this year is the year of the art debut of teamLab because you have been through the solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei. Please tell us the history of how you made the commercial gallery debut.Inoko: In the spring of this year, Mr. Katagiri, who works at Pixiv, brought me to Mr. Takashi Murakami’s company. I showed our work to him at that time, and he said, “This stuff is cool.” And then in the flow, it got covered in the Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei.Mr. Murakami wrote the text about this flow in the PUBLIC-IMAGE.ORG. Please use that one. (Laugh)Because it was not aware of the video work of teamLab “to sell,” our works has been created on the assumption that the installation by technicians and maintenance need. For instance, “100 years sea” one of our works is using a couple of projectors. Because the length of the movie time is 100 years, the setting up computers by technicians is needed to exhibit. In the other hands, our new work “LIVE” is our first work that we thought of the case that owners could have in their possession while we have been making. This is our third time to exhibit this work. Taipei, Hong Kong, Venice. It will be Art Basel in Switzerland after here, and new offers are steadily coming now.The Video work that represents raising the sea level of the earth as the animation of the ancient Japanese style. There are two patterns. One is showing all in 10 minutes, and another one is taking for the real time to show all which is 100 years.– The Video works of teamLab is mostly created by 3D based on paintings of the ancient Japanese style. What made you think to use calligraphy in this time?Inoko: As the major premise, we thought it simply needed to be a thing owners could enjoy. To do this, we needed to remove the technical barrier and the works should have universality as well as a good viewing thing. Because of these reasons, we made this work have generality. It has the screen ratio of 16:9 that is able to use a projector to display or use a TV monitor.We have already made some “calligraphy works.” But we have a thought that it wasn’t properly presented much while we are in Asian cultural area. Japan has the culture that is always accompanied by illustrations, which is not like classified by art, literature, scroll paintings, or cartoon. There is always an illustration in scroll paintings. A western font requires objective beauty as a font, but calligraphy needs to know its background of who wrote this in what situation and what the person wrote to appreciate. Since the concept of the modern story called "calligrapher," it is the cultural character that has a story like Daishi Kobo wrote a point by throwing his brush.A character basically needs to be objective because it shares the meaning of letter with others as its rule. Japanese is the subjective from the beginning. We had written a character that depends on their emotion. I think it’s interesting. Japanese people are thinking that there is no absolute, like an objective justice or evil, in the back of their mind. There is no sense of the hundred-percent-evil in Hollywood. Because this background influences a character, I think it has become to have relatively loose rules. It is interesting because a character is to strongly reflect the mentality of the writer.It is similar to modern people who are writing messages with emoticons on their cellphone. For example, compares to “I am waiting ♡” and “I am waiting (T_T)”, these are same sentences with different nuances. Of course, some people who don’t like these emoticons may not use them.I think it is our Japanese mind putting on their subjectivity to objective character.Want to rebuild “Character” in digital form– Please explain the mentality of the character called “LIVE”Inoko: I haven’t heard anything from Sisyu, so this is what I felt about. She and I are good friends. I think she gave me her thoughts that “want you to live strongly” because my way to live seems uncertain. This “生”(to live) added a period. There is a word says, “王に点を入れたら玉”(means if a period added to王(a king), it becomes玉(a ball)) in Japanese chess. I think that the reason a period is added is her thoughts that she wants me to live stronger. When we saw this at the first time, everyone simply thought it was good one because teamLab itself is a kind of survival group itself.When Murakami contacted to me, he told me that there was no time and it was fine to exhibit one of the past works. However, I wanted to make new one. At that time, the character was first one up as a motif.While rotating the 3D character of the "LIVE", representing the four seasons to live.– Have you thought of taking a balance of other three video works: “Flower and Corpse”, “100 years sea”, and “Life is the light that shines in the darkness?”Inoko: These are the works that exhibit at this time. First, “100 years sea” is the work that the sea level rises over 100 years. It has 10 minutes version. “Flower and Corpse” is representing the collision of nature and civilization. At last, these are two new works of calligraphy called “LIVE.” Although it was coincidence, I felt the cause and effect of the earthquake and tsunami at this time. In face, the Taipei exhibition was postponed for one week after the earthquake. When I see the exhibition place after the construction is finished, I felt the cause and effect even though it was coincidence.– While it is a character itself, the character is three-dimensionally rotating. Is there a meaning of representing 3D?Inoko: When I went to Taipei about 10 years ago, the interior of new design hotel at the time had calligraphy as a design work. I was very mortifying. While we have same Chinese character culture, Japan does not have obtained or is losing the culture. I want people to think Japan can rebuild the character to modern taste better and it would be cool if it can be a part of design.Now media is a paper. It means the character can be digital. I always have this theme that the character can be rebuilt in digital media and it needs to be shown as cool as it is.The character is a letter. Hieroglyph and emoticon. I think there was a meaning to the shallowness or depth because it was carved in stone and wood in orgin. Therefore, I want to show it as 3D. It is easy to know the trajectory, acceleration force, and depth if it is slowly rotating. But whatever the reason was, I want people to think, “this calligraphy is awesome.”Japanese are originally information supremacy.– Among this exhibition of Venice, Takashi Murakami tweets “The evaluation of the difference between the tepid power is just building the future of the confusion. Bad things need to be rejected.” How do you understand about it?Inoko: It will be my own opinion. There were lots of Asian artists’ works in an exhibition beginning from Taiwan and China at this time. I think it means, “We are different from the context of the West. The high-quality works within the context of the East Asia could be better than the western one. But if we bring some bad works to Venice, people may think Context of East Asia is inferior to the context of the West.” The reason representing our work to the digital way is I think that Japanese are originally Information principle rather than materialist. There is an episode, “Sen no Rikyu was entertained Hideyoshi by a flower of morning glory.” Hideyoshi found value of Sen no Rikyu from the morning glory might wither tomorrow and became a sponsor. I think an ancient Japanese considered the information supremacy. However, Japan has lagged behind in the information society. I don’t like this.For instance, Oda Nobunaga made people free from the land and couldn’t forgive the landowner. So he burned out the territory of his own house after he moved out. In other words, he didn’t have no fixed value and found from added value only. He didn’t like to cling goods or places so he didn’t even build a barrier. Then GDP became 10 times and Creators like merchants, carpenters, and sword smiths came out to the front stage. In the meaning above, I chose digitalism because I want to represent the way only information society can do.– Did you feel something when you came to Venice Biennale with Kaikai Kiki at this time?Inoko: If I say ultimately straight, it may be a hint for our future, suggestion of new value and representation, tip of the added value of future, or tip for new markets.To export the concept of the lolicon.– Did you feel something when you came to Venice Biennale with Kaikai Kiki at this time?Inoko: Murakami was very popular. When we walk around Venice, Japanese came close to him and started a conversation like “do they know each other?” Everyone knows Kaikai Kiki at the exhibition. It is similar that people talk about One peace and Naruto at comic stores on oversea. I honestly think he who raises the value of his country with his existence itself is cool. All people wanted to be a friend with him. But it was impossible. That’s why people were trying to talk to our staff or me. (Laugh)Moreover, I think he is winning because “Japan is cool because Murakami is cool” is better than “England is cool because Damien Hirst is cool.”– It is because the expression of Murakami makes is really a Japanese way, isn’t it?Inoko: Right. That’s why my main goal is making people think “I like teamLab, so I like Japan.” It is a thing to be contributed to the industry a lot. For example, Takashi Murakami has contributed to the industry of Japan than Ichiro. Ichiro is fighting in the area of the United States, but Murakami has exported to the Japanese culture to oversea.An old woman from Italy tried to talk to our staff at the exhibition. What she said was she was worried about his son because her son who is about to be 30 years old is falling into erotic doujinshi.And she was standing in front of the work “Mr.” by Kaikai Kiki and asked why Japanese people present these kinds of a lolicon thing. She might start to think her son is not a person to be denied because there was a similar expression to the doujinshi that he was hiding in his closet. There was her try to understand his son through the work “Mr.” It was the realistic episode that “my son may be fine.” So she and her son might become to like Japan more and be positive.After I heard that, I think “Mr.” seems to be better work and be respectable. I feel the reality that the work is an art. I want to be a person who is contributed to the industry of Japan.

Featured on BUSINESS WEEKLY, May 16, 2011

The conception of a man: Who became a wunderkind of the times after the collapse of Dot-com bubble, leading an extraordinary company in Tokyo, Japan.

The conception of a man: Who became a wunderkind of the times after the collapse of Dot-com bubble, leading an extraordinary company in Tokyo, Japan.Things that have been called as “common sense” among conventional companies are not taking for granted in his company. There’s no superiors or people placed under, even CEO committed to be an assistance in case. The man says that’s how the company should be like.Text by LuYian  The 34-years-old is CEO of teamLab Inc. Inoko Toshiyuki. The worldly famous Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami praises Inoko as “gifted one”. Tannawa Keizo, the managing director of Towers Watson Japan, also refers him as “incredibly mad”. teamLab, the company established by Inoko right after the Dot-com bubble burst, has been both applauded and trashed by people around them yet. The more we get to know the history of teamLab, the words of Tannawa gets more convincing. Today, 250 employees are working at teamLab in Tokyo and they also have an affiliate company at Shanghai. They don’t have walls in office that divide rooms, divisions that divide works, and particular formulas for working process. teamLab creates various products such as; interactive hangers, stage performances, designs for café and so on. Therefore, their business clients are also with lots of variations such as; The Louvre Museum, the hosts of furniture exhibition in Milano, and Japanese electronics companies. Inoko is the one who created the company with this whole new style. He is so-called elite graduates of Tokyo University. Inoko choose not to get employment, but established website publisher with four other classmates instead. However in 2001, the very year he started up the company, Dot-com bubble bursts (also known as IT bubble) so that his company could work for just making websites of some deserted hotels. Even so, 5 years later, thanks to his unique conception of works, Inoko was promoted to a directive chair of Sankei Digital, an affiliate company of Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd. Sankei’s news community site called ”Iza!” got huge hits, it right after Inoko became the director. Inoko and his followers believe; one great idea of technology has a potential to increase the extra values on ANYTHING. Their specialized skills allow them to promote an idea that no one could expect before, so that they are capable to offer a solid solution to various companies. Some of their ideas were not very welcomed by their clients, because they sometime seem a bit ridiculous (or too fresh). For example, one clothing company asked teamLab for the construction of a new store, and teamLab’s solution was a “hanger”. Not just a hanger, but “interactive hanger.” The way it works is that every time a shopper picks up a hanger, a computer screen above the item displays relevant pictures. This idea comes from the data of ecommerce that clothes provided with a picture of models sales better than others. The clothing company, however, showed no interests in the hanger, and idea of “interactive Hanger” has gone for awhile. Few years later, another famous clothing company decided to buy and use those hangers in stores.“Executives” are nothing valuable teamLab consists of a wide diversity of specialists including; Programmers, Network Engineers, Designers, Robot Engineers, Architects, CG Animators, Mathematicians and more. In each project, appropriate person become a chief director and choose 2-10 people for his/her team mates. This way of forming project teams allows teamLab to come up with great new ideas. “’Executive’ means nothing. They just talk boastfully.” Inoko, a gentle and calm man, say things a bit surprising. He believes, from now on, merging of technology and creativity becomes crucial to survive for every company, and it is hard thing to do if the company has working divisions that are completely separated, company with old system. “Recently, the differences between hard engineers and art directors become less and less.” said Inoko. Up till now, people in technology division could concentrate on how to make a car to drive faster or a table to be tougher. However, things changed as iPhone tells; it’s much more important to concentrate on satisfying user’s aesthetic values. “People want cool and amusing technology. Hard engineers need to understand the quality that designers and soft engineers are obsessed with. And make them into reality as possible. This is reason for Inoko’s obsession with letting his company to have no division, no executives or managers. Instead, teamLab has a field where engineers and designers can work together. Sometimes, Inoko permitted to be an assistant. He wants all employees to discuss free and open, without any hesitation to superiors. Inoko’s conception of work figures prominently in the teamLab system, which is totally different from those of traditional Japanese companies. In April 2011, teamLab had opened art gallery in Taiwan. At the gallery, Inoko and other members were discussing about how to put the blocking chairs as they are art products. Inoko was just one of them that no one has an absolute right for decision. The shared all ideas and worked hard for creating the better output. Inoko was not “special one” among them that he had great relationships with his employees. They could even make fun of him when Inoko said something weird or act like weird. Definitely, the teamLab is the company with a new style which established after the collapse of IT bubble. And Inoko Toshiyuki is might be the one of new ideal CEO.

Featured on SHOTENKENCHIKU, May 1, 2011

The Display with a see-through-bag on the interactive hanger

Reebok Cafe” opened on late November 2010 at Roppongi Hills for limited period. It was chosen to the way that displayed same company’s shoes with a see-through-bag on the hanger in the exhibition space next to the café. Each of colorful shoes was wrapped with a see-through-bag on the long-straight hanger pipe brought out from the white wall. If you grab the hanger and put it up from the pipe, a movie of the goods that you are holding will show up on the display hanging on the wall.The company that made this design is teamLab, having activities in various wayslike branding, marketing, art, entertainment and so on. This company has already created this unique hanger; named “teamLabHanger,” that links to a movie and many apparel stores has already been using this hanger. If you take up the hanger, the hook that is pulled by the hanger pipe becomes back to original position, and the switch in the hanger turns on. A signal from circuit in the hanger is transferred to the system that shows up the picture of goods on the display in the store. “The goods you pick up is registered and displays the information or coordinate by itself. Until now, a mannequin or the sales person wears their clothes and assist their sales, but you don’t have to care about the space to show the information of goods during a real time period on this system.” as Gaku Kudo of teamLab says. “And it can be connected to the network, so you can have marketing data you hasn’t had so far like when the goods are picked up and it is sold after that.”The display on this time is the result of this developed teamLabHanger. It was a usual way to display shoes putting them in a row on a shelf so far. But they suggest putting shoes in a see-through-bag and hooking on the hanger. They request Nukeme, a creator of hats and accessories, to make a see-through-bag. They have done all of making process from patterning to sewing. “We wanted it to be as a simple shape as possible and a see-though type as clean as we can see shoes clearly.” From this request, we made and tested lots of type. They say that they cut the pattern to a real size, saw the see-through vinyl with machine-sawing thread made by polyester, and put these on the hanger to test. At the result, the shape becomes like a Boston bag wears roundness. The closing part of bag is on top to have fewer wrinkles, and they try to have less sawing parts to get better transparency. The way to fix this to the hanger is opening the top part, putting the hanger inside of it, and then caulking to fix on two parts on the top.Thus, the all of 25 see-through hangers are completely created. Shogo Kawata who manages interior design says, “It could possibly create to have unique feeling of floating,” and “also easy to have the display on the wall to people’s sight.” For his desire, the display screens are surrounded by wooden frames and stand out from the wall on the purpose.

Featured on The Hot Seat, Jan 21, 2011

The Hot Seat: Interview of Toshiyuki Inoko

teamLab CEO, Toshiyuki Inoko. teamLab is a creative group that made the news and blog portal site “i z a” of Sankei digital, the search engine by musicians of Ticketpia and so on. This company started with five people, but it has over 150 employees now. If you read Inoko’s previous interview, you might have the image of the eloquent owner. But Inoko who showed up in front of me was thinking deeply for 20 minutes. If I thought so, he started to talk with the phrase he just came up. While he suddenly became talkative, he left the innovative word.Mr.Inoko. I heard you don’t have your home and you are living like the Nomad. What is the reason?Inoko: When I was little, I learned the world “food, clothing and shelter” from my school. I wanted to know how important it is because I heard it is the most important things in our life. I thought I would be able to know if I don’t have it. It has been about 2 years living without home.How about it? Did something change?Inoko: It doesn’t bother me at all because Tokyo is too amazing. Moreover, because I have my company, I can put some stuff in here. In the way, it doesn’t mean I just don’t have home. In that sense, if there are my company and Tokyo, I can be fine.Tokyo is really amazing. When I go to meet someone great, I think I need to shave my bear. And there is a shaver for 100 yen and a restroom is clean too If I go to a convenience store. I can wash my face and brush my teeth because recently there is a wide restroom. Then every entertainments of my life are in my computer. If there is something else, Tokyo gives me. There is also full bath like LaQua. I can stay anywhere. I don’t have too much trouble.You don’t give up a “food” and “clothing”, don’t you?Inoko: If I give up a “food”, I will end up dying. About a “clothing”, I have thrown away all of my cloths without the one I was wearing at that time even if naked is cold. Then It was interesting. Because I threw away all, I am wearing the one l like the most everyday. After I did so, I was told, “Fashionable” more times than before. If I have lots of cloths, I may wear something that isn’t my favorite the most because I have a choice. Then I surly wear the cloths I don’t like every once two weeks. Probability is not stable. Because I wore the cloths I like the most every time, people thought I was fashionable. The people I meet everyday don’t care about such a superficial thing. If you are fashionable everyday, you will be popular. (Laugh)There is the benefit and by-product. It’s better to recommend to the world.Inoko: No. I can’t recommend. (Laugh) If I am asked which one is better between having “food, clothing, and shelter” and not having them, I will definitely say having one. I didn’t say even one word that it was good. I said I was fine unexpectedly if I didn’t have them. It’s better to have them. But there is something you can realize for the first time when you don’t have them. And its purpose was to discover.Do you plan to have your home again someday?Inoko: But I also feel that a person gets lazy if there is a house. If not, it seems imminent. The feeling of imminent may increase the power of the life. And then it probably keeps the power. It is essentially good to have the strong power of the life absolutely, isn’t it? I need to have a weapon like an imminent.What did you want to be when you are little?Inoko: I didn’t have something I want to be, but I didn’t want to be an adult.What made you think that you build your company?Inoko: it’s a kind of confusing to speak. When I was in my middle school, electromagnetic wave came and Japan needed to rebuild. (Laugh) I needed to do something at least because it was scared not to do anything toward the rebirth. I checked various. There were the former conglomerates, the former state-owned, and regulated industries of licensing system in the top 30 of market capitalization. To be among these, I thought to get married with a rich is the only way. Then a son-in-law was the president of some big general contractor company, and he graduated the University of Tokyo. That’s why I decided to go to the University of Tokyo and I did. But I got into know the Internet right before the examination of the university. So, I thought it wasn’t the time to look for a rich.The Internet is amazing. Because it’s first in history that a person can send information freely and get information from the world freely, it’s so romantic, isn’t it? I thought to commit the area of technology or the cultural thing because surly the society turned into the way. But I didn’t know where those kinds of companies are. I didn’t know where to get a job to have those works because I just got to know about the Internet or digital. So, I build my company with the one more reason that I wanted to be with my friends. It’s good to have lots of friends. It’s hard to make conversation with male friends without a purpose not like female friends. So, I thought it was good to have the same work.As you just told, it’s possible to send information to the world these days. In your opinion, what does Japan need to send to the world?Inoko: In Japanese culture, there are many peculiar phenomenon. I think these phenomenon, things that were created around the phenomenon, and the idea behind the phenomenon have led to will be good. For example, “the little devil ageha.” Because I like “the little devil ageha,” I have bought every magazine from a convenience store. This is interesting. Every character is a hostess.Their faces all looks same.Inoko: It’s what foreigners say when they see Japanese. For example, think about the Eskimo. There are lots of names of snow. They can figure out the details because they are interesting in the snow. For a long time ago, Japanese people had high feelings of color. That’s why we have tons of the names of colors. The reason that people think all the models have same faces is they are not really interesting in them or they have lower feelings of them, isn’t it? (Laugh)Talking about the culture. The culture is completely different by the area. Everything like Hatsune Miku, comics, and idols is revivals and restorations. Until now, the intellectuals have been affected by the western. But most of people are not really so. The result comes up to the front side and it is winning for the first time. Japanese are originally not very interested in substance and not a real principle. It can’t be figured out which one is the real logo on the cover of “the little devil ageha.” Every time, it is used a different font, color, and even sometimes see-through.I make things easy to be imitated, but I think it shouldn’t be things are not imitated. “The little devil ageha” is just like so. Because the logo is cool, people want to copy it and somehow they do. But it becomes slightly uncool one. What is cool and what is not cool? You can’t figure out if you are not in their cultural area, can you?Certainly.Inoko: The things that have the cultural background are interesting as industry things. It may be fissional things or can be electronic things. It will be cool if there is a digital camera that automatically generates something like the ageha’s cover after you take a photo. Maybe it is possible to imitate the skills, but it is hard to copy the feeling of the appropriate taste. Moreover, the feeling changes every day and it’s not a weird thing. It won’t probably change tomorrow, but I think it will be a year later. That’s why being the cultural area can be the strength.Originally, the perception and idea that Japan has should be very good match with 21st century. Japan is different from Europe and the United States. Japanese don’t have the sense for globalism and objective thought if I say in the overall framework. All phenomena are only subjective. Justice is subjective as well. The western people have the thoughts that a person can take relative things as objective things and take as objective things. That’s the different point.For example, if you see the way to make contents, no one is justice and no one is evil in the Japanese comics and animations. Justice is only a subjective. In the animation “Princess Mononoke”, the princess Mononoke is right in her side and the people in the Tatara place are right in their side. There is a dispute because they are in the different position. If there is an objective thought like a Hollywood movie, the hero is the justice and approximately beat up the devil character in the end because it is the system to beat up the devil. The hero destroys the devil. There is no such destruction in Japanese contents. In the “Princess Mononoke”, the hero Ashitaka try to find the compromise while going back and forth between the two parties. But there is no compromise. However, they are living on. This is the ending.One more example is the character. It’s called “font” for the western and “書(calligraphy)” for Japanese. A font is objectively beautiful. In other words, it is the shape of the beauty. If there are no feelings included, the calligraphy isn’t good one. Even if the same calligrapher writes same character, it seems different. And the differences are even better. It is sure to be different because it is subjective. In addition, let’s write with letters and emoticons, “I will be waiting.” If there are only texts saying, “I will be waiting,” Japanese can’t stand it. We put marks of heart, angry, and smile with the texts because we think it is not completed without putting in the objective emotions.The reason that I’m saying that these thoughts should be good match with 21st century is that the objective idea and mass media happened to have very good match with the society after the industry revolution. In the information society, now every one is connected and can take communications. So it is no long cover the world with something objectively. People have become to feel uncomfortable with the contents based on the objective ideology.One more reason is that there was no concept of the limitation in Japan. Things were infinite. But I think the western people took things were limited. I think digital things are good match with Japan because it is unlimited.What is the better way to let overseas know such phenomenon itself?Inoko: Japan has a high purity of the culture. New cool things, the way to show fashion, and so on are coming out. About these kinds of things, I think it is good that the government makes people think ‘Cool Japan’ together. But it’s going to be difficult if they tie people even while they are waiting. If we are talking about ageha, how about bring ageha’s makeup items or fashion stuff only because it is the most interesting to go with the phenomenon itself? But such phenomenon is done by personally, or the business is too small capital. How about make it big?Now there is an entertainment group called “Ayaman Japan” who acts based on parties. They perfectly make people excite and get no payment. I have no idea why they do the activity. But it is the one of the Japanese original thing, I guess. Not for money, it’s for fun. Japanese like these kinds of things.Inoko: That’s right. It’s hard to figure out what the point is, and there are a lot like this these days. They have all different phenomenon or rule. In the result, something created from that becomes global things. Japanese companies in the past said, “Employees are a family” which was a weird opinion from the world side. But they became global companies with the weird management policy. But they are no longer global companies after they were saying, “compliance.” It needs to be unique to be global in the information society.I see. Mr. Inoko. Is there a place you often go in Tokyo?Inoko: Kabuki-Cho, maybe. Kabuki-Cho was the most interesting place in 90s. If you are talking about now, it may be “Giragira Girls” and so on. Akihabara is also interesting. By the way, I like Thailand the most. I go to Bangkok several times in a year.What is the good point of Thailand?Inoko: If you have never been there, you don’t know half of the world. (Laugh) The reasons are Thailand is only country did not become colonized in Asia and not affected by the western. Japan didn’t have the experience of being colonized but have lost the war. But Thailand has not lost. In other words, it is rare to be able to find a country hasn’t gotten affected by the Jewish, Christ, and Islam in the world. Compares to other countries in Asia, you can realize that Asia was great for real.Only this lofty reason? (Laugh)Inoko: Nope. But if I speak more details, it will take 70 hours. (Laugh)