Theme: Ghosts
Media art roams around the theatre

The previous gaps in time and space have been rapidly filled by the development of media technology, changing our lives and society immensely. On the other hand, the advance of summarization and conceptualization has made a wide range of things more abstract whenever we attempt to understand them. Our “world” was originally everything, including such abstract things, and mankind had a faculty for sensing this: the imagination. One of the things that the human imagination has produced is the concept of the ghost. Ghosts transcend the time frame of the “now” as well as physical space. They are entities without material substance, but could also be said to function as media or interfaces that stir the imagination. Through this theme of ghosts, the Kyoto exhibition of the Japan Media Arts Festival explores the simultaneous presence and absence of humanity across examples of media as such a place for spurring our imaginations.

About Japan Media Arts Festival Kyoto Exhibition “Ghost”

About Japan Media Arts Festival Kyoto Exhibition “Ghost”

Celebrating its 20th edition this year, the Japan Media Arts Festival showcases the various forms of artistic expression created with new media today, including cinema, manga, animation, computers, and media using electronic devices. This Kyoto satellite exhibition comprises exhibits exploring the binary of human absence/presence by presenting media as a place for stirring the imagination on the theme of ghosts, offering a uniquely theatrical viewing experience.
- Approx. 15 examples of previous winning works from the Japan Media Arts Festival (including applicants from overseas)
- 2 artworks produced by Kohei Takahashi and Tadasu Takamine for the exhibition
Talks and other related events will be announced at a later date.


Name Japan Media Arts Festival Kyoto Exhibition “Ghost”
Dates Sunday 14 January – Sunday 4 February 2018
Opening Hours 10:00–19:00 (Tuesdays: 13:00–19:00)
Venue Venues: Lobby, Promenade, Music Salon (until 21 January), North Hall (until 25 January)
Free admission (no reservations required)
Presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs
Co-presented by Kyoto City, ROHM Theatre Kyoto (Kyoto City Music Arts and Culture Promotion Foundation)
In cooperation with Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya Books, ROHM Music Foundation, Kyoto Art Center

Japan Media Arts Festival Regional Exhibition

The Japan Media Arts Festival is a media art and entertainment festival organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Aiming to create and develop media arts, it has been held every year since 1997. The regional iteration of the festival is held alongside the main exhibition in Tokyo. With a focus on the award-winning artworks from the festival, the event features exhibits, talks and tours, presenting opportunities for visitors to encounter superb examples of media arts. The host city for each edition of the regional exhibition is decided by the Agency for Cultural Affairs from an open-call application process.



Peeking Windows

Human Study, 5 Robots Named Paul (5RNP)
Media performance / France

An installation and performance by robots and humans. A human is sketched by five robots named Paul. Any visitor is able to become the human who is sketched.

Species series
Media installation / South Korea
YANG Wonbin

This art project traces as a new species the birth, life, and death in the urban environment of a series of autonomous robots, which were created as a fusion of biological and zoological concepts with robotics.

Temps mort /
Idle times – dinner scene
Interactive video installation / Belgium

A video installation relating the story of a family embroiled in an age-old family drama, related though visuals reminiscent of traditional painting styles. Viewers form bonds with the elements of the work through interactive devices, inviting them into a fantasy world.

Video installation / Germany
KASUGA (Andreas LUTZ / Christoph GRÜNBERGER)

Stefan W. is a German “everyman” who has experienced personal anger and failures. This is a recording of a five-hour performance that he did in a custom-built wooden box, which is also used for the projection of the video installation.

Drifting of the work -before starting, after starting
Installation / Japan

An empty art museum, storage boxes without works and the data of works read aloud, they will make us to ask what the “substance” of the art work is. Kohei Takahashi creates video installations using methods of observation, performance, dialogue and collaboration. His works draw from the relationship between the individual and history and the public and the private. In his new work he explores the theme of collecting, storing and exhibiting public art collections, specifically related to Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, which is currently undergoing renovation.

○note: exhibit place
*This exhibition has moved from the 2F Lobby, where it was originally planned, to the 1F pilotis.
*This work is exhibited in 2 places.
“Drifting of the work - before starting, after starting” Exhibit place: ROHM Theatre Kyoto
"Drifting of the work - About the Collection of Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art" Exhibit place: Northwest corner of Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art site (along Jingu-michi street )

2nd Floor Lobby

Portal to the Vast Spirit World

Would you come back there to see me again the following day?
Media installation / Japan
TSUDA Michiko

This installation utilizes mirrors and video cameras combined with various types of frame, a motif often discussed in the context of the history of painting and film. The title is derived from a typical English sentence in free indirect speech (the subject normally third-person) in which the object of “there” and “following day” varies with the context. Originally “You would come back there to see me again the following day”, for this exhibition the title has been changed to its question form. On this occasion, although the composition of the work is established, the artist is unconvinced of the space design in which it is installed. The reason for still exhibiting the work in this state is because it raises the question of whether one can reframe and see “now” and “here” from a wider perspective. The work is not only made up of what is visible. The way it is viewed changes depending on the environment and it is therefore impossible to say definitively where the work begins. The structure that has been erected to support the work, the architecture of the space itself and the purpose of one’s visit all affect the way the work is experienced. Among the frames suspended from the ceiling, some enclose a mirror or a screen, while others are empty. The screens may display a real-time video, or footage of the exhibition space shot 24 hours earlier. The viewer proceeds through a labyrinth of images―in mirrors, in screens, and in real life outside the frames―all the while observing protean changes in the relationship between the self and the space.

This work was installed by the organising office of the exhibition “Ghost”. As the installation was not fully completed to the artist’s satisfaction, this work cannot be identified as the same prized work in the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival. As a result, this work is exhibited with a different title which takes the interrogative form of the original title.

Toki Ori Ori Nasu -Weaving Records-
Media installation / Japan

Open-reel tape recorders play back, their magnetic tape weaving a distinctive pattern in the space as time passes. After a while, the pattern that had existed until then is extinguished and a new pattern is then woven.

3rd Floor Lobby

Corridor Through Memory and Record

New coast, and a fragment over a woman.
Graphic art / Japan

This publication was inspired by a family photo album discovered after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and interviews with the woman who owned it. Numerous fragmentary events are sewn together through texts, photographs, and graphics.

Do you know the lifetime of nuclear power plants?
Website / Japan
TSUDA Daisuke / KOJIMA Yuichi / MAEDA Yutaka / USHIO Kensuke / MATSUTAKE Makoto

This web-based project documents the lives of Japan’s commercial nuclear power plants from their construction to decommission. Viewers are able to input their ages and compare the lifetime of the plants with their own life spans.

JOJOLION -Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part8-
Manga / Japan
ARAKI Hirohiko

Set in a town called Morioh in S City, M Prefecture, a young man who has lost his memory is found in a fault area upthrust by an earthquake, known as the “Eyes of the Wall.” He sets out to discover who he is by following various clues. This is the eight installment in the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manga series, which has been running for over 30 years.

Dark Echo
Game / Canada

This minimalistic puzzle and horror game leaves everything to the imagination. Trapped in darkness, a player must use sound to guide their way through threatening environments.

The SKOR Codex
Graphic art / Netherlands
La Societe Anonyme

This printed book contains the diversity of modern life and culture converted into binary codes. It was sent to different locations around the world in order to relate this information centuries from now. It is intended for any intelligent terrestrial life form, or future humans, who may find it.

Music Salon *until 21 Jan

Room of Images

Film for imaginary music
Video work / Russia
Mikhail BASOV /
Natalia BASOVA

In this video work, which looks almost like animation, an old vinyl disc rolls alongshore without any apparent external force. While without any soundtrack, the viewer is nonetheless conscious of sound while watching.

Gill & Gill
Video work / United Kingdom

Both a visual essay and a visceral poem, this work explores humanity’s relationship with stone through the eponymous two masters of the material (one of letter carving, the other of rock climbing) and their successors.

Animated short film / France

Set in a large abandoned housing complex, this short animation is permeated by an unsettling atmosphere. The ruins are depicted almost like a contemporary version of Pompeii, the ancient Roman town destroyed by a volcanic eruption.

Animated short film / France

This animated short film is remarkably elaborate and radically composed. The title is a reference to a concept from A Thousand Plateaus (1980) by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychotherapist Pierre-Félix Guattari.

North Hall *until 25 Jan

Bodiless Theatre Space

The Unwelcomed
Installation / Japan

Takamine is an artist who works in no specific medium. Traversing a diverse range of media such as performance, video and installation, he creates a strong form of expression and social commentary that expresses ideas relating to nation, gender and language. In recent years, as a director, he has also shown a number of performances at the International Performing Arts Festival "Kyoto Experiment".
This 2017 work fully utilizes the space of the North Hall inside ROHM Theatre Kyoto and uses a simple form of expression: recitation. In order to ensure "the recitation that is performed before one's eyes is connected virtually to a different time and space" many engineers from different fields were invited to produce the work.
With the co-operation of Rhizomatiks Co., Ltd., TYO, TYO Drive, Takuro Iwata, Hironari Iwakawa (Kyodo News), Yukihiro ukushima (Kyoto Prefectural Library)

*Please note that this work will be exhibited at the following times:
January 14th (Sun), 17:00 - 19:00
January 15th - 24th (Mon-Wed), 10:00 - 17:00
January 25th (Thurs), 10:00 - 17:00

*On January 16th and 23rd (Tuesdays) the exhibition will take place from 13:00 - 19:00.
*The final day of this exhibition is January 25th.



* There are no parking facilities at the theater. Please use public transport or, if arriving by car, please use a nearby parking lot.

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Access by Bus

  • Alight at Kyoto City Bus Line 32, 46 or Kyoto-Okazaki Loop “Okazaki koen / ROHM Theatre Kyoto/Miyako messe mae.”
  • Around 5 minutes walk from Kyoto City Bus Line 5, 100 “Okazaki koen/Bijutsukan/Heian-jingumae”

Access by Car

  • Around 10 minutes walk from Exit 1 of Subway Tozai Line “Higashiyama”
  • Around 13 minutes walk from the Exit 2 of Keinhan “Jingu-marutamachi”.
ROHM Theatre Kyoto
13 Okazakisaishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-771-6051


Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Kyoto
Exhibition Office (c/o ROHM Theatre Kyoto)
13 Okazakisaishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
  • Tel: +81 (0)75-771-6051
Press Inquiries
For interview requests and other press inquiries, please contact the PR manager at ROHM Theatre Kyoto.