As the development of information society transforms the nature of the subject, its relationship with the other, and the means of sharing ideas and technology among one another, what cultural models can creativity, generated by digital technology, shape for the future? The Japan Foundation Asia Center’s ref:now—toward a new media culture in asia aspires to comprehensively understand contemporary creativity related to media culture through the frameworks of art, dialogue, education, and collaboration.

In the network society—fully saturated with media technology where instantaneous connectivity with multiple others is made possible—imaginations that exceed spatiotemporal limitations and formulaic schemes of cultural fields emerge. Simultaneously, however, in such a society, there also exist imaginations that are rooted in individual, personal experiences and realities. In these new communities and movements formed by networks and artistic expressions that use technology as both their motifs and techniques— a display of their criticality against the medium itself—we can find clues to understand the social complexities and the information environment that surrounds us, as well as how to share individual identity and regionally specific cultures.

Focusing on the creative scenes in Asia that will surely continue to develop in exciting ways, ref:now, consisting of exhibitions, workshops, symposia, and performances, promotes exchange and collaboration among the next generation of Asian talent. By examining the new creativity that is dislodging modernistic conceptions of art, this initiative sets out to “reference” the “now” of our ever-changing globalized society.