MeCA l Media Culture in Asia: A Transnational Platform

Dates: February 9 (Fri) - 18 (Sun), 2018 [10 days in total]
Venues: Omotesando Hills Space O, Laforet Museum Harajuku, Red Bull Studios Tokyo, WWW, WWW X and more
Organizers: The Japan Foundation Asia Center, TodaysArt JAPAN / AACTOKYO
  • couch, TRACING SITES, video installation, 2017-

    Photo by Ryohei Tomita

  • Norimichi Hirakawa, datum, installation, 2017

    Photo by Ryohei Tomita

Platform for new media and digital culture in Asia

As part of ref:now—toward a new media culture in asia, which comprehensively showcases contemporary media culture and creativity through art, exchange, education, and collaboration, the Japan Foundation Asia Center and TodaysArt JAPAN / AACTOKYO present Media Culture in Asia: A Transnational Platform (MeCA), a comprehensive showcase of new media and digital culture in Asia, running from February 9th to February 18th, 2018.

MeCA focuses on the rapidly developing creative scene in Asia, encouraging exchange and partnerships within the emerging generation of talent in the region through an art exhibition, music program, workshops, talks, and an international symposium. As the first fully comprehensive event of its kind in Japan to examine digital creativity through the frameworks of art, music, and education, it will take place in Harajuku, Omotesando, and Shibuya—areas with established reputations as birthplaces for exciting new culture—and produce a platform firmly rooted in the global scene.

MeCA pamphleta brochure (33.3MB)

Art Exhibition “self-relexivity: Thinking Media and Digital articulations

In today’s information society, familiarizing oneself with the  mechanisms  of  technological  devices and systems is just as indispensable as utilizing them. Exploring creativity generated in the culture of digital media, self-reflexivity: Thinking Media and Digital Articulations introduces  eight  new media artworks that  pose  questions  on  nature,  history,  culture,  and  society—questions  universal for all—and, in so doing, reconfigures pre-existing mediums. The selection of works consists of a commission by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] (Japan)  and  recommendations  by WSK: Festival of the Recently Possible (Philippines), Digital Choc (Japan-France), Biennale Némo (France), and Scopitone (France); the exhibition being a valuable occasion for all the works to be  shown in Tokyo for  the  first  time.  An  investigation  into  the  essential  qualities  inherent  in  both the natural and manmade—substances of the natural world, digital data, resolution, and even humanity—and a cross-over of disciplines and artistic expressions, these works each re-articulate information society and also their own conditions with a self-reflexive, or even self-critical, eye. An integration of intellectual thinking and creativity, these are not simply spectacles that mesmerize us. Instead, if one looks closely, they push us to rethink our  relationship  with  digital media, and, possibly, provide us with clues to “reference” the “now” which is forever becoming compressed, encrypted, and multiplex. Media art  and  digital  creativity  transform  in  tandem  with the technological developments of the time. As such works of this nature, as it has done over the years, are self-determining: the medium of the work itself determines the “media” artwork. These,  thus, are only analyzed retrospectively using the vocabularies surrounding issues such as the past/ present, society/individual, and digital-media/art of a particular time. self-reflexivity intends to respond to this digital landscape, which is transient in nature, with new imaginations and creative minds that are motivated by digital media.


Exhibited Artists
Ryuichi Sakamoto + Shiro Takatani [Japan]
Guillaume Marmin and Philippe Gordiani [France]
Bani Haykal [Singapore]
Tad Ermitaño [Philippines]
Kawita Vatanajyankur [Thailand]
Norimichi Hirakawa [Japan]
Studio The Future [Netherlands]
couch [Japan]

Feburary 9th (fri) – 18th (sun)


* till 17:00 on last day
* till 18:00 on 11th (sun) at OMOTESANDO HILLS SPACE O


Admission fee (include tax)
MeCA Ticket [Art Exhibition Ticket]


One Day Ticket 1,000 yen Re-entry after exiting the venue is not possible
All Day Pass 1,800 yen Multiple admissions
May attend events at Omotesando Hills Space O and Laforet Museum Harajuku.
May attend Special Talks by Redbull Studios Tokyo, Gallery Talks by Omotesando Hills Space O, held on the day of entry only.
Special advance registration is required for some programs.

*Admission free for preschool children and elementary/junior high school students.
*For special events, such as Music Programs, additional ticket is necessary.



Related Event

■Gallery Talk


February 10th (sat)
13:00-14:00   Studio The Future (Participated Artist of Film Fiat Lux exhibited at Laforet Museum Harajuku)


17:00-18:00  Kawita Vatanajyankur (Participated Artist of SERIES: TOOLS/WORK exhibited at Laforet Museum Harajuku)

February 11th (sun)
13:00-14:00 Franchesca Casauay (Co-director, WSK AXIS 2017)


17:00-18:00 Guillaume Marmin(Participated Artist of TIMÉE exhibited at OMOTESANDO HILLS SPACE O)


February 12st (mon)
13:00-14:00 Fumi Hirota (Producer of MeCA, the Japan Foundation Asia Center)


17:00-18:00 Bani Haykal(Participated Artist of necropolis for those without sleep exhibited at OMOTESANDO HILLS SPACE O)


February 17th (sat)
13:00-14:00 couch (Participated Artist of TRACING SITES exhibited at Laforet Museum Harajuku)


17:00-18:00 Anitha Silvia (Program Manager, Indonesian Netaudio Festival 2018)


February 18th (sun)
13:00-14:00 Guest: Masaki Fujihata, Masahiro Miwa


■“On a New Cosmology: Conversations on the Multiverse Theory and datum”

(Talk Series “Art & Technology in Spectrum: From Music Culture, Media Art, to Cosmology in Asia”
Organizers: The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture))


February 17th (sat) 19:00-21:00
Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo Free Admission
Guests: Norimichi Hirakara (Artist, Participated Artist of datum exhibited at Laforet Museum Harajuku), Yasunori Nomura (Theoretical Physicist / Professor, University of California, Berkeley), Reiko Tsubaki (Curator, Mori Art Museum)

Music Program

The MeCA music program comprises two parts: a program exploring trends in music culture since the emergence of the Internet, and a program showcasing sound and video art created with digital technology. As MeCA’s opening program, it will feature an all-night series of events across two venues. At WWW, “Alternative Sound + Vision” will introduce shifts in electronic music and audio-visual art. Alongside a restaging of a famous work by pioneering electronic music composer Morton Subotnick, the event features Alec Empire, the German musician

who has greatly influenced the current digital generation, and the up-and-coming French music artist Jacques. From trailblazers active since the 1960s to the very latest cutting-edge talent, this event offers Tokyo audiences the chance to encounter an incredible range of audio- visual performance. With the two programs, MeCA will introduce the way musical culture

has changed through developments in digital technology, from electronic music to the current scenes in the digital age. “Bordering Practice” will be held at WWWX, directed by tomad, the head of the leading Tokyo-based netlabel Maltine Records. The event will attempt to reconnect global communities against a backdrop of the spread of music scenes ushered in by the Internet and the ongoing standardization of music today. Through music, this event will re-explore the nature of communication in the digital age as well as present-day approaches to collaboration and creativity. Transcending physical space via the Internet to link performances in Tokyo with Taiwan, Jakarta, Manila, Canada, and the United States, participants will rediscover each other’s cultures and music, and conceive visions of music scenes to come. With the two programs, MeCA will introduce the way musical culture has changed through developments in digital technology, from electronic music to the current scenes in the digital age.


Witness the Night where the Visual, Audio, and Generational Collide. Silver Apples of the Moon by Morton Subotnick is a revolutionary piece that continues to captivate the world of electronic music. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Subotnick teams up with Alec Empire (Atari Teenage Riot) and Lillevan (Video Artist) to bring to the stage a renewed, special edition of his masterpiece. In addition to this “re-make,” we have Young Juvenile Youth (Japan), X0809 (Thailand), Jacques (France), and Jean-Baptiste Cognet + Guillaume Marmin (France) —a newly emerging generation of artists who have all been touched by the previous legends in electronic music. Introducing a true night of audio-visual performances where generations, countries, and regions coincide.


Morton Subotnick [USA]
Lillevan [Germany]
Alec Empire [Germany]
Jacques [France]
Jean-Baptiste Cognet and Guillaume Marmin [France]
Young Juvenile Youth [Japan]
X0809 [Thailand]


Since 2010, the music scene has radically changed with the further dissemination of the Internet. In addition to advances in technology for producing music, music-streaming platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud have appeared, while a new bottom-up scene has formed that utilizes social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The music scenes spread across global cities today and the Internet influences each other culturally in ways that surpass geographical concepts of nation and region. In contrast to this diversification however, it is also a fact that standardization and uniformity is now advancing. Identical participants are featured in the lineups of festivals around the globe, while the same kinds of music are uploaded to SoundCloud. Indeed, the Internet is fast becoming unlike the utopia it was promised to be, but  a space that facilitates and reinforces capitalism. As these top-down and bottom-up forces compete, the mainstream and the alternative freely intermingle and change fluidly. This situation is rapidly emerging in Japan and the rest of Asia, much as it has in Europe and North America. Welcoming Maltine Records head tomad as guest director, this music program is an attempt to engage with this condition we are facing today and take a new step forward, including by working more closely with other communities. Tomad has greatly expanded his perspectives on communities in Asia by holding joint events with local labels and conducting research in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This event will connect these lines in Tokyo and introduce diverse music scenes, building awareness of mutual differences and shared features between labels and artists with the aim of encouraging further exchange in the future.


Program Director
tomad [Japan]


Stage Visual
huez [Japan]


tofubeats [Japan]
Meishi Smile [USA]
similarobjects [Philippines]
KimoKal [Indonesia]
Ryan Hemsworth [Canada]
Meuko! Meuko! [Taiwan]

Related Event


“The Real of Liquid Asia: Locating the Asian Music Scene”
(Talk Series “Art & Technology in Spectrum: From Music Culture, Media Art, to Cosmology in Asia”)

February 11, 17:00-19:00

Venue: Red Bull Studios Tokyo

Guests: tomad (Organizer, DJ, Head of Multine Records), KimoKal (Musician), similarobjects (Sound artist and DJ / Head of Buwan Buwan Collective), Meuko! Meuko! (Music producer, Singer and DJ)
Moderator: Jun Yokoyama(Photographer, Editor)


MeCA|Media Culture in Asia: A Transnational Platform
Dates: February 9 (Fri) – 18 (Sun), 2018 [10 days in total]
Venues: Omotesando Hills Space O, Laforet Museum Harajuku, Red Bull Studios Tokyo, WWW, WWW X and more
Organizers: The Japan Foundation Asia Center, TodaysArt JAPAN / AACTOKYO
Special Cooperation: Omotesando Hills, Laforet Harajuku, Digital Choc/Institut français du Japon – Tokyo
Sponsor: Excite Japan Co., Ltd.
Cooperation: Goethe-Institut Tokyo
Grant: U.S. Embassy, Tokyo

MeCA l Media Culture in Asia: A Transnational Platform

Dates: February 9 (Fri) - 18 (Sun), 2018 [10 days in total]