The Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, commonly known as “YCAM”, is an art center located in Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
In addition to exhibition spaces, the Center’s facilities include a cinema, a library, workshop spaces and a restaurant among others.
Operating around a central axis defined by the pursuit of new artistic expression incorporating media technology, the Center has been hosting a variety of events including exhibitions, performances, movie screenings, workshops for children, etc. since its opening in November 2003.
Within today’s society, media technology – including informatics, video, and other fields – is evolving at a dizzying speed. Computerization is advancing in various aspects of daily life, which also affects the continuously changing forms of communication.
These changes have triggered transformations also in business life and thus in the structure of society itself, as a result of which such terms as “information society” and “global society” have been coined to refer to a social situation that mankind has never experienced before. All this is at once also affecting body sensation, reality and imagination on an individual level, laying a foundation for new forms of art that are emerging simultaneously around the world.
Such is the backdrop against which YCAM was established as a new type of art center.
We have made “creating together, learning together” with local citizens and experts from various fields the basic philosophy of our work, exploring from diverse angles appropriate ways of approaching media technology; the potential of information as a cultural foundation; and further, the meaning of information for us humans. While introducing the forms of expression and learning that emerge in this process to the world, it is our aim to contribute to the fostering of a new generation of creative individuals.
YCAM is implementing a variety of programs around a format we call ”Research & Development (R&D) Project” as a centerpiece.
Projects focus on a variety of themes ranging from the human body to urban and natural landscapes. In each case, the members of YCAM’s internal “InterLab” research and development team actively collaborate with local citizens and experts from all kinds of fields, engaging in comprehensive, long-term programs from investigation via experimentation to output in the form of artwork production, workshop program and hardware/software development, and the publication of papers among others.
In the R&D Projects, emphasis is placed especially on the following three points.
YCAM emphasizes the production and exhibition of original works incorporating media technology.
Up to now, numerous artists, researchers and engineers from Japan and abroad have been producing and presenting a broad array of works including installation and performance pieces during their respective residencies at YCAM. Many of the works that were created at YCAM have been shown not only inside Japan, but obtained international reputation through exhibitions at cultural facilities and art festivals around the world.
YCAM places importance on educational programs that stimulate interest and imagination by introducing visitors to media technology and new forms of artistic expression incorporating it.
Since the Center’s opening, we have been developing original media technology-based workshop programs derived from produced artworks. In recent years, we are putting great effort into the ”Korogaru Koen” learning program for children, devised using the know-how accumulated this way. These programs are being implemented to great acclaim in Yamaguchi City and other places across Japan.
YCAM puts emphasis on endeavors linking the knowledge and experience of media technology that we have built up in various shapes to the community resources and regional challenges of Yamaguchi.
Working in cooperation with the local government and experts from various fields, we collect voices from the local community with the aim to establish a platform for problem-solving, and actively support citizens’ creative activity applying media technology.
YCAM InterLab is the name of YCAM’s internal research and development team.
Made up of about 20 resident staff members with various skills in the fields of curation, education, engineering and design, the team plays a leading role in various YCAM programs, from the conception and production of works to the development of workshop contents, in collaboration with local citizens, artists, researchers and external engineers.
Learn about YCAM's history: from the background to its founding up through the present day.
YCAM has facilitated the development and commercialization of a number of projects, primarily those revolving around R&D (research and development). This page will introduce you to a diverse sampling of the results which this process has produced.