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PEOPLEText: Yurie Hatano

This month’s cover of SHIFT was created by WOW, a creative production of TV commercials and promotion videos which sets its bases in Sendai and Tokyo. Commencing with “Motion Texture” project revolving around the axis of “extant imagery” and is manifested in such as media as installations, the web and DVD video, they always create works with a pursuit of a high quality and new perspective of visual images, and other various expressions. We had an interview with Mr. Kano, a visual art director of WOW.

Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Mamoru Kano. I’m a visual art director of WOW. I’ve worked on various ways to express images, especially TV commercials, using computer graphic techniques. On the other hand, I’ve also established own web site “Futurismo Zugakousaku” and presented an image expression by algorithm as a program art. Currently, I’m trying to integrate computer graphics I’ve done at WOW with algorithmic expression I’ve personally done. I was always interested in the information design and adopted programming to image production, however, I’m thinking about using a technique of computer graphics to an expression that is difficult to be created only by programming in the future.

Please tell us about WOW.

Wow is based in Sendai and Tokyo and is a creative production which mainly creates TV commercials and promotion videos. We began with members in Sendai but years later, opened Tokyo office and expended the range of expressions by gathering various unique designers.

I think works we do are divided into 2 types. One is a “high-quality” image. This is about how we visualize a certain pre-existing theme to be expressed with high quality.

The other is a “new” image. This means more about a challenge to an installation work or new media. Among most of these works, there is no precedent, so how flexibly we come up with an idea is important. We don’t specially define roles of each office, Sendai and Tokyo, but it seems like that Sendai office creates more “new” images than Tokyo office does. For example, “JURYOKU” and “UONUMA” (in-house unit) which elected for the world tour from RESFEST, and “Motion Texture” : these are created by designers from Sendai.

At Tokyo office, we have designers with great skills of CG techniques to respond high demands from our clients. How effectively to visualize an idea and how real to recreate a natural phenomena. We work on these hard tasks everyday with our designers’ ability to deliver.

Please tell us more about “Motion Texture”.

It’s a project to express the concept “extant imagery” in several media. We have an announcement of original works on a regular base, but this time, we put focus on the concept not the works. This is also the first time to try the concept-centered project. We create works as a medium to deliver a message. We have had an exhibition of installations by Sendai mediatheque and released a DVD. We will also express this concept in different media such as a web site in the future.

Speaking of the installation, we set its theme as an interaction between audiences and the work. As the audiences walk a street, plants and trees swing together. As they walk on a puddle, it makes a wave. These little interactions are created with a technique called “Quartz Composer”.

Theme of the DVD is an interaction between the author and the work. In its production, we boldly added motion design by simulation and algorithm. Designers created their own worlds by their imaginations and generated various phenomenon. As if they recorded their worlds, they designed images. I think this DVD is like a documentary of the imagination.

How do you think the exhibition at Sendai mediatheque came out?

Rollicking children, a woman lying down quietly, people slowly walking down in images… I saw a new way of images to be created by seeing a moment of which they interacted with those image works. Especially, children and older people really liked this exhibition. Some of the older people told, “I’ll come back tomorrow” to a staff. It was also the first time to exhibit works in a huge space for us, but with a great support from staffs of Sendai mediatheque, we could have a valuable experience through the preparation and exhibition. There were more people who came to the exhibition than we had expected. This was a really surprise to us.

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