Collaboration between industry and academia targets innovation using art by Naoko Tosa for application in wider society

Naoko Tosa’s Sound of Ikebana (Spring) on billboards in Times Square, New York

Tokyo –July 8, 2019 – Kyoto University and Toppan Printing (Toppan) (TSE:7911), a global leader in communication, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, have announced the launch of a three-year joint research project targeting innovative creation of social value based on combining art and cutting-edge technologies.
The project will combine Toppan’s expression technologies with media art by internationally renowned Japanese artist and Kyoto University professor Naoko Tosa to enable implementation in various areas of society. Taking inspiration from Japanese culture and aesthetics, the theme of the media art will be Invisible Beauty: Natural Beauty Made Visible by Cutting-edge Technology. Specifically, the collaboration will attempt to create new value from artistic expression based on the use of sophisticated technologies to capture and digitally express the colors and shapes of the physical world. Research will also focus on exploring how the resulting artistic expression can be implemented in diverse settings in society and applied to fields ranging from product creation to urban development to enable new forms of industrial design.
As part of the research, the project will develop new technologies for value creation by establishing and systemizing effective space design methods based on the use of art. The project team will also conduct 3D modeling of Naoko Tosa's Sound of lkebana, for which high-speed cameras were used to capture fluid moving in response to acoustic pressure, and apply the results to industrial design. 

Sound of Ikebana digital art

Another aspect of the project will be concerned with human resource development informed by artistic thought. This will involve the establishment of new methods for corporate branding and business development that apply the creative processes of artists, as well as the formulation of art innovation methods for human resource development targeting new value creation.

“Toppan is very excited to work with Kyoto University and Naoko Tosa, a renowned artist and academic.” said Mitsuhiro Nakao, Director & Managing Executive Officer of Toppan’s Information Design business. “Toppan strives to meet the needs of society as a whole for innovation and creation of new value that transcends conventional frameworks. Through this joint research project we aim to achieve that kind of innovation by combining art with advanced expression technologies and making effective use of the resources of both organizations.”

Naoko Tosa (right) with representatives of Kyoto University and Toppan Printing at the press conference to announce the launch of the project

About Naoko Tosa

Naoko Tosa is an internationally renowned new media artist and a professor at Kyoto University's Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability. Before she joined Kyoto University, she was an artist fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center of Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS, now known as the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology). She is a pioneer of art innovation, which is centered on the idea that people and organizations combining art, culture, and technology are better able to drive innovation. Her research focuses on Japanese culture and aesthetics and how modern art bringing together art and technology can drive innovation in society. Based on the idea that artistic and cultural resources that have not yet been monetized should be transformed into economic value using methodologies based on art innovation, she advocates the need for collaboration between artists who find beauty in natural phenomena, academics who are able to express that beauty as mathematical formulas, and engineers who can convert the mathematical expression of beauty into data.

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About Toppan

Toppan is a leading global provider of integrated solutions in the fields of printing, communications, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics. Serving customers in every sector of business and industry, Toppan’s global team of more than 50,000 employees offers optimal solutions enabled by industry-leading expertise and technologies to address the diverse challenges that businesses and society face in today’s rapidly changing market. 
Toppan provides 4K and 8K video, virtual reality (VR), digital archives, and a range of other content solutions based on advanced color management, high-definition image data processing, precise digital shape measurement, and other cutting-edge technologies.
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