Japan Cultural Envoy FY2020-2021
Media Artist
  • Birthplace:Tokyo
  • Birth:September 16, 1987
  • Academic background:Completed Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the University of Tokyo Graduate School

Dr. Ochiai Yoichi is a Media Artist. He completed the doctoral program in Interdisciplinary Information Studies at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies in 2015. He is Associate Professor and Head of the Digital Nature Group at the University of Tsukuba, and has successively served as Advisor to the President of the University of Tsukuba (2017 to 2019), a member of the Special Committee on IP Strategy Vision as well as the Visionary Council on the Moonshot Research and Development Program (both under the Cabinet Office) since 2018. In addition, he has also been the Thematic Project Producer for the World EXPO 2025, Osaka, Kansai, Japan, since 2020.

Regarding the media art as vernacular folkcraft of digital nature and with “Envisioning Transformation of Material Things in Digital Nature and Exploring Sehnsucht and Spirituality in the boundaries between images and materials.” as the statement, he freely integrates research and art activity, continuing his search and expression. His specialties include media art, human-computer interaction and the application areas where intelligent, visual, acoustic and haptic technologies are used. He aims at a new vision of nature that he calls digital nature through research, search for expression and various social implementation projects.

[Main awards] Dr. Yoichi Ochiai won the World Technology Award (2015) and the Prix Ars Electronica and EU's STARTS Prize (2016). He was five times winner of the Laval Virtual Award (including four consecutive years until 2017) and selected the St. Gallen Symposium (Switzerland) Leader of Tomorrow and 40 Knowledge Pool (2017). Other awards include the SXSW Creative Experience ARROW Awards (2019), as well as awards for thesis and other works in his research and expressive arts.

[Main exhibitions] His solo exhibitions include the “Image and Matter” (Malaysia, 2016), “Sehnsucht nach Masse” (Tokyo, 2019), “Ruminating with the Spirituality” (Leica Ginza, 2019) and “Reminiscence of the Unknown” (Shibuya MODI of the Marui Group, 2020). Other exhibitions where his work has been presented, include “AI: More than Human” (Barbican Center, London, 2019) and “Digitally Natural – Naturally Digital” (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, 2020).

[Books] Dr. Yoichi Ochiai's books include “The Century of Pervasive Technology” (PLANETS, 2015) and “Digital Nature” (PLANETS, 2018).

[Website] https://yoichiochiai.com

© ninagawa mika

*The content of this page is as of the year of the appointment as an Japan Cultural Envoy.