The fourth edition of Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Vision, also known as Yebizo, was held at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Yebisu Garden Place from 14 to 25 February. Taking place annually since 2008, the festival explores the notion of the visual image through programmes that include museum exhibitions, screenings, public talks and symposia, and live performance events. The Partnership Program extended the festival this year, with 15 facilities in the Ebisu area, including galleries and bookstores co-hosting exhibitions and various events to correspond with the festival.
The festival addresses a different theme every year as its curatorial and programming starting point but the theme is always a response to the question ‘what is a visual image?’ That it consistently poses the same question makes Yebizo different from other annual exhibitions that take place in Japan. While the last three editions incorporated subjects and forms of the visual image, this year's festival investigates the physicality of the visual image under the theme ‘How Physical?’, as Festival Director Keiko Okamura writes, ‘starting with “how” images are created and felt, ahead of “what” it is that is depicted or told.’ Okamura and a curatorial team selected works that show corporeal and material perspectives. The festival is unique in that it attracts not only contemporary art appreciators but also audiences from film and other fields. Although the festival’s specialty is the visual image (moving image), this limitation successfully expands its possibilities as an annual exhibition. Functioning as more than a showcase of moving image works, Yebizo is steadily establishing itself in Tokyo's art scene.
- Sun, 1 Apr 2012