The C Future Lab - Supernova Science and Art Forum themed “The Birth and Direction of Creativity” was successfully held in the Multi-function Hall of Longgang Innovation Institute, Shenzhen University, in the Software Town of Universiade, Longgang District, Shenzhen, 15:50-17:50 on July 8, 2017.
A supernova is a powerful explosion of a star that has reached the end of its life. The burst of super high energy within short time generates huge pressure, energy and elements, driving the birth of a new galaxy/star. It implies the existence of reformation and the existing transitional changes pointing to the future, which is also the connotation of the forum. By virtue of the industrial revolution, human creativity has been climbing to higher levels, leading to rapid updating of things, such as new cultural and artistic forms, new technological patterns, and of course, followed by new lifestyles. Under the effect of creativity, what circumstances are they facing and how are they interacting with each other and increasing the value of each other? We are going to explore into those questions in the coming dialogue.
[Forum host - Qin Xiu]: Thank you for coming here. This forum is a theme forum held by C Future Lab that makes the first attempt to discuss topics related to the field of science and art in the world. First of all, let’s have Mr. Lv Hua give a brief introduction of his thought on C Future Lab.
[Sponsor representative - Lv Hua]: We hope to turn C Future Lab into a platform that explores into the future lifestyle combining technology, art and business. So far we have established close collaboration with science and art teams of Silicon Valley, Seoul, Tokyo and Northern Europe. In the future, we hope to introduce more excellent teams around the globe into Shenzhen and enable their works to go out of labs and art museums and truly integrate into people’s life. It’s also a contribution that we intend to make towards the society as a real estate firm, to allow more common people to access more scientific, artistic and beautiful elements in life, and to bring some positive influence to the city space.
We will continue to host more such salons and forums in the future, not only in Shenzhen, but also in Silicon Valley, Seoul and other global landmark cities. We hope to extend our promotion for Shenzhen around the world. Thank you.
Whimsy and technology always combine with each other in a complementary manner, which is the theme of this discussion. There are some gaps between whimsy and technology. A mere whimsy without technology will not be realized; likewise, a technology without whimsy will not be realized either.
Take the projects developed through collaboration between TASKO and other Japanese companies as example. Technological means have been employed to turn Doraemon’s magic tools (chess robots) into reality. The author of Doraemon sketched some clues and we may easily create similar tools based on simplified processing. But will it reflect the intention of the author? If we fully reproduce the details of the tools, we will be restricted by specification and resources. There should be a feasible proposal in terms of technical operations before the design, creation and production of a new product.
Complete realization of a dream is something that many workshops are incapable of. From a whimsy to realization, a task similar to translation must be performed, that is, how to interpret it.
For example, when we were making a tool of Doraemon, we first tried to produce a simulated operation image for it; then using robot arms, we imagined ourselves as the robot to perform related operations and feel the tool in the original manga. Based on that, we made a simple real model, with setbacks despite the shift to digitization. But the model was basically formed, somewhat close to our original idea.
With a mere whimsy, no matter how excellent a factory’s technology may be, it is not quite possible to make the finished product without complete interpretation of the whimsy and transfer to production. TASKO is a workshop that performs quite well in the intermediary step.
[Hong Manrong]: From an idea to a real product in the end, I’m interested in how you perform the team work.
[Kimura Masataka]: Team work is a very important topic. First, we have to check whether there is a unified goal, which is very important. Just now we mentioned the production of Doraemon’s tools. Our team watched Doraemon from the beginning till the end to understand the target effect of the project. If that was not performed well, our target groups and clients would be very unhappy.
[Hong Manrong]: Another question, as students go out of school, how do you balance between business and dream? It is a question that interests me a lot. Making products needs to go through a process. Do you have any experience to share?
[Kimura Masataka]: Our company is crossing the river by feeling the stones. All of a sudden occasionally, we just create a piece of work. During the process, business needs are very important. It requires some financial spending and technological innovation to deliver better results according to the requirements. In terms of that, TASKO is quite lucky. But no matter how lucky we are, our personal courage also matters a lot. With the highly developed social tools today, we may absolutely do experiments on our own ideas for lots of works. We will try our best to provide assistance to our employees who need support during the process.
[Hong Manrong]: Please allow me to briefly introduce our studio. Our studio mainly develops cultural entrepreneurs such as TASKO. What we have peeled off is the artistic critical part, which will include new media design application and new media art nature in art design. If we are more service-oriented in application and business areas, we will define a scope for developing talents, that is, cultural entrepreneur.
How should manage the balance between art and business? We would like to hear your advice to young artists.
[Kimura Masataka]: For example, a teacher at Tama University told me that we should seek our direction by ourselves after graduation. Now Japan is witnessing flourishing new media art. After graduation, students have great room to give play to their talents with just a moderate social network. They are in the good times full of opportunities. Fund is very important for those engaging in new media art. As students do not have sufficient fund, they must find a suitable platform after graduation in order to maintain their artistic innovation and creation. What I’m worrying about is, while the times is good now, what should we do when the market declines or the novelty period of new media art has passed?
As pure artist doers or artistic thinkers, we should stay true to our mission and at least veritably dig into or pursue things even in hard times.
Let’s take a look at the style of TASKO. They make Doraemon’s tools and the fantastic tools in Hayao Miyazaki’s animations. We can see that TASKO is a team whose many works are connected with the life of common people and tend to strike a chord with those people. Obviously, these artworks accepted by the mass are commercially valuable.
Furthermore, TASKO is doing things quite similar to what those working in real estate sector are doing. In real estate, we are actually creating a space, for which we will have lots of ideas. As a carrier of human behaviors, space allows people to work, eat, socialize, entertain and reside in it. We hope to give it many meanings and fancies, and yet face many restrictions when working on a comprehensive real estate project in real life. It is the same with the problems and work methods facing TASKO. You have a fancy and you will make a product in the end. How do you balance the relationship between dream and reality in between? How do you balance the relationship between art and business? It is a common area for both of us.
We have invited TASKO through the platform C Future Lab. Instead of putting an end to it after the forum, we hope to deeply integrate TASKO’s fancies and our desired urban space later. That integration may not be what we are seeing today, putting works in a space. Instead, we hope to combine all TASKO’s ideas and our architectural design works in the design stage of the space, to truly deliver a fantastic urban space.
Just to add one more point, we have chosen TASKO because we have noticed its differences from many other new media art collectives. The mainstream new media art groups focus more on light and shadow application than on the demonstration of real objects and machinery. The space built by machinery and the space built by light and shadow can be closely integrated. TASKO will also provide some novel ideas needed in our space creation and use their capacity of implementation and their combination with our professional engineering design team, to create works that we might not be able to create or are beyond imagination.
[Academic host - Zhang Pingjie]: I have attended the seminars of many similar creative parks. But I’m quite impressed this time. New media art creation does not lead to immediate results. It requires the support of forward-looking business entities and government authorities. In that way, our creative talents will be able to create infinite possibilities in such processes.
Recently there have been a few hot words that agitate people. One of them is artificial intelligence (AI). Immediately after ALPHA GO defeated the Go master, an expert claimed that 70%-80% of our occupations would disappear in the next 20-30 years. Additionally, the author of A Brief History of Tomorrow predicted that 90% of the people would become outsiders in the future, which sounds quite terrible.
Personally, I do not hold the same opinion. He said that based on a prerequisite of no changes in between. But actually there are lots of variables, with continuously emerging opportunities in the next 20 years, particularly in creative industry, where there will be infinite opportunities. Just as Mr. Lv mentioned, the new media originally discussed is about a virtual world existing in the form of light and shadow. Today, TASKO is displaying a mechanical world to us. In fact, new media will be able to show more new worlds that we are unable to define now. That requires us to have a platform, to create a platform for creative young people, allowing them to gather all their wisdom in a quiet environment.
Just now Mr. Lv and I mentioned that new media art is an art that combines the feelings of common people and brings changes, new concepts and new forms to life. When a technology is accepted and applied by the mass, it will generate huge economic returns accordingly. Today we have these experts here exchanging ideas on different fields, which is exactly a feature of new media. We are discussing about the origin and future of creativity now, which I think is very appropriate.
Next, Mr. Hong, please share with us on how you introduce creativity into sustainable development in teaching.
[Hong Manrong]: Personally I am concerned for the development of new media talents and the understanding of new media education. When it comes to new media, I have to mention Understanding Media, a book written by McLuhan, who mentioned “Media is information”, and “Media is an extension of ourselves”. He was also the first who proposed the concept of “global village”. He was considered to be very crazy when saying those things. Instead of discussing from a logic perspective, he put forward such notions as an artist. On the backdrop of strong internet- and intelligence-based development, new media, as a relative concept, always possesses such features as digitized, programmable, variable, reproducible, modular, as well as expansible and extensible. Communication can be performed through virtual or real space and internet. We design courses on media archaeology, telling the changes from old to new media, so that students know how industries and society change during media changes.
Instead of developing artists or designers, our studio integrates them. The digital era has reached saturation, with people gradually returning to real materials and emotional experience. The so called intelligent society and computing power enhancement are additional revolutions. Now I have no idea of their development in the future, but we will learn and communicate with my students during the process.
[Academic host - Zhang Pingjie]: Mr. Hong has shared very concrete stuff with us. The problems he mentioned are what we have encountered in teaching. Things like our development of students, our guidance for them and the knowledge structure, are very important. In particular in terms of new media, lots of ideas are sparked in interactions. We must be equipped with an interdisciplinary mindset that leads to the birth of new things. And after having a whimsy, we should support it with real objects. When we set a goal, we are facing a long road stretching from a fancy to practice, which requires our down-to-earth work step by step. Now we have such a good platform and let’s have Mr. Lv share his opinion about what the future ideal goal of C Future Lab should be.
[Lv Hua]: Thank you, Prof. Zhang. In terms of the ideal goal of C Future Lab, from a very ideal perspective, when excellent works come to the platform, we will mobilize our tech firm, creative firm and Jinkong firm to provide the authors with room for giving play to their talents, truly integrating their works and people’s daily life, making them as natural as we drink water and breathe every day. Whether working in office buildings or socializing and shopping in shopping malls, people will feel the changes to their life brought by technology and art at any time and thus start to think. I think the nature of art is to make people think. Hence, we will create such opportunities to integrate art into common people while providing favorable room for domestic and global talents with such pursuit. I think that’s the most desired goal of our C Future Lab.
[Shanghai MANA - Yu Xueqing]: Good day to all of you. I have a question about creation for Mr. Kimura. You have mentioned that the future world will be a community concerning experience and human experience is a kind of return to real materials and real emotion experience. Emotion concerns the culture of a society. Different from such a special culture and context of Japan, it is the Chinese culture and context that you are about to face next. What will be the challenges in your creation?
[Kimura Masataka]: I don’t think there will be many challenges. Despite the difference between Chinese and Japanese cultures, the two peoples share the same emotions for objects. Instead of fearing any differences, we just need to work hard to solve any problems encountered.
[Beijing Creators Project - Lu Ran]: I have a question about the role of technology in new media art for any of you. Technology application is an indispensable part in new media art. At the same time, technology development is going through rapid changes in this era. For new media artists, is it necessary to keep close pace with technology development, like always following the most cutting-edge technology? It is relatively more objective to assess whether technology itself makes progress or lags behind, but the assessment becomes difficult when technology combines with art. Can we say that just because the technology used in this artwork is more advanced means it is better than another artwork? How should we consider the role of technology in new media artworks?
[Host - Zhang Pingjie]: My understanding is like this: Strictly speaking, new media art and new media technology are two different matters. A good new media artwork may not have very strong technology and a new media artwork with a higher level of technology is not necessarily good new media art. They are separate from each other. I know a lot of new media artists who are very creative in the conception of their focuses though not being technologically competent. It is equally possible to become very good new media art, from the perspective of art. New media technology, on the other hand, assist and facilitate the presentation of art.
[Hong Manrong]: From the perspective of art, new media art always moves ahead among criticism. The development of media to a certain level of saturation signifies a return to real materials and co-existence. We have different artists teaching in our studio, some creating through database, some reflecting on city monitoring issues through behavior, and some focusing on network issues. But all of them possess a critical mind.
Based on the classification of majors in Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, for example, some digital programming technologies are involved in our Department of Printmaking and Department of Sculpture. Everyone is creating in this technology era. Is technology important? Of course it is. But does it mean that technology is the way to the maximum level of emotions.
[Lv Hua]: I would like to add something to this question. New media art quality is not measured by the level of technology. Should an excellent new media art team closely follow the technology trend and continuously study the latest technology? I think it definitely should. It’s just like a painter does not have to use the best paper and the best brush in order to paint the best artwork. But indeed, for an artist with ideas, the better tools you give him, the better works he will create. The relationship between them should go like this, you should pursue the best technological means for realization, but provided that you have artistic ideas.
[Forum host - Qin Xiu]: About new media art, I believe it was still a focus of the minority of people a few years ago. Now it has gradually become a phenomenon concerned by the mass. The theme of this forum is about the birth and direction of creativity, the first attempt of C Future Lab in exploring into the interaction and combination of technology and art and how they should be applied in common people’s life. Next, Xinggou will continue to work with C Future Lab to enhance the influence and development of technology and art in China. Please continue to follow us on our future forums and discussions about technology, art and life. Thank you very much for your attendance today.
The above contents are reproduced from Atron.Net (Editor: Zhu Jie)