Shinya YAMAMURA (Japan)
Professor at Kanazawa College of Art
I wonder what the applicants think about the results of the Preliminary Assessment being based solely on images and written information for each work. This year, because of the timing of the COVID-19 Crisis, unlike the usual form of assessment, the jurors’ votes for the works were tallied. That is to say, the members of the Preliminary Assessment Panel were not able hold a meeting where each juror could actively discuss the submitted works. Of course, this assessment procedure should be carried out without problems, but it is true that the members of the Assessment Panel could not discuss the atmosphere of each work, nor the artists’ intention, as these cannot be experienced from images only. The results of the assessment in this public competition is not the only issue at this time. Even though the total scores in the assessment had increased this year, I realized how important it is for both applicants and jurors to discover interesting works submitted by expert artists as well as promising young artists, by having these works on the table of both Assessments.
I feel that we, as people who work to express ourselves, are in a period of transition at present. The COVID-19 Crisis has called into question many things that we have taken for granted, and made us look at them from another perspective. At the same time, the crisis has given us opportunities to take a new look at customs which have been considered appropriate. Even though our goal has been creating works and selling them to our customers, in the course of our procedure, we have many issues to solve and important tasks to get our clients’ understanding. Although the issues and tasks may look meaningless at a glance, or out of our area of expertise, the artists or creators are being asked by people and society to provide this reality, rather than creating it in their artworks.
Fortunately, the Final Assessment could be held in person. Thanks to the excellent works present, the Assessment was active and exciting. Including the Grand Prize winner, many other prize winners were selected out of the thematic works. At the same time, I believe some works which were not selected at the Preliminary Assessment are still excellent enough to lead to the future of Urushi. I hope all artists and creators will sincerely accept and interpret the meaning of expression and face the challenge of their next step.