Naoko Tosa

Japan Cultural Envoy FY2016
Naoko Tosa
Professor at Kyoto University, Artist
  • Worked in the United Kingdom, Korea, France, the United States, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and New Zealand
  • Active Period:From October 27, 2016 to April 30, 2017
  • Birthplace:Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
  • Birth:1961
  • Academic background:Doctor of Engineerig (Tokyo University)

Naoko Tosa produces works and conducts research. She advocates “Cultural Computing,” where the culture people have accumulated over a long period of history in the forms of action and language, such as emotions, consciousness, stories and ethnicity, are expressed via digital images that touch the hearts of the audience.

Her representative works include “Neuro Baby”, which has a computer interacting with its operator by capturing his/her emotions; “Interactive Poem”: a storytelling computer; “Muishiki-no-Nagare (Unconscious Flow): visualized unconscious communication; “ZEN Computer”: which is Sansui Zen (a philosophy which regards nature as being Buddha) through a computer; “i.plot”: a computer which senses its environment; and “Hitch Haiku”: a computer which creates haiku poems by searching for texts on the internet through association. In recent years, she has been working on image expressions, using a high-speed camera, which are only visible by using cutting-edge technology. She has given lectures and released new works at the major international conferences for integrated art and technology such as the ACM SIGGRAPH and the ARS ELECTRONICA. She has been invited by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other well-known art museums to display her works for their special exhibitions. She has conducted contracted research for leading companies, including France Télécom R&D, Taito Corporation, NICT, and NIKON CORPORATION. She was one of the original members in the establishment of the Society for Art and Science in 2001. She is now advisor to the Society after working as its vice chair. She has been serving as the Chair of IFIP TC16 Entertainment Computing Art & Entertainment since 2006, while she took the chair of the International Conference on Culture and Computing in 2013 and 2015. In addition to the invited exhibitions at the MoMA and the Met, her works are owned by the National Museum of Art, Osaka, O Art Museum (Tokyo), the Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Nagoya City Art Museum, Takamatsu Art Museum, and other major art museums in Japan.


Researcher at the Media Integration and Communication Laboratories of the AdvancedTelecommunications Research Institute International​

1989-2001 Lecture (part-time) at Musashino Art University Dept.of Imaging Art and Science
1995-2001 Researcher at the Media Integration and Communication Laboratories of the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International
1996 Received the Best Paper Award at the 1996 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo
1997 Received the First prize of L’Oreal Grand Prix for research combining art and science
2000 Awarded in the Interactive Art section of the ARS Electronica
2001 Selected as a special trainee under the international internship program sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs
2001-2004 Worked on interdisciplinary research between “Interaction and Intelligence” under the JST Sakigake Program
2001-2004 Fellow artist at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2004 Won second place in the Nabi Digital Storytelling Competition of Intangible Heritage organized by UNESCO
2006 IFIP TC16 Entertainment Computing Art & Entertainment Chair
2012 Commended by the EXPO Committee for her work which featured a dragon swimming on a huge        250 m × 30 m screen, which was exhibited at the EXPO 2012 in Yeosu, Korea
2014 Received the Good Design Award for her projection mapping titled “the Sound of Seika (Natural Flowers)” in Singapore
2015 Implemented projection mapping titled “Tosa Rimpa” in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Rimpa school at the Kyoto National Museum as a project of Kyoto Prefecture
[Website URLs] (Her Art works) (Her research)