Constructing a New Microcosm of Animation
Different people have different ideas when hearing “anime” or “animation”, and these different ideas even change quite rapidly. Some people think of TV cartoons, others of computer graphics, and again others picture Disney films or “Japanimation”. In addition, games and interactive web contents that surfaced with the advancement of digital technology are sometimes categorized as animation as well. The universe of animation is actually experiencing an expansion that is nothing short of a big bang.
However, when looking at animation from a diachronic viewpoint, it becomes clear that it is based on a long history. That microcosm of what we call “animation” emerged out of an encounter and interference between current film technology and a history of images that dates back to the cave paintings in Altamira. Considering this long, historical and cultural background, it is necessary, in Japan as well as in other parts of the world to value animation as a form of art, and a realm of spatial depth.
The Department of Animation of the Graduate School of Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts aims to reconfigure the increasingly diffuse world of animation, evaluate the originality of animation in this country from an international perspective, and dedicate ourselves to education, research and the cultivation of creative talent in order to sustain this genre s autonomous development.
Cultivating Leaders with Outstanding Abilities of Expression
1. “Talent-spotting education” nurturing leadership qualities
We are eager to teach the ability to evaluate the quality, and the cultural as well as industrial value and position of one s own work, from an objective point of view. We do so by focusing on spotting autonomously thinking creators, and giving them plenty of chances to maximize their respective talents.
2. “Creation” -focused on-the-spot research and learning environments
Another central point is a systematization of knowledge to pass on to future generations, realized through hand-on learning grounded in practical creation that has been fostered in the field of artistic expression.
3. Innovative animation
Our aim is to nurture “innovative creators” capable of conceiving and producing new, never-before-seen works and projects.
4. Formation of a “comprehensive network”
While actively introducing international evaluation systems that have defined and developed animation as a form of art/culture, we connect animation-related institutes and individual researchers in Japan and abroad to establish a “contents platform” as a foundation for the creation of new opportunities.
Curriculum (graduate education and research)
Together with founding a corpus of required subjects and classes including approaches and knowledge of animation as well as production issues in a collective environment, we are going to concretely develop a curriculum allowing a higher and more general level of teaching and research on animation as visual art, by creating empiric chances of acquisition and study, in the curriculum as well as from its outside, thanks to the help and collaboration of authors and directors, and by introducing new perceptions regarding the production system, as well as new directions inspired from the outside regarding critical viewing, in order to aim for new ways of appreciations for the art of animation.