Kenichi Sawazaki

Born in 1978, and is based in Japan.
He is a Japanese contemporary artist, film director, curator, and researcher.
PhD in Concept and Media Planning from Kyoto City University of Arts.
Project Assistant Professor, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature(RIHN).
Director of Living Montage, a platform for interdisciplinary use of visual media.

Field of expertise: aesthetic practices.
Key words: contemporary art, documentary film, multimodal anthropology, transdisciplinary research, environmental humanities.

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Sawazaki actively engages in collaborative projects with individuals from diverse fields and cultures to create a new paradigm for artistic and cultural expression while drawing upon contemporary art centered around visual media. Furthermore, He is engaged in verifying and analyzing the outcomes and impacts of these projects from artistic practice and academic research perspectives.

He has established interdisciplinary projects, which include the platform “Living Montage,” serving as the foundation for the interdisciplinary utilization of visual media, as well as the collaborative research project “Young Muslim’s Eyes: Crosswork between Arts and Studies.” While advancing these projects, I actively engage in the practical application of a hypothetical approach that leverages multimodal media.

Two specific examples of these methods are “Meta Films” and “Commons Films.”

“Meta Films” centers on the creativity generated by “viewing images” and represents his proposed filmmaking approach in recent years. An illustrative work produced using this approach is the film “#manazashi” (Directed by Kenichi Sawazaki, 124 minutes, 2021). This film is based on footage recorded during field research conducted by researchers in Africa, Southeast Asia, etc. The film focuses on the sensory aspects of the field researchers’ investigative processes and uses visual art to visualize and make them evident. It incorporates the emotions and impressions felt while watching the footage as voiceovers within the film. This process revealed the intersection of the sensory elements of academic research and artistic expressions related to imagery from a meta-perspective, fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration and creating opportunities for insights and learning for both realms.

“Commons Films,” on the other hand, is a participatory approach where all project participants use cameras to film each other, and the video materials uploaded to the cloud serve as shared resources. Each participant then creates video productions based on their values and perspectives. An example of this approach is the exhibition “Young Muslim’s Eyes: The one being taken a picture of is certainly me, but I wonder who is the one taking the picture?” (Curated by Kenichi Sawazaki, Kyoto Seika University Satellite Space, Kyoto, Japan, 2023). What he found crucial in this exhibition is creating a collaborative space for individuals to engage with each other, transcending the “subject/object” framework and acknowledging diverse positions, generations, cultures, religious backgrounds, and areas of expertise, thus facilitating performative relationship building.

Major publications include Kenichi Sawazaki, Kae Amo, Yo Nonaka et al. “Emergent Use of Visual Media in Young Muslim Studies” TRAJECTORIA Vol. 5, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, 2024. Kenichi Sawazaki “Living Montage: The Margins of the Field Research” (interactive academic journal Toitoutoi, Vol. 0, Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research, Kyoto University, 2021).