Areas of Expertise
Fine Arts (Photography, Digital Media, Media Arts, Filmmaking and Design)
Watanabe worked as a broadcasting journalist as well as multi-media artist for more than 10 years before joining as faculty of Temple University Japan Campus, where he designed and initiated the BA in Art Program. He received his BA in film production in 1995 from Temple University, and his thesis was based on non-linear computerized editing and documentary, which was later broadcasted on PBS. His research and practice in 1996 on Hyper Journal later led cyber media into the world of blog; his handle name appears in Encyclopedia of Japanese Internet Culture (Kyokasyo ni noranai Internet no rekishi-kyoukasyo), published by Syoueisya in 2005.
He received his MFA from Tyler School of Art in 1997. His thesis exhibition was based on personalized media in public space, which he moved into a gallery and lived, and wrote his hyper journal. This exhibit evoked sensation because of the way how it described the tendency and nature of cyber media; where audience only can see the product via online, and you may see it anywhere in the world. The gallery space merely existed to visit the creator. If audiences are successful of meeting the artist, they would become a part of the product itself; the artist's hyper journal. Assistant Professor Watanabe explores the possibility of cyber media as a way of living one's life. Importantly, if audience wants to, they can also start their own hyper journal immediately, and becomes a creator to spread this phenomena. Now, millions of people live this lifestyle today, and they are called a blogger. His thesis exhibition still holds unofficial record of most visited MFA thesis show and largest photographic print ever made at Tyler School.
His recent collaborators include, toru yamanaka (dumb type), Yutaka Fukuoka (YEN calling), Shin Sasaki (3KG), shane walter (onedotzero) and Naoto Fukazawa.
Watanabe is currently interested in collation between 2 to 5 years old education and art education, focusing in issues and phenomenalism of experience and art. At TUJ, he teaches courses on art photography, design, media arts and filmmaking. He launched the Tyler Summer Art Workshop in Japan in 2000. He also launched TUJ Art major in 2004. He coordinates with Tyler School of Art programs in Japan for Temple University.
Watanabe's research interests focus on contemporary issues in art, collaborative arts within media arts context, and personalized media. He has recently released DVD called "flo+out 01" with toru yamanaka and Kyota Takahashi, which Watanabe shot and produced uncompressed HD quality DVD just by himself. He also recently collaborated with Naoto Fukaza for plusminuszero TV project, which he created moving visual with 3KG design team. The work is used in Fukazawa's museum exhibits in Europe and Japan. He is currently working on a photography book "things I see (working title)" which he hopes to finish by 2010. In this book, he explores some common ground between images and text to personal images and postmodern landscape, and deals with the issue of shifting meaning of images, the theme inspired by Bryan Johnson's "A Treatise on Language: The Relation which Words Bear to Things." and Wes Montgomery's work "A Day in Life", which in turn was inspired by the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" released in 1967.
Film and Media Arts
MFA, Tyler School of Art, Temple University