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HomeWorld newsThe art prize show offers trippy scenes of seeing and being seen

The art prize show offers trippy scenes of seeing and being seen

If the possibility of being deeply unsettled doesn’t scare you, catch a performance by the Japanese artist known as Saeborg (a self-described “imperfect cyborg who is half man and half toy”) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, should be a good Golden Week outing.

The performance is part of a two-person exhibition with artist Michiko Tsuda from Ishikawa Prefecture, presenting the conclusion of the 2022-2024 cycle of the Tokyo Contemporary Art Award.

The unusual format of the award with two recipients, which has the quality of a research grant rather than an award, is a strength of the TCAA in that it potentially promotes a more critical view. The award process is also notable for supporting mid-career artists, something that is relatively rare in the art scene, and even more so in Japan. Historically, funding programs here have typically benefited organizations, rather than individuals. The money then trickles down to young and emerging artists, who gain exposure and financial support during a biennial or festival, but must sink or swim between performances.

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