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Singapore, 25/2/2022


Please introduce yourself to our audience.
My name is Mamoru Watanabe, and I was born in Tokyo, Japan. I currently live in London, UK. Here, I work independently and collaboratively with other artists. I recently founded an R&D platform named FEAMR to explore the connection between practice-based art, music, and media research in a social context.


What is the philosophy of your art?
I’ve always been interested in human perception. In particular, the influence of media technology on human perception. Art, for me, is the way I explore the questions that arise from exploring such interests. I usually make, reflect, and engage in various forms of expression.
I’m currently interested in how we form ‘images’ in our minds. For the past two years, I’ve been exploring this topic by making music videos. As I listen to specific sounds, I aim to capture the images that come to my mind. I then try to fix shapes and colours to those images. I’m interested in the mechanisms of this process, and I’m interested in creating a space where others could experience this too.


What sort of an artist would you say you are?
‘Versatile’ would be the most fitting word to describe my work as an artist. I usually create works based on my interests and physical sensations, but I don’t tend to be particular about the format or output. Even though I create works that use computers because of my interest in media technology, the core interests and ideas are the same as when I create physical sculptures and installations.
This time, I created an NFT work because I’m interested in exploring this new form of application. At the same time, I’m aware of NFTs environmental concerns, especially CO2 emissions caused by cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. For this reason, I would like to explore the value of NFTs while considering those problems.
Even in this context, I would like to emphasize the physical and tangible rather than the digital and virtual. I believe this form of knowledge – that of physical experiences – can help us connect with the hidden realities.


You took part in an exhibition in the Netherlands at Berg Church in  Deventer in 2020. As a Japanese artist how was your work received by the European audience?
I came to set up my work, but I had to return to London just before the opening. So, I couldn’t get direct feedback from the audience.


What are the main things about your art that distinguishes you from other International Asian artists.
Formats and styles are rapidly changing, so the distinction between these is variable. But if I answer this question, I’d say that each person has a different story, and each artist shows extracts of their reality. If the viewer senses that the story I show them is different from that of the artist next to me, I think there’s already a distinction.