NEoN, Scotland’s only digital arts festival, headed North East of North Asia in 2015 to bring the best of digital and electronic art from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan to the city of Dundee from the 8th-14th November 2015.
Asia – home to two-thirds of the world’s population, has given us K-pop (Gangnam Style, the world’s most-watched music video), Godzilla, the Sony Walkman, and the father of media art, Nam June Paik. There is extraordinary richness in contemporary digital artistic practice. Japan has imbued art with the idea of wabi-sabi, of accepting flux and impermanence, which fits well with digital art, which is constantly changing in response to its media and context. Japan has also given us the idea of kawaii, or cuteness, which figures in our relationship to our technological devices. Japanese popular culture dominates the West’s views of the East’s aesthetics, but NEoN sought to dive deeper and cast a wider net across northern Asia to consider other nation’s digital creativity, including device art, sound, installation art, design, games, moving image, animation, net art and performance.
NEoN Festival invited you to examine the origin and understanding of digital arts practice in Asia, against the backdrop of our assumptions about its cultural motifs or traditions. The events and exhibitions allowed audiences in Dundee to compare the handmade and machine-made, to look at the processes of making in the context of strong cultural influences, and to ask what concerns do we share as creative practitioners in a globally-interlinked digital environment?