shibuya pixel art

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About

about

Pixel art is a collection of dots depicted in low resolution imagery, developed alongside the evolution of computers and games in the 1980s and originally confined within the function of these technologies. The pixel technique was first highlighted by a research center in Palo Alto through their 1973 invention, Xerox Alto, a computer with bitmap display. Later on, the 1982 arcade game Space Invaders produced by Taito, the 1983 Nintendo video game console Family Computer and various other games helped develop the image technology (sprite). These technologies were largely confined to the bandwidth and processing ability of computers. Today, in an era liberated from these functional limitations, the pixel art form continues to be loved across the globe.

Pixel art is a collection of dots depicted in low resolution imagery, developed alongside the evolution of computers and games in the 1980s and originally confined within the function of these technologies. The pixel technique was first highlighted by a research center in Palo Alto through their 1973 invention, Xerox Alto, a computer with bitmap display. Later on, the 1982 arcade game Space Invaders produced by Taito, the 1983 Nintendo video game console Family Computer and various other games helped develop the image technology (sprite). These technologies were largely confined to the bandwidth and processing ability of computers. Today, in an era liberated from these functional limitations, the pixel art form continues to be loved across the globe.

The definition of pixel art is generally considered as artwork using the smallest element of an image, dots (pixels), in visible resolution, or image structured by humans intentionally placing color into squares – both of which are ambiguous in their meanings. This ambiguity helped pixel art transcend boundaries of the bitmap framework into popular culture, from games to illustration, animation, embroidery and accessories, through posts on social media platforms. It has even transformed into fine art such as paintings and installations, and today garners attention of the public especially with the rise in popularity of the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) market trading various pieces of work in pixel art form.

Shibuya Pixel Art is an art festival that sheds light on the artistic value of pixels and aims to release its power as an art form. It consists of the Pixel Art Contest, which gathers over 600 creations of pixel art, and special exhibitions, art fairs and talk events using the entire city of Shibuya as its platform as an attempt to capture the magic and possibility of pixels. We are currently envisioning the launch of Shibuya Pixel Art Museum by 2025, where pixel art will be exhibited, researched and conserved. We hope the Museum will become a platform to organically connect artists, fans, collectors, galleries, companies and local areas, which will help stimulate and develop pixel art culture. This is why we base ourselves in Shibuya, otherwise known as the Bit Valley* – to connect and circulate the relationships between various stakeholders and fields.

* “Bit Valley” refers to the neighborhood in Shibuya, Tokyo, where many internet and tech startups base their offices. The name was inspired by Silicon Valley and is a cross between Bitter (the chinese character for “Shibu”) and Valley (the chinese character for “Ya”). The Bit Valley concept was first created by startup CEOs in Shibuya in February 1999.

BIRTHDAY by mae 2020 Grand Prix

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Event&Artist

  • 2020

    Held under a state of emergency following the spread of the new coronavirus infection. At the 4th Shibuya Pixelart Contest, a total of 682 works were gathered, and the animation work of pixel artist mae, who debuted only a few months ago, won the grand prix. At the event in September, the award-winning works were exhibited virtually on Virtual Shibuya and offline at Shibuya Hikarie. Moreover, the special exhibition "Temperature of Pixel" by Yusuke Shigeta and Zennyan was installed and attracted over 1,000 guests.

  • Contest

    contest2020
  • Event

    event2020
  • Artist

    artist2020
  • 2019

    At the 3rd Shibuya Pixelart Contest, a total of 895 works were gathered, and 11 works were selected and exhibited on the street corner of Shibuya as "Shibuya Pixel Art Graffiti". At the event in September, a special exhibition with the theme of "Modern Youkai" will be held in conjunction with "Social Innovation Week" hosted by Shibuya Ward.

  • Contest

    contest2019
  • Event

    event2019
  • Artist

    artist2019
  • 2018

    The Shibuya Pixel Art 2018 is held along Cat Street in Harajuku. The event collaborates with Space Invaders for their 40th anniversary and gathers a record breaking audience of 4,780. A round-table discussion is planned last minute by a suggestion from pixel art artist Zennyan, resulting in a 4-hour passionate debate among participants.

  • Contest

    contest2018
  • Event

    event2018
  • Artist

    artist2018

Article&Interview

  • 第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第四回

    2018/04/04

    第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第四回

  • 第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第三回

    2018/04/03

    第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第三回

  • 第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第二回

    2018/04/02

    第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第二回

  • 第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第一回

    2018/04/01

    第一弾! スクウェア・エニックス 渋谷員子×ピクセルアーティスト Zennyan ドット絵対談 第一回

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