Tactile RENGA is an ongoing project of three Japanese artists, Takayuki Mitsushima, Rieko Nakamura and Toshihiro Anzai. The first series of Tactile Renga was carried from January 1998 to October 1998 producing 14 images by three artists. Tactile Renga 2 has started in September 1999, and is continuing with the same members. In this paper I will analyze the project and discuss what the process meant for the artists. Works can be seen at renga.com/
Applying RENGA method which will be described later, two artists Anzai and Nakamura who digitally paint, exchange images with Mitsushima who paints using tactile sense. In RENGA method, an image produced by an artist is sent to another artist to be modified into another image. By repeating the process a series of digital paintings are created. Each painting is the result of interaction between an artist’s imagination and those of others who preceded. Digital technology is indispensable in RENGA. Telecommunication and digital image manipulation make possible to extend the limit of traditional art making, as well as extending the limit of the visionary world of an artist. Issues such as the changing notion of originality and identity in art has been raised through the RENGA project.
- Machiko Kusahara, Kobe University Graduate School of Science and Technology, Japan