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  3. AC-bu Exhibition: “Creating Iwakan”


AC-bu Exhibition: “Creating Iwakan”

  • DATES : Tue. February 22 – Wed. March 30, 2022
  • HOURS : 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays and holidays. Admission free.

    * We are currently implementing a number of measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
    Upon entry to the gallery, all visitors are requested to submit to a temperature check, sanitize their hands, wear a face mask, and maintain a social distance of 2 meters. Persons with any of the following symptoms are requested to refrain from visiting the gallery: fever (above 37.5℃), cough, sore throat, general fatigue, etc. Visitors are also requested to take all necessary precautions to avoid virus contamination en route to the gallery.

AC-bu is a creative team originally formed in 1999 by students at Tama Art University. Today, as a unit they garner widespread attention for their prolific production of exciting and finely worked visuals featured mainly in television programming, commercials and music videos.

The thematic inspiration behind AC-bu’s creative activities is their pursuit of “iwakan,” a word denoting a sense of disjointedness, a feeling that something is askew from what one might normally expect. The formative experience behind this chosen theme traces back to the sessions held during their student years to critique their sketches. While most of their fellow students produced works demonstrating great technical proficiency, AC-bu’s sketches were intentionally crafted without attention to artistic skill – eliciting enthusiastic encomiums from their peers.
And so AC-bu proceeded to create works of optimal iwakan within the circumstances or framework presented to them, aiming for their works to be entertaining to their viewers. Eventually, this became their defining style and appeal, for which they enjoy robust support from their fans.

Initially AC-bu’s core fan base was other creative artists and members working in the realm of films. Then in 2016, they became well-known among the general public for their promotional video, made for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Election Administration, about the newly lowered voting age (18). This was followed in 2018 by their “BBNM” segment of the TV anime “Pop Team Epic,” which was enthusiastically received especially by social media users.
Most recently, AC-bu has expanded its portfolio of activities further with the production of contemporary art works and music videos created in collaboration with the globally famous New York-based experimental rock band Battles.

The upcoming exhibition at Creation Gallery G8 will focus on new works created by AC-bu on their underlying theme of “iwakan.” Visitors are sure to enjoy seeing what approach AC-bu, now in its 24th year, has newly taken toward the theme it has pursued throughout its career. What experiments with iwakan have they undertaken this time?


AC-bu is a creative team formed in 1999. Treating works performed for clients as commissioned works, AC-bu produces a continuing portfolio of fresh, experimental works in diverse media. They have a clearly defined creative concept: to provide viewers of their works with odd, unexpected feelings induced by an altogether unique creative style that remains fresh even with the passage of time. This concept, which they call “iwakan” – literally meaning “a sense that something is slightly off – is shared by all members of the team. In recent years, their activities are winning new acclaim as works of contemporary art. In 2014, their speedy picture-story show “Anzen-unten no shiori” (A Guide to Safe Driving) earned a Jury Selection citation in the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ 18th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards. In 2019, their “Powder / New Tribe” was nominated at that year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in the commissioned films category. Since 2019, the members of AC-bu have served as guest professors at Kyoto University of the Arts. In 2020, their music video for CreepHyp’s “Busu” was a Jury Selection at the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards. The unit’s major solo exhibitions to date are “9th ANNIVERSARY Iruka no irukakun no kyushu no meigetsu” (2019), “Kyukoshi – Transmorph -” (2020) and “Iruka no iruka no iruka no iruka no iruka no iruka no iruka no iruka no iruka” (2021).

Message from the Artists

AC-bu has been active, mainly in video production, for more than 20 years. In retrospect, they have been two decades marked by continuous pursuit of “iwakan.” But just what is iwakan? It’s only a feeling, and not something we have systematized.
For this exhibition we chose the title “Creating Iwakan.” Our hope is that, while identifying how we have approached the task of creating iwakan, we might present our works in various spaces through iwakan.

Creation Gallery G8