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6th “1_WALL” Photography

Today, modes of artistic expression are becoming increasingly diversified, and together with artists who wholeheartedly seek to express themselves in new ways, Guardian Garden aspires to be a venue for considering new expressive modes. This aspiration derives from our hope that artists will overcome any hurdles in their way by offering them a gallery wall where they can express themselves freely, through their works.

Judging Results

Final Round of Judging

Grand Prize

Yuki Kumagai
Born in 1988 / Currently studying Tamagawa University.
People see only what they want to see.
But beyond that, there is something we can still imagine.

Final Round of Judging

The third and final round of judging is conducted open to public viewing. The six finalists give presentations of their works on display and their plans for their solo exhibition if they win the Grand Prize. The judges discuss the merits of each finalist’s portfolio, works shown, and presentation, and together decide the winner of the Grand Prize.

“1_WALL” Exhibition

A group exhibition is held spotlighting the six finalists to emerge from the second round of judging. Each finalist is allocated a gallery wall (approx. 3.85m wide and 2.5m high) to display their works. Besides the works themselves, the judges also take into consideration how the finalists use their overall display space and how they show their works.

Success in the Second Round of Judging


  • "displacement"

    Kuniya Oyamada

    Born in 1976

    Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University.

  • "WALLS"

    Shiho Kito

    Born in 1980

    Graduated from Waseda University, School of Education, Department of English Language and Literature. Completed a Master’s Degree in Department of Photography, London College of Communication.

  • "Luxury"

    Yuki Kumagai

    Born in 1988

    Currently studying Tamagawa University.

  • " out line"

    Yuya Koike

    Born in 1987

    Graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University.

  • "phantom limb pain"

    Tamaki Saito

    Born in 1980

    Graduated from Tokyo Gakugei University, Master of educational psychology. Graduated from Nippon Photography Institute, Unit 2.

  • "dreaming with my eyes wide open"

    Nao Manabe

    Born in 1987

    Graduated from Visual Arts College Osaka. Currently working at a photo studio in Tokyo.

Judges’ Encouragement Prizes

  • Naohiro Utagawa

    Selected by Shin Akiyama

  • Emi Nakata

    Selected by Kisei Kobayashi

  • Ko Ushio

    Selected by Risaku Suzuki

  • Takashi Tsuda

    Selected by Yuri Mitsuda

Second Round of Judging

A portfolio review is held one-on-one between each entrant and a judge. Here, the entrants are given the opportunity to directly explain the motives behind their works or their production process. After all portfolio reviews are completed, the judges assemble to discuss their assessments and select the six finalists.

Success in First Round of Judging

Entrants Who Successfully Passed the First Round of Judging

Portfolio Judging

Judging is performed based on entrants’ work files and data. The judges, all prominent in their respective fields – design, illustration, photography, etc. – plus members of the secretariat, render their judgments from various perspectives. Thirty entrants are selected to continue on to the second round of judging.


  • Shin Akiyama

    (Graphic designer, Publisher)

    Established schtucco in 2000. Established edition.nord in 2008. Involved in numerous photo and art books. 2013 included photo books by Taiji Matsue, Risaku Suzuki, and Takehiko Nakafuji, exhibition catalogs by Ohtake Shinro and Kodai Nakahara, and editions by Gozo Yoshimasu and Tadashi Kawamata.

  • Kisei Kobayashi

    (Photographer and Artist)

    Born in Nagano Prefecture in 1968. Graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University Junior College Department of Photography. Became a freelance photographer in 1991 after working as a newspaper cameraman. Winner of the 1997 Photographic Society of Japan’s Newcomer’s Award for DAYS ASIA. Presently works across a variety of mediums including for magazines, advertisements, commercials, and writers. Photo books include Hanahaneni, SUWA, days new york, homeland, and more.

  • Risaku Suzuki


    Born in Shingu, Wakayama, in 1963. In 2000 he received the 25th Kimura Ihei Award in Photography for “PILES OF TIME.” His recent publications include “Water Mirror” (Case Publishing / Fine-Art Photography Association), “SAKURA” (edition nord), “Étude” (SUPER LABO), “Between the Sea and the Mountain – Kumano ” (amanasalto), “Ishiki no nagare” [Stream of Consciousness] (edition nord) and “Atelier of Cézanne” (Nazraeli Press).

  • Kimi Himeno

    (Principal and director of AKAAKA Art Publishing)

    Established AKAAKA Art Publishing in 2006. To date the company has published more than 200 books, mainly photo books and art books. Publications include many recipients of the Kimura Ihei Award: Lieko Shiga (“CANARY” 2007); Atsushi Okada (“I am” 2007); Masashi Asada (“Asadake” 2008); Cozue Takagi (“MID” 2009; “GROUND” 2009); Arata Dodo (“Taigan” 2012); Ryuichi Ishikawa (“A Grand Polyphony” 2014; “okinawan portraits 2010-2012” 2014); and Aya Fujioka (“Here Goes River” 2017). Since 2018 she is also a professor at Osaka University of Arts.

  • Yuri Mitsuda

    (Art critic)

    Graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Letters. In 2007 one of her publications won a Scholastic Achievement Award from the Photographic Society of Japan. Other published works include Words and Things: Jiro Takamatsu’s issue with Japanese Art 1961-72 and Photographs by Yasuzo Nojima.