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16th “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

"Bird, Night, and then"
Kenji Chiga
Born in 1982 / Graduated from the Department of Electronics and Materials Physics, School of Engineering Science, of Osaka University.
About the issues of highly education-focused society and caste affecting a young boy living in India, suicide by young people, the choices they make when they lose hope and their dreams; about the possibility of continuing to live.

Final Round of JudgingThu. March 23, 2017

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” ExhibitionWed. March 22, 2017 - Fri. April 14, 2017

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


  • "Endpoint #3"

    Naoki Abe

    Born in 1983

    Completed a Master’s Degree in Design at Tokyo Zokei University.

  • "Invisible man"

    Haruyuki Shirai

    Born in 1981

  • "Bird, Night, and then"

    Kenji Chiga

    Born in 1982

    Graduated from the Department of Electronics and Materials Physics, School of Engineering Science, of Osaka University.

  • "Andante"

    Daisuke Tomizawa

    Born in 1993

    Currently studying in the Department of Intermedia Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, of Tokyo University of the Arts.


    Kohei Fujisawa

    Born in 1992


    Yao Yuan

    Born in 1988

    Currently studying Visual Design at Kuwasawa Design School.

Judges’ Encouragement Prizes

  • "poetry and nature"

    Kei Shimazu

    Selected by Kotaro Iizawa

  • "light-emitting phantom limb"

    Hanako Kimura

    Selected by Atsuki Kikuchi

  • "around and around"

    Mio Fukuda

    Selected by Risaku Suzuki

  • "ZERO SET"


    Selected by Sayaka Takahashi

  • "like a different person"

    Maria Sakamoto

    Selected by Arata Dodo

Second Round of JudgingThu. February 02, 2017

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

  • Naoki Abe
  • H/N
  • Yusuke Enomoto
  • Kazunori Emura
  • Maki Ogawa
  • Hanako Kimura
  • Xuli Jing
  • Morito Kouzuma
  • Misairu Kobayashi
  • Sachiko Saito
  • Maria Sakamoto
  • Kensuke Sasaki
  • Kei Shimazu
  • Haruyuki Shirai
  • Rie Shirokura
  • Atsuko Suzuki
  • Takuto Sera
  • Yuma Tanaka
  • Kenji Chiga
  • Daisuke Tomizawa
  • Noerisa
  • Satoko Hasegawa
  • Manami Hasegawa
  • Kanna Higa
  • Mio Fukuda
  • Kohei Fujisawa
  • Masaya Fujitani
  • Bella Baek
  • Yao Yuan
  • Yile Yang

Portfolio JudgingFri. January 20, 2017 - Wed. February 01, 2017

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.

Grand Prize Award Privileges

Solo Exhibition at Guardian Garden

100,000 JPY to prepare for the show, plus the right to prepare an exhibition pamphlet.

Scheduled to take place in January-February,2018

The Grand Prize winner receives the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at Guardian Garden roughly one year after the “1_WALL” Exhibition. The gallery is provided free of charge, and the winner is presented 100,000 JPY to prepare for the show. Publicity assistance, including support in preparing a show leaflet, is also provided. A pamphlet will be produced and sold for the solo exhibition at Guardian Garden.


This series of exhibitions features former participants in “1_WALL” competitions who passed the first round of judging. All entrants meeting those qualifications are eligible. To date, exhibitions have focused attention on up-and-coming art directors, graphic designers, illustrators and photographers.


Finalists in “1_WALL” competitions (entrants who have passed the first and second rounds of judging) can have their name registered on the ARTIST page accessible on the Guardian Garden website.


  • Kotaro Iizawa

    (Photography Critic)

    Born in Miyagi Prefecture in 1954. In 1984 he completed a PhD in Art at the University of Tsukuba. From 1990 to 1994 he served as editor-in-chief of the quarterly photography magazine “Deja-vu.” His recent publications include “Photobooks make the history!” (CMS) and “Archive of Contemporary Japanese Photography 2011-2013” (Seikyusha).

  • Atsuki Kikuchi

    (Graphic designer)

    Born in Tokyo in 1974. He attended Musashino Art University, majoring in Sculpture. In 2000 he established Bluemark, and then in 2011 he founded his own design studio. His work areas include brand planning, logo design, signage planning, editorial design, etc., with a strong focus on art, fashion and architecture. He is also the principal of Book Peak, planners and publishers of art books.

  • 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).

  • Sayaka Takahashi

    (Gallery Director of PGI)

    Born in Chiba Prefecture. Studied Literature at Waseda University under Osamu Hiraki. In 1998, she participated as a volunteer at the Higashikawa International Photo Festival, and from 2003 through 2010 served as the festival’s on-site production leader and assistant director. Since the winter of 1998, she has been involved in work relating to photographic preservation and display at Photo Gallery International (PGI), where as Director she is in charge of exhibition planning and operation.

  • Arata Dodo


    Born in Osaka in 1974, raised in Nara. In 1995 he won the “Konica Introducing New Generation Photographers” Grand Prix. In 1999 he published the photo book “Ways of Shanghai 1994-1999” (Mole Press). In 2000 he received the Photographic Society of Japan’s Newcomer’s Award; in 2004, the New York ADC Jury’s Special Award; and in 2009, the Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association Outstanding Advertising Award. In 2012 he published the photo book “TAIGAN” (AKAAKA Art Publishing Inc.) and received the 38th Kimura Ihei Award.