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21st “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

"Big Brother is Watching you"
Ryu Ika
Currently studying in the Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences of Musashino Art University.
The more you try to see reality, the more distant it becomes. Everything is flat, flimsy and easily torn. People are extras living on a perfectly set stage.

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” ExhibitionTue. October 08, 2019 - Sat. November 09, 2019

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


  • "Passage"

    Sayaka Imamura

    Born in 1991

  • "In the Raw"

    Kaho Okazaki

    Born in 1993

    Graduated from University of the Arts London with a concentration in Photography.

  • "Breath"

    Tatsuki Katayama

    Born in 1991

    Graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Contemporary Art and Photography Course.

  • "The Smell of Emotion"

    Wei Zihan

    Born in 1994

    Currently studying Photography in the Graduate School of Art and Design of Musashino Art University.

  • "Scene under Snow Piled up Exaggeratedly and Irregularly"

    Ai Mizobuchi

    Born in 1989

    Graduated from Kyoto Women’s University, Faculty of Contemporary Society, Department of Contemporary Society.

  • "Big Brother is Watching you"

    Ryu Ika

    Currently studying in the Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences of Musashino Art University.

Judges’ Encouragement Prizes

  • "Love is part of the mystery, too"

    Rina Sasaki

    Selected by Ryo Sawayama

  • "Flicker of Landscapes"

    Ryu Furusawa

    Selected by Yoshihisa Tanaka

  • "I saw a ghost in the mirror"


    Selected by Rika Noguchi

  • "Flower from Hell"


    Selected by Kimi Himeno

  • "The plants see the plants"

    Yuki Moriya

    Selected by Rei Masuda

Second Round of JudgingThu. August 22, 2019

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

  • Ryo Adachi
  • Naoki Abe
  • Anpontan Rakan
  • Ryota Inai
  • Sayaka Imamura
  • Satoko Omori
  • Kaho Okazaki
  • Tatsuki Katayama
  • Wei Zihan
  • Rina Sasaki
  • Rie Shirokura
  • supershy
  • Shuji Sugiura
  • Haruna Sugimoto
  • Maiko Suzuki
  • Zheng Chengwei
  • Tei Kaijin
  • Ryu Furusawa
  • Kohei Maekawa
  • Mizuki Matsuda
  • Ai Mizobuchi
  • Azusa Miyamoto
  • Mumuko
  • Maki Morimoto
  • Yuki Moriya
  • Kyouhei Yamamoto
  • Fumie Yokojima
  • Ralph spieler
  • Ryu Ika
  • Rohi

Portfolio JudgingMon. July 01, 2019 - Wed. August 21, 2019

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. Comments by the judges are subsequently sent to all entrants. (In the event of numerous entrants, comment recipients will be decided by the members of the secretariat.)

Grand Prize Award Privileges


Solo Exhibition at Guardian Garden

300,000 JPY to prepare for the solo exhibition

Scheduled to take place in June-August,2020

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 300,000 JPY to prepare for the show. Publicity assistance, including support in preparing a show leaflet, is also provided.


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.


  • Ryo Sawayama

    (Art Critic)

    Born in 1982. In 2007 he completed a Master of Art degree at Musashino Art University Graduate School of Science of Design. In 2009, his essay “Labor-work: Carl Andre and His Concept of Art Making” was selected for first prize in the 14th Art Critic Essay Contest organized by BIJUTSUTECHO. He teaches part-time at both Musashino Art University and Tokyo Metropolitan University, and is a frequent contributor to articles, magazines, etc.

  • Yoshihisa Tanaka

    (Graphic Designer and Artist)

    Born in 1980. His major work to date includes VI planning for Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and other cultural facilities, art direction of the POST bookshop and the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR, and periodic creation of works as an artist. He is also active as half of the artist duo “Nerhol,” together with sculptor Ryuta Iida.

  • Rika Noguchi


    Born in 1971 in Saitama City, currently living in Naha, Okinawa. In 1994 she graduated from Nihon University’s College of Art, Department of Photography. She began production of photographic works during he university years, and has been active both in Japan and abroad mainly with exhibitions of her works. She has also participated in numerous international exhibitions of contemporary art, most recently the 21st Biennale of Sydney, “SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement” (2018).

  • 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.

  • Rei Masuda

    (Chief curator at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)

    Born in Kobe in 1968. Completed the graduate course in Area Studies at the University of Tsukuba. Since 1992 he has worked at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT). Among exhibitions he has curated in recent years are: “Josef Koudelka Retrospective” (2013), “Narahara Ikko: Domains” (2014), and “Thomas Ruff” (2016).