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24th “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

Akane Shirai
Born in 1998 / Graduated from Kyoto University of the Arts’ Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Photography and Video Course.
I photographed two families to answer my question, dating back to my childhood, of what makes a family. The unyielding way they live in the present negates any illusions and seemed to pierce straight through to their reality.

Final Round of Judging

The third and final round of judging is conducted open to public viewing. The five 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” ExhibitionFri. November 05, 2021 - Sat. December 04, 2021

A group exhibition is held spotlighting the five 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


  • " Faces of Amata Nakorn, the “Eternal City”"

    Kou Kimura

    Born in 1986

    Nippon Photography Institute

  • "Naked"

    Mio Sakato

    Born in 1999

    Visual Arts Osak

  • "Connect"

    Akane Shirai

    Born in 1998

    Kyoto University of Art and Design Faculty of Art and Design Department of Fine and Applied Arts Photography and Video Course

  • "One day, boys"

    Eiri Motoyoshi

    Born in 1986

    Nippon Sport Science University Faculty of Sport Science Department of Physical Education

  • "850nm"

    Yuhan Lin

    Born in 1996

    Tokyo University of the Arts

Judges’ Encouragement Prizes

  • "The Sound of Areca"

    Yuki Hatano

    Selected by Masashi Kohara

  • "White Whale White"

    Yuki Morita

    Selected by Sayaka Takahashi

  • "Ants and Vase"

    Hyunseok Kim

    Selected by Yoshihisa Tanaka

  • "You and Time and Light and Shadow"

    Shiori Akiba

    Selected by Nao Tsuda

  • "FACE"

    Sakura Fuji

    Selected by Rika Noguchi

Second Round of JudgingTue. August 03, 2021

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 five finalists.

Success in First Round of Judging

Entrants Who Successfully Passed the First Round of Judging

  • Shiori Akiba
  • Yuki Hatano
  • Yin Ying
  • Hiroki Urabe
  • Tetsuo Kashiwada
  • Kim hyunseok
  • Kou Kimura
  • Mio Sakato
  • Genki Sakuradani
  • Akane Shirai
  • Sakura Fujii
  • Rapanki
  • Yuta Hosomi
  • Eiri Motoyoshi
  • Yuki Morita
  • LI HE
  • Liuchendi_
  • linyuhan

Portfolio JudgingMon. July 05, 2021 - Mon. August 02, 2021

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. Twenty 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-July,2022

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.


  • Masashi Kohara


    As a curator at the Izu Photo Museum, he has organized exhibitions including “Nobuyoshi Araki Photobook Exhibition: Ararchy,” “Manabu Miyazaki: The Pencil of Nature” and “Tazuko Masuyama: Until Everything Becomes a Photograph.” He also curated “It’s a Small World: Imperial Festivals and Human Exhibitions.” He directed the documentary film “The Man Who Became a Camera: Photographer Takuma Nakahira,” and is recipient of the Koen Shigemori Photography Critic Award and The Photographic Society of Japan’s Scholastic Achievement Award, among others. He is an Associate Professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University and a Part-time lecturer at Kanagawa University and others.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Nao Tsuda


    Born in Kobe in 1976. Traveling the globe, through his camera lens he continuously depicts the ongoing relationship between man and nature tracing back to ancient times. Since 2001 the focus of his work has been numerous exhibitions both in Japan and abroad. His photo collections include SMOKE LINE (AKAAKA), Storm Last Night (AKAAKA) and Elnias Forest (handpicked). He currently serves as a Visiting Professor at Osaka University of Arts.

  • 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).