Beautiful Glass Art or Not Beautiful Glass Art
— Looking back on past award-winners —（２／９）
A new direction has been emerging in the glass art field, since the beginning of the 21st century. This direction is an expansion of the possibilities of expression through combinations of video and digital technologies. When such mechanisms become the technical basis for the glass art works, I wonder how much the glass material matters. If we stick to the concept of “glass art” as based on a material or motif, not all works meet that criteria. If so, honestly speaking, I feel it is unreasonable to incorporate such works into the field of conventional glass art. My opinion on this is that we need to explore other avenues in this direction.
The question “What is glass?” is a simple one necessary to explore the material and form. However, I’m sorry to say the time has come when works are submitted that make this question meaningless. This is the present situation. These works cannot be called “glass art”. But it is difficult to predict whether such works will decrease in the future. How do we deal with this unavoidable situation? I suspect that others in the glass art field at home and abroad have the same issues.
I think there are two options. The first is to accept everything, exploring the new concepts of glass art and responding to the changes of the situation. The other is to clarify the concept of glass art and classify works which deviate from the concept separately. I am reminded of another issue which had heated debates in a previous era. At the glass art competitions held in 1980s, the topic of “Craft or Art?” was controversial.