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BA (Hons) Art and the Environment

As a Japanese student studying BA (Hons) Art and the Environment from my home country since the start of the pandemic, I am interested in national identity and the differences between Japan and the UK.


My video in the Degree Show uses subliminal stimuli and incorporates aspects of collage. The work aims to investigate national identity by using elements such as British and Japanese sign language, as well as sound samples, for example greetings and national anthems. From my own country I have been influenced by Shinto, Buddhism and Japanese pop culture, but my practice has also been inspired by how my time studying ‘in’ the UK has created an interesting blend between British and Japanese culture. The philosophers and authors that have inspired me are even more international: in particular Erich Fromm, Gustave Le Bon and George Orwell and their analyses of capitalism and the gap between group identity and individual personality.

Masaki Kono

Satori Story






With my work, I hope to encourage people to rethink the notion of national identity which we do not normally consider. I decided to create a video which follows a hypothesis that the screen can become a sculpture. The structure is based on my experience of online communication from Japan to the UK during the pandemic. During this time, my feelings such as being glad that others understood what I said, having stress with difficulties with the online environment, and the nostalgia which experienced staying in the UK, all developed a sense of reality. In this metaverse, I experienced a contrast of having communication in real time, an illusion. The idea of illusion being in different places and in different time zones. On top of that, I considered “Every time, any time, everywhere.” With this in mind, I focused on a concept so I thought that video is a suitable or perhaps ideal medium for my project. My work mainly separates two approaches, scenes which are taken in Japan and ingredients which I recorded such as sounds and images in the UK. This idea comes from my experience in which people feel comfortable in unfamiliar locations when they find familiar things which are related to national identity. I used various approaches, for instance, morse code, sign language, quote for exploring communication and so on.


Creating and installing my work is completed and they are supported by lectures, staffs and students. I am grateful for your support and kindness.

Masaki Kono