Baroque Japan Limited (Head Office: Meguro-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director and CEO: Hiroyuki Murai) won the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prize at the 43rd MAF Exhibition, organized by the Motion Pictures and Visual Arts Inc. Foundation, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum from October 30. Submitted in the 6D art category, the works represents an artistic expression integrating fashion-based virtual 3D space with stereoscopic 3D models of real-life settings. Exhibited as a VIRTUAL CLOTHING WORLD, it was created with VR (Virtual Reality) technology cooperation from NANO Media Inc. (Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director and President: Katsuya Tanaka).
At the 43rd MAF Exhibition, held on November 2, 2016.
From left: Mr. Kenji Esaki , Dr. Shintaro Ogino (Director, NANO Media), Hirofumi Yamazaki (Director and General Managing Director, Baroque Japan Limited), Kosuke Yamane (E-Business Promotion Group, Baroque Japan Limited).
■ Outline of 43rd MAF Exhibition
Date: October 30-November 6 *Until 12 P.M. on November 6.
Place: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (8-36 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo) 1st Floor, Exhibition Room 4
Admission fee: Adults / Children 1,000 yen (tax included)
*Notes to media representatives:
Please submit a Media Coverage Application Form with the following information by the day before you wish to visit the venue. Prior notification is required for coverage of the award ceremony as well as the exhibition on any date.
• Name of program / publication / online media
• Date and time of broadcast / publication
• Representative (company name, location, representative name, number of participants, phone number)
• Purpose of coverage (e.g., if MAF Exhibition overall, please state “MAF Exhibition”)
• Photographers are asked to wear an armband.
■About the MAF Exhibition
This is an exhibition hosted by the Motion Pictures and Visual Arts Inc. Foundation (MAF), a general incorporated foundation. Instead of just being a forum for presenting works by creators, its goal is to provide clarity on the relationship between social phenomena and art, in the belief that it must be turned into an arts culture movement. See here for details: http://www.maf.jp/exhibition.
■Aim of participation in the MAF Exhibition
With the prevalence of e-commerce and use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the retail environment surrounding Baroque is changing at a dizzying pace. Baroque has embarked to use information technology in a range of experimental projects toward delivering new value and enhancing customer satisfaction. One of these projects involves building a future world of fashion with the latest VR technology. The work submitted to the MAF Exhibition gives shape to one possibility of the company’s efforts.
■Outline of the Virtual Clothing World Exhibit
The work submitted features items of clothing from the fashion brands managed by Baroque Japan Limited. Garments appear in the world of virtual reality replicating settings that change from season to season, and to match the color, pattern, and concept of each garment.
Viewers put on headsets (with dedicated earphones and eyeglasses) which allows them to enter a majestic VR landscape. There, they can approach the garment and view it from different angles, using the controller to rotate the garment. They can walk around it, look up at the sky, and enjoy the harmonious way music blends with the landscape, exploring the 360-degree world spreading out from the design and theme of each piece of clothing.
The system was created and developed in collaboration with Ryo Matsuura (regina DESIGN STUDIO) as overall art director, and with leading figures in VR technology NANO Media and Kenji Esaki . Real-life garments are captured by an auto-recognition camera and projected in the virtual 3D space, where the texture of the fabric is re-created and true-to-life sounds are added to produce an ideal virtual world for the garment.
Viewers are asked to wear a headset (with dedicated earphones and eyeglasses). The person in charge hands them a controller, telling them the details of how to operate it. The viewer can experience the virtual reality world shown in the monitor on the right. They can approach the garment and view it from different angles, using the controller to rotate the garment.
(Example of virtual reality that viewers can experience)
■ Assessment for the Foreign Minister’s Prize
The exhibit was awarded the prize for the interesting way the exhibit allows viewers to participate through virtual reality, and for its potential for future development.
Baroque Japan Limited is a specialty store retailer of private label apparel (SPA) that manages brands including MOUSSY, SLY, rienda, RODEO CROWNS, AZUL by moussy, and ENFÖLD in Japan, China,*1 Hong Kong, and the United States. The company operates 354 stores in Japan (as of September 30, 2016) and 174 stores abroad (as of August 31, 2016),*2 *3 and recorded consolidated net sales of 68,769,700,000 yen in the fiscal year ended January 2016.
*1 Business in mainland China is managed by a joint venture of Baroque and Belle International Holdings Limited.
*2 Overseas store numbers are from one month earlier due to the Baroque financial statements disclosure policy.
*3 Store numbers in China represent those in the mainland run by a joint venture of Baroque and Belle International Holdings Limited.