2022.10.1(Sat.) - 2023.3.19(Sun.)



2022.10.1(Sat.) - 2023.3.19(Sun.)
10:00-18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)


Long-Term Project Room / 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Mondays (except October 10 & 31, and January 2 & 9), October 11, November 1, December 29 - January 1, January 4, and January 10



For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800
E-Mail: info@kanazawa21.jp

SCAN THE WORLD (STW) is a project to scan the city with portable handy-scanners, led by artists ISHIGE Kenta (born in Tokyo, 1994) and BIEN (born in Tokyo, 1993). STW is at once an ongoing street practice and a new form of play, in which anyone can participate.
In [NEW GAME], the long-term project room at the museum will be transformed into a meeting place for people to participate in STW. An enormous stone tablet floats in the gallery inscribed with the rules for the project, like an artifact unearthed from an ancient site. Appearing as if providing an analysis and research on this tablet, the exhibition presents STW’s activities up until now, as well as its plans for the future with prospective participants. STW will provide a unique website as an integral part of the exhibition, a platform to connect the different practice of play through past and future. Here, anyone can upload and view the visual data of textures collected in various cities. Places and people from all over the world will be connected through images and the act of playing. Throughout the six-month exhibition, ISHIGE Kenta and BIEN will stay in Kanazawa, inviting people to participate. STW will be open to the city with the museum as the starting point, and it will continue to evolve as an ongoing form of play on the street with expanding players.

In Cooperation with: Konel inc.
Design: NUMATA Sou

Artists’ Statements

  • SCAN THE WORLD initially began as a project for a zine we made for an event. We would always use copier scanners to make zines and graphics, so the idea was to take it outdoors. We grabbed a portable handy-scanner we could find and paraded through Shibuya all night long.
    Going outside with a portable scanner you start to notice the striking images all around. Old outer walls, signboards, the ground, plants and trees, garbage, street signs, cars, vending machines, bronze statues; the city is an accumulation of diverse images. Collecting them using handy-scanners requires your body to be in physical contact with the objects you are scanning. If you find an interesting image, you need to get to where it is. Your physical traits manifest in the scanned image creating unique qualities. As we became more aware of this through our practice we began building rules for STW. The project has continued until now as an open project of play using the city, rather than a process of creation simply for us.
    The city and the world are full of diverse materials. By recognizing and utilizing them, we may turn the world we see daily into a playground, without anyone even knowing.
    This time STW is overtaking Kanazawa, the rules are wider than before. It’s a place where people from all walks of life can interact with each other. We invite you to come play with us in the city.


    SCAN THE WORLD was the name BIEN had given to a form of play we had invented. The famous pop song “We Are The World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, which was made for African famine relief, inspired him. “Not sure but sounds interesting, let’s go with it” was my response as we decided to pursue these ideas. I would like to take this opportunity to dig a little deeper into the word “scan”.
    As I looked into the word scan, I discovered it originates from the Latin word scandō, meaning to climb. During the Latin language’s integration to European languages, the meaning seems to have shifted to scannen. Scannen means to check carefully, applied at the time to the verses and metrical structure of Latin poetry. Following the rise of electronics scan finally came to mean “taking in and processing information digitally” as we use it. The action that the word describes seems to have shifted from a basic human behavior to that of reading classical poetry with passion, and then to taking information in with a digital device.
    After the arrival of the Information Age where information is transmitted in high speed and large quantities, all sorts of scanned information is flying around. Now there are infordemics, filter bubbles and information gaps, which are all extremely serious issues. However our view of the world seems to be becoming somehow more narrow and closed off.
    My hope is SCAN THE WORLD will be a practice of play where people are reminded of the joys of exploring the world hands on, by climbing walls, carefully examining, and taking in digital information.

    ISHIGE Kenta


How to scan the world

  • Go outside

    Look carefully

    Touch and Feel

    Picture what has been and what will be

    Notice the difference between day and night

    Bring home images

    Keep walking

    Take it easy


About the artist


    SCAN THE WORLD (STW) is a project of inventing 6 new practices of play using portable handy-scanners, led by artists ISHIGE Kenta and BIEN since 2018. They have initiated new ways of play on the street, including their two solo exhibitions SCAN THE WORLD [STAGE: TELEPHONE GAME], TOH, Tokyo, 2021 and SCAN THE WORLD [STAGE: COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR], FLESH, Tokyo, 2018.

  • ISHIGE Kenta

    ISHIGE Kenta is an artist and exhibition maker born in 7 1994. ISHIGE earned an MFA from the Oil Painting Department at Tokyo University of the Arts. In addition to his solo practice, he has been engaged in project-based activities with SCAN THE WORLD, Urban Research Group, and Installments. Growing up in a suburban “new town” has become a foundation for his practice, which focuses on rethinking cities and suburbs and finding alternate readings of established narratives. Recent exhibitions include Le Jardin Convivial, Kyoto Botanical Gardens, 2021; Ripple Across the Water 2021, Watarium, Tokyo; and Say Hello to Strangers, ART GUMMI, Kanazawa, 2021.

  • BIEN

    BIEN was born in 1993. He creates abstract paintings and installations based on unique drawings influenced by a range of practices including street culture, animation, and toy figurines. In his work, BIEN retraces the forms of prevailing texts, symbols, and characters from manga and anime with his dynamic linework. He dismantles and reconfigures symbolic meanings through inheriting street culture and animation’s modes of expression. Recent exhibitions include Rebel Without a Cause, Watarium, Tokyo, 2018; PARALLEL ARCHEOLOGY, OIL by Bijutsutecho Gallery, Tokyo, 2020; and DUSKDAWNDUST, PARCEL, HARUKAITO by island, Tokyo, 2021.

About the “Aperto” Series

  • The exhibition series “Aperto” introduces up-and-coming young artists in a solo exhibition format. As an art museum actively engaged with the contemporary world, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa looks closely at new trends now in the process of forming. Artists and curators collaborate in creating occasions for exhibiting works and act as an intermediary between today’s creation and that of the future. This exhibition series looks at individual artists who, although having little experience with solo or important group exhibitions at art museums, possess sufficient creative motivation to command a solo exhibition and who are expected to make a significant impact in the future. Artists are selected without regard for their nationality or expressive media by the curator at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. Note: “Aperto” is Italian for “open.”

Related Links



Organized by:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)

In Cooperation with:

Konel Inc., JSP Corporation, Slacktide Co., LTD.