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Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.
January 19, 2024
Sony Computer Science Laboratories Develops Second Project for Its
Tomonami Creativity Acceleration Support System
 ~ Exhibition by Yuzen artist Ken Yotsui Opens ~ 

Tokyo, Japan - Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. (President and CEO: Hiroaki Kitano; hereafter referred to as Sony CSL) has developed a system that collaborates with yuzen artist Ken Yotsui, as its second project for Tomonami, a new system that supports creativity acceleration. Mr. Yotsui's solo exhibit will be held from today at Ginza Motoji, a kimono store in Ginza, and includes works that were created using the system, which is called "Tomonami for Ken Yotsui".

The Tomonami operating screen  /  Work created using Tomonami

Tomonami was conceived by researcher Alexis André from his work on creativity acceleration, and is available in forms that are customized for artists. Alexis André taps his own experience as an artist to uniquely extract characteristic features of an artist's expression from that artist's past work; these are then reflected in the form of parameters in the user interface of originally developed software, to provide a space for the artist to explore their creativity.

The artist explores this space by manipulating the parameters. Artists can use Tomonami to create choices autonomously and generate ideas in a short period of time, and then use their own artistic sensibilities and taste to evaluate them and determine whether or not to adopt them. This acceleration of the trial-and-error cycle of the creative process is the core of Tomonami, and leads to new creations that the artists themselves could not have imagined.

Yotsui's challenge - to realize both continuity of pattern needed for beautiful wearing, and continuity of pattern that comes from cloth specification - was accelerated by Tomonami, and the exhibit will display works that were discovered this way and possess new expressive potential. Tomonami was first provided to ceramic artist Yukio Yoshita, with results presented in November 2023, making Mr. Yotsui's work the second endeavor to use the system.

The name "Tomonami" combines the Japanese words "tomo" (friend) and "nami" (wave) and includes co-creation in its meaning. It expresses the artist using the technology and Alexis André understanding each other in close proximity like friends, thereby charting a new future where research and art combine to form a wave.

Exhibition  'Yuzen artist Ken Yotsutsui - Beauty in the form that begins with white
Dates : January 19, 2024 (Friday) - January 21, 2024 (Sunday)
Opening hours : 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Location: Ginza Motoji Waori Wasen 4-8-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-0061, Japan
Admission: Free
*The works are also available for sale online. Please check the details on Ginza Motojis website:

Remarks by Ken Yotsui
"Creating with Tomonami is like having a good friend that has a lot to say, without any subjective praise nor critic, just in a cool way. While my creation process was about exploring the vague images I might have had in my head, using Tomonami made this exploration far more methodological, and the sensation of working with explicit designs within the tool is fresh. If art is about finding solutions to questions that have no answer, Tomonami allows the artists to look for those solutions in a procedurally created visual space.""

About Ken Yotsui

1962 Born in Kanazawa city, Ishikawa Pref.
1981 Worked at a yuzen studio in Kanazawa
1991 First prize at the 32nd Ishikawa Pref. Traditional Craft Exhibition
2002 Traditional Craft Exhibition Award at 43rd Ishikawa Pref. Traditional Craft Exhibition (Ishikawa Dentoh Kogei Ten / Nihon Kogeikai-Sho)
2006 Certified as a regular member of Japan Kogei (Craft) Association
2009 Award of Nihon Keizai shimbun-sha at 43rd Japan Traditional Craft Dyeing Exhibition
2014 Award of Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education at 48th Japan Traditional Craft Dyeing Exhibition (Tokyo-to Kyoiku Iinkai sho)
2021 Award of Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education at 55th Japan Traditional Craft Dyeing Exhibition (Tokyo-to Kyoiku Iinkai sho)

Remarks by Alexis André
"This second project of developing Tomonami for Mr. Yotsui, who is very active in the world of yuzen, a different area from the first project, proved to be a very valuable experience. Through dialogue with Mr. Yotsui and through the pieces that were created, I once again got a strong sense that Tomonami can open up new horizons by accelerating creativity unbound by fields of artistic expression. I hope to continue our efforts to search out new futures for creativity, and work not only in traditional Japanese crafts, but also with artists in many other fields around the world."

About Alexis André

2André has been a researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories since 2009. He explores unprecedented creative activities by applying the latest digital media and works as a generative artist himself. His work has been shown at the Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media (YCAM) and the US computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH, and he has been working with various artists, from Open Reel Ensemble to Issey Miyake produced Aomori University Men's Rhythmic Gymnastics team, creating interactive displays of the performance. He also invented Sony's interactive toy platform, toio. He is currently based at Sony Computer Science Laboratories - Paris.

Media inquiries:Corporate Communications,
Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.