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Letter from IAMAS President Itsuo Sakane to
Seattle Cherry Blosson Festival,
read during opening ceremonies by Chair Tazue Sasaki.

I would hereby like to congratulate the organizers of the Seattle Sakura Festival on the staging of the event. It is an honor for IAMAS to be able to participate in such a historical festival.

IAMAS is a multimedia academy that was established by Gifu Prefecture Japan in 1996 for the education and training of advanced media specialists who will break new ground in our information orientated society. This year IAMAS opened a graduate school to further the potential for cutting edge education and research on interactive multimedia technology and related issues.

There are many people of Japanese ancestry living in Seattle, as well as a number of Japanese affiliated corporations. Seattle is a city that already has strong links with Japan, however is also curiously related to IAMAS as well.

At IAMAS we have an Artists in Residence program, on which we have invited eight artists from all over the world. One of these Artists was Mr. Franklin Joyce from Seattle. Another was Tamiko Thiel whose mother is an America of Japanese descent, who lives in Seattle as well. I heard that she has performed a vital roll in staging this festival.

The work that Tamiko Thiel created during her residency at IAMAS is being exhibited at this festival. There is also a video presentation of the exhibits that IAMAS prepared for the Hon'ami Koetsu exhibition that was staged at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 29th July to 29th October last year. A team from IAMAS created a virtual tea bowl and picture scroll, using the latest multimedia technology available to recreate the work of Hon'ami Koetsu.

I sincerely hope that visitors to the exhibition will take the time to appreciate these excellent examples of modern interactive art.

Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Science
International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS)