2016.05.16 Monday

033 Living in the moment

The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games announced the winning logo design on April 25, 2016. I had posted my thoughts regarding the final four candidates for the logo of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in my previous post, chapter 032, and I was hoping to do the same again as soon as the winning logo was unveiled. Unfortunately I found myself in a situation that made it physically impossible to put down my thoughts in writing. Though this is a private matter, I would like to explain the reason why I could not update my blog.

I have been struggling with a health issue for a while. For the past few years, I had to cut back on my workload and I have been concentrating on treatment and recovery. In the beginning of 2016, my condition worsened. I was now forced to undergo an operation and entered a hospital. I did not want to add anymore woes before the operation. Thus I hoped that the surgery—the date had already been set—would not coincide with the unveiling of the winning Olympic logo. But lo and behold, my surgery took place not only on the same day but at the same time the organizing committee revealed the new Olympics logo. Just another example of life’s little ironies.

During my stay in hospital, in order to concentrate on my recovery process, I blocked all incoming information. So I was not in the know about current news in real time. I only learned about the winning logo after I returned home from the hospital. I heard that there were many articles written up and reported in various media, citing the contents of my blog, chapter 032: many pronouncing how my “prediction hit the mark”. I was told such articles cropped up right after the announcement of the new logo. I learned all this after I left the hospital, from other people.

Some of the media releases that were written citing portions of my blog seemed to be bent on distortion—cherry-picking and stressing provocative words, disconnected from the gist of the actual contents of the blog. I was pained to see how words that were misinterpreted and clearly deviating from the original spirit of my blog were being spread, as if these were my own views I posted in my blog. But alas, I was becoming aware of something else, as I continued with my musings over the emblem issue. And my desire for rebuttal against these various articles soon faded away.

Let me explain. Considering the way the organizing committee brought the original competition to a conclusion, and how—after scrapping the winning design—it called for a new competition, taking pains to paint a new picture using easy and accessible words such as “a clean and fair competition”, “an open competition for all people”, how it stressed the legitimacy of the competition over and over, when in reality, it seemed totally unfair not to give any explanation as to the actual selection process. Nothing was revealed about the specific contents. We were never told how the four final candidates were selected; for what reason they were chosen out of the 14,599 entries. To get away with not giving an explanation as to the basis for choosing the winning design—an explanation that is surely rooted in the selection criteria itself—seems exceptionally disrespectful not only to the top entrants who were chosen, but to the other entrants whose designs were not chosen. I think it is also a show of disrespect towards the members of the selection committee. After giving so much effort in coming up with a new structure and carefully preparing for a competition with no mishaps whatsoever, in the end the organizers let us down by failing to give a credible explanation regarding the competition’s crucial center. Thus, we were left with a competition highly lacking in clarity, with a low level of satisfaction. This was the reality that was widely shared by the Japanese people. I came to feel that angst and suspicion, frustration towards the organizing committee’s way of conducting matters—this was what was fueling reports and articles in the media and prompting opinions aired through SNS. Thus I dismissed my initial urge for rebuttal.

That said, if I see something that is widely off the mark, I cannot help feeling a pang in my heart. The only thing that I can do for now is to hope that people will not stop at reading such reports, written using such incendiary words aimed to infuriate and disturb people’s minds, but to read the original blog postings for a deeper understanding of my true intentions.

I was only discharged from the hospital a while ago, and my grasp of the situation and various information is not yet complete. Therefore I will need some more time to digest it all, but I would definitely like to offer my views and write about the new emblem that was selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. As a designer who is living in the moment, it would be unnatural not to comment on the winning design. Furthermore, to speak about the winning design, is in fact, a way of expressing “courtesy” towards all the people who worked so hard in order to choose a logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, all the entrants who sent in their work, and of course, the readers of my blog.

Through my experience with the Olympic logo debacle, I came to understand more than ever, that a lot of people who are tasked with disseminating information have the urge to “control information”. So many people out there have caught the bug. We must be wary and be alert not to accept information at face value, information that has been restricted and controlled by the dispatcher according to his or her agenda. It is up to us to deepen our perceptions, heighten our insights to see and capture the truth. In addition to information gathering skills, we must equip ourselves with the ability to assess information. I have come to believe that is the only way to break free of the spell of propaganda.

In this ever-changing world, living in a society that continues to reshape itself, we must not give in to despair and acceptance. By never relinquishing the power to think and by willing yourself to do so, I believe we can attain the freedom to live with an independent mind.
 
Keiko Hirano
 
Keiko Hirano:
Designer/Visioner, Executive Director of Communication Design Laboratory
Hirano served on the panel that chose the official emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was ultimately withdrawn.

五輪エンブレム問題の
事実と考察
001 責任がとれる方法で 002 公募期間の短さ 003 『展開』『展開性』『展開力』 004 知らされなかった招待作家 005 ブログを読んで下さっているみなさまへ 006 利害優先の土壌 007 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.1 008 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.2 009 『公』の仕事 010 専門家の盾 011 秘密保持誓約書という密室 012 いまこそ、私心なき専門性を問う 013 判断の論拠 014 最終の審議 015 金銭感覚と敬意の相対性 016 表現におけるモラリティと表現者のモラル 017 言葉のちから 018 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.1 019 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.2 020 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.3 021 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.4 022 願い 023 摩訶不思議な調査報告書 024 負の遺産とならないように 025 出口なき迷路 026 届かぬ思い 027「社会に位置づくデザイン」という観点 028 無責任主義の村 029 審査委員として知り得た情報のすべて 030 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.1 031 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.2 032 1対3の構図 - 「A案」VS「BCD案」 033 今を生きる 034 負の連鎖……を断つために 035 欲望の公害 精神の断絶 036 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.1 037 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.2 038 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.3 039 事実はひとつ 040 新世界へ 041 JAGDA文書への意見と要望 ― 法律の専門家による分析 042 JAGDAの回答 JAGDAへの要望書 043 「要望書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する更なる質問 044 「意見書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する質問と提案 045 ブラック・デザイン 046 弁護士から届いた封書 047 おとぎの国の物語
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Logo Controversy--Facts and Observations 001 My way of taking responsibility 002 Duration of contest was way short 003 “Development” “Development Capabilities” “Development Power” 004 Guest artists I wasn’t told about 005 To My Readers 006 A culture where special interests take priority 007 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.1 008 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.2 009 Strictly “public” work 010 Specialists as shields 011 Behind closed doors-secrecy surrounding a non-disclosure agreement 012 Time to put selfless expertise to the test 013 Rationale behind my decision 014 The final review session 015 Is the money mindset relative to paying respect? 016 Morality of expression and the morals of its creator 017 The power of words 018 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.1 019 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.2 020 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.3 021 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.4 022 My wish 023 Mystifying investigation report is out 024 In order to prevent a negative legacy 025 Stuck in a maze with no exit 026 A voice unheard 027 A viewpoint that calls for “design with a place in society” 028 A village with a policy of irresponsibility 029 Every piece of information that I garnered as a judge on the selection committee 030 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.1 031 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.2 032 The underlying picture of one against three - “Plan A” versus “Plans BCD” 033 Living in the moment 034 Putting a stop……to a negative chain of events 035 Pollution by greed and discontinuity of the spirit 036 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.1 037 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.2 038 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.3 039 Every fact has only one version 040 Toward a whole new world 041 Opinion and request regarding JAGDA document―An analysis by a legal specialist 042 Reply from JAGDA Request letter to JAGDA 043 More questions re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 044 Questions and proposal re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 045 Rogue design 046 Letter from the lawyers 047 Tales from Wonderland