As tens of thousands of people arrive in Tokyo in July for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the experience for many of them will begin as soon as they step off the plane, thanks to a new initiative from Alibaba Group.
That’s because Alibaba, a Worldwide Partner for the Olympic Games, on Thursday unveiled its Alibaba Cloud Gallery, a creative collaboration with young Japanese artists that brings together sports, culture and technology in a series of digital installations at Tokyo’s Narita airport.
The artwork, which will appear on screens throughout the airport, combines elements of Japanese culture and images of athletes to “to create a memorable first impression for travelers” attending the Games, Alibaba said in a release. Alibaba Cloud will support the artists by providing high-performance data intelligence so that they can work with the data-heavy visual elements necessary for the installations.
WATCH: Inside the Alibaba Cloud Gallery at Narita Airport
This is the latest creative initiative from Alibaba’s partnership with the International Olympic Committee, which is focused on digitizing the Games and attracting a new generation of fans. For Alibaba, that means using creativity and technology to engage young people and, in the case of the Japanese artists on display at the Alibaba Cloud Gallery, giving them a stage of their own on which to be seen.
“The Alibaba Cloud Gallery is a perfect combination of this vision and the Olympic spirit,” said Chris Tung, chief marketing officer of Alibaba Group, adding that this was “the first of our efforts to elevate the experience of spectators traveling from across the globe to watch the Games.”
Shoichi Okumura, an artist whose work will show at the airport, said that clouds were symbols used in traditional Japanese painting to “break the mystery of time and space.”
Now, “with the help of advanced tools and cutting-edge technologies from Alibaba Cloud, I can communicate with people from all over the world through my works displaying in the Alibaba Cloud Gallery,” he said.
New artwork will be rolled out in coming months, and the installations will run through until March 2021, Alibaba said.
“We are looking forward to embracing more of Alibaba Group’s innovative initiatives blended with Japanese elements and hope to present to the world the most exciting Olympics experience,” said Masaaki Komiya, the vice director general of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games.
The art installations also include the newly launched Alibaba-Olympic Games partnership logo for Tokyo 2020. With Alibaba below the Olympic Rings, the logo is meant to show the group’s commitment to support the Games with its cloud technology and expertise in digital commerce, as well as its efforts to make the Games more appealing to a younger fan base.
WATCH: Alibaba and IOC Unveil Logo for Tokyo 2020
Unique Song, Alibaba Cloud’s country manager in Japan, said that the company would continue to support Japanese artists after the exhibition is over by introducing artificial intelligence-driven tools and multimedia solutions, such as 3D modeling and smart-video editing, that are already being used in the Alibaba ecosystem.
“We aim to empower budding artists with our cloud resources,” he said.