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Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/2 15:09
Does anyone have experience of undertaking a visual arts residency in Japan? I have Visited Japan only once but would like to go back to meet other artists and possibly make some work or have some time in a studio or workspace. I have completed my Masters of Fine art here in Australia and am a practising artist and maker who would like to gain an insight/influence from Japan art culture. I am having a look at Resarts.com but thought I would ask here too. If you Google: Michael riddle art you should be able to find some of my work if interested. Also, can anyone advise please, if there is prefecture outside of Tokyo that has a concentration of Makers/Artists/ traditional/modern etc (big ask, I know) that I could research ?

Many thanks.....

Mike.
by Mikeriddle  

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/2 17:20
What you are trying to do is obviously not like applying for a job. People will need to know you, and your work, well. Find artist communities you like, and network deeply. Every Japanese city you are likely to have ever heard of will have some, but as a general rule, larger cities will have larger (and as a result, more diverse) communities.

And be honest, so many of the artists you are going to come across are going to be based in or around Tokyo. It is where just where most of the institutions and opportunities are. Also consider that in a country of 125 million people, 40 million of them live in the Keihin region and surrounding area, bedroom towns, etc. So I think that anyone wanting to be in Japan (even if only semi-permanently or temporarily) on the basis of being an artist is making their already difficult task all the more difficult by ruling out Tokyo.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/2 19:05
Clear advice...Thank you....
by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/2 19:39
Your question is a bit of a hard one to answer. My first instinct is to say that the possibility of finding a current or former artist in residence in Japan here is low. However - there is a real eclectic bunch of people who visit this forum who will be able to guide you in the right direction of your willing to give a bit more detail to some questions.

You mentioned that you want to come to Japan to meet some artists, possibly make some work and even potentially have some time in a studio or workspace.

Can I just confirm that you don't speak Japanese - as this will significantly limit potential options.

Also - what particular schools, periods or types of art do you want to focus on? For example - a focus on Saga Prefecture would be my suggestion if you are interested in traditional and contemporary pottery. We can't make suggestions for all as there are hundreds of different locations which can be suggested depending on your interests.

If there was no covid and it was a year or so earlier - I would have strongly recommended getting in touch or researching about the Setouchi Triennale (https://setouchi-artfest.jp/en/) for potentially making an art piece.

Another version of this is also the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field (https://www.echigo-tsumari.jp/en/)

One thing that is not widely known is that each prefecture (there is over 40 of them!) has a reasonable sized art gallery run by the prefecture which normally has strong links to the artists in the area. I'd expect that some of these might have artists in residence which may also be linked to tourism bureaus as well.

Contacting the JNTO or Art Universities would be a possibility. If you have any colleagues who have worked or has contacts in Japan - then an introduction can make one hell of a difference.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/3 09:07
On a practical note, at least there is an "artist" category for a status of residence. Otherwise you would/could look at the "cultural activities" category. I presume the difference is if you expect to earn enough to support yourself or simply self-support during your time in Japan.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/3 09:36
Thank you medley for taking the time to reply to my question,

Yes, you are correct, I don't speak Japanese, which obviously makes things much more difficult, I think I would need to take some lessons, even if it was just enough to show willing in communication.

My artwork has used Bronze casting, pewter casting, aluminium casting, slip cast ceramics (in Wabi Sabi form) concrete, fibre, large heat formed and manipulated steel and wire. I have a fascination with materials and process and like to use traditional process, hopefully in a modern way.

Thank you, will look into the links and university/JNTO that you have mentioned.

I do have a friend that visits Japan regularly and is friends with a highly regarded ceramicist, I'm gonna contact him and see if he can put me in touch.

Thanks again, I will try to include my website link in this post so you can get an idea of what I'm interested in.


michaelriddle.net



www.michaelriddle.net

by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/3 09:43
Hi JapanCustomTours,

Thank you for the reply, that is interesting to know, I hadn't even considered that, I think the main goal is to try for a one month to three month stay, which is specific to visual arts, obviously art and culture are so intertwined that it is difficult to seperate the two. I've spent most of my life in a workshop or studio and that's where I'm happiest, rather than a gallery, if I can find a residency, I think it is common practice to make a small body of works and exhibit them for a short time or at the very least give an artist talk.

Many thanks....

Mike
by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/3 15:05
My knowledge of those materials is rather limited on locations but hopefully others will know more than I.

But on your materials - one potential area of emergence which I think would be fascinating would be looking at Meiji Industrial Sites

The official website is here: http://www.japansmeijiindustrialrevolution.com/en/

However - there is also some on JG - https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2252.html

I've also visited quite a few of the sites myself: https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-3407

You also seem to be located very close to my current location (I live a 10 minute drive from the McClelland Gallery) - internationally speaking.

Japan was the first asian country to industrialize and many of the sites have been preserved. The sites are everything from coal mines, iron smelters to silk factories. Some very interesting questions on how Perry's Black Ships at Shimoda (an American Admiral) forced Japan to modernize which in turn help WW2 and what happened in China to occur. Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples were also split apart during this time which could potentially lead to some poignant pieces. Of course - what I find interesting will bore others so feel free to use or ignore....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/3 18:06
Hi Mfedley,

Thanks again for responding, Great information! That site has some really good images.

Interesting I used a Japan "mangled steel image" in my research, sadly: Hiroshima:

Hiroshima lost and found - Design observer

I'm gonna go through your post again and get back to you....

Many thanks....
by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/3 18:13
Wow!!

Great report and terrific images, visiting all 47 prefectures, you must know Japan inside out...
by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/4 07:54
@Mike -if you are just wanting a short visit of 1-3 months, that would come under a temporary visitor permit once the visa waiver programme starts up again (and borders reopen). Makes things much easier.
I was thinking you were looking at a year as a decent length of time to get some work done.

I will let others comment on various artists and spots around the country, but I see no shortage of crafts (in various media) on my travels across the country.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/4 09:06
Thank you........
by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/4 10:03
Just additional info. Even if you stay for a couple of month, if your activities involve in business and you receive reward, I think it is illegal without a visa. For example, if you receive free bed and/or meal in return for art work, immigration still sees this is a 'reward'. I have heard of news that both people who provided reward and received reward arrested.
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/4 10:11
I have no intention of working, being paid in monetary terms or in kind, this is purely an investigation into the best way to meet other artists and have an exchange with them and maybe have an opportunity to make some work (not for sale) in the environment of a differing and fascinating culture different from my own.
by Mikeriddle rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/5 08:06
Just additional info. Even if you stay for a couple of month, if your activities involve in business and you receive reward, I think it is illegal without a visa.
No, that is not quite correct. It does depend on the particular circumstances, but most business people that come to Japan working/on business are not classified as working in Japan.
For the OP, they would be classified as working in their home country as if (for example) they sold a piece of art, they would be accounting for that in their home territory.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/5 12:52
I understand OP's intention is interaction with the other artists while doing creative works, no commercial at all. However, engaging things which involves any reward without an appropriate visa is illegal, and reward is not only money. That isn't incorrect, and sharing this kind of opinion isn't too bad because people who have the same interests can be aware of the law, search further information and enjoy their stay without worries.

Sometimes there are artists who charge admission fee at their exhibition, insisting that it is for venue and managing exhibition itself so they are not making profit and no visa needed. In that case, I don't know if it is illegal or not.
by mamoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/5 13:12
If an English teacher who is working in own country go to Japan on visa exemption program then teaches in exchange with a reward, it is illegal at least. It is same if OP sales his/her opus in Japan, I know he/she doesn't though.
by mamoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/5 17:33
@JapanCustomTours, please don't miss an example I mentioned. I didn't say about selling stuff outside Australia.
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Visual Arts Residency In Japan 2022/2/5 17:35
* selling stuff in Australia
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

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