Spotlight on Kyoto

Our next Res Artis Meeting is from the 6-8th February in Kyoto – but why did we choose Japan?


Kyoto (京都), known officially as Kyoto City (京都市), is located in the Kansai region of Japan and is one of the country's ten largest cities with a population of 1.5 million people and a modern face. It is well known in Japanese history for serving as Japan's capital and the emperor's residence for over one thousand years.

Kyoto is located in a valley known as the Yamashiro Basin, which is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama. This interior position results in hot summers and cold winters.

The original city followed a design in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an. Many streets in the modern-day wards still follow a grid pattern.

Over the centuries, many wars and fires destroyed Kyoto, but due to its exceptional historic value, the city was not included in the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and escaped destruction during World War II. Countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today.

Through its long history of more than 1200 years, Kyoto has blended diverse cultures, and is called the spiritual home of Japanese people. Kyoto is not only a historic city; it is also a tourist city, attracting many tourists from throughout Japan and around the world. Moreover, Kyoto is an academic research city, being home to universities and junior colleges, as well as an environmentally advanced city, which can be a role model for low carbon and recycle-oriented society.

Top sights to visit are:

  • Nijo Castle
  • Kyoto Railway Museum
  • Sento Palace
  • Nishiki Market
  • Nanzenji Temple
  • Kiyomizudera
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace

To read more about what to do in Kyoto, check out our co-host Kyoto City

Kyoto Art Center

Kyoto Art Center was established in April 2000 with the aim to promote arts in Kyoto through the comprehensive collaboration between the city of Kyoto, artists and other individuals within the arts field.  Through these services and activities the center is hoping to become the focal point of the culture of Kyoto in the new era.

The Kyoto Art Center’s mission focuses on the following three points:

  • To support young artists in their activities
  • To collect and disseminate information on arts and culture using various mediums
  • To promote communication between artists and citizens, and among artists themselves

Available activities at the center include exhibitions, tea ceremonies, traditional stage performances, concerts, dance performances, and various workshops for training artists and others interested, hosting innovative projects for the conservation of traditional arts and experimenting with new ones.

The center also provides artists with home and abroad studio spaces and ‘artist in residence’ programmes, which is how they found the Res Artis network.  When the center reached out to us, we could not think of a more suitable place to host ‘Creative Encounters: Reimagining Residencies.’ As the residency field continues to evolve, we will have the opportunity to discuss the complexities of this progression and its inclusion of new residency typologies through examples nearby in Japan and internationally. 

By hosting in Kyoto the key themes of this meeting can be reflected in this unique city where traditional and contemporary arts co-exist.  Participants will experience the rich culture of Kyoto through Kyoto Art Center, with the opportunity to take part in excursions and tea ceremonies.

So what are you waiting for? See you in Kyoto!



Spotlight on Kyoto

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