2011 May Res Artis Newsletter

Happy Spring from Res Artis!

On the future of Artist Residency Network after 3.11

Tatsuhiko Murata*
Vice President, Res Artis
Co-director, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo

First, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your sympathy and support of the people of Japan who recently experienced hardships resulting from the earthquake calamity, the 3.11 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. After the disaster, I have received many messages and e-mails from artists and friends. In particular, the encouragement we have received from Res Artis colleagues has given us tremendous courage and motivation to aid our recovery. I would like to thank everyone for their support.

One of the biggest earthquakes ever in human history still continues to affect us with frequent aftershocks and uncertainty about the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Despite this lingering state of anxiety, we are in a definite process of returning to normal life, but with new perspectives on how to make meaningful developments.

While residency programs in Japan have managed to sustain their operations**, it is true that there is a growing tendency since the earthquake to review our life styles and social systems which aimed at economic convenience. I would like, therefore, to work on creating opportunities to think together about a better society, and how we can apply “the power of art” through artist in residency activities. The power of art was disappointingly so ineffective in the shadow of such a huge natural disaster. However, I have a strong belief in art and its role in reviving our society and creating a new future.

Artist residencies are valuable as places for dialogue about the society in which we live. Artist in residencies exist in many different forms, from organizations run with public money provided by governments, to small scale grass-roots initiatives established and led by artists. In order to promote originality, build cooperative relationships and develop collaborative projects effectively, it is my wish to grasp the actual conditions of the 300 or more diverse member organizations which make up the Res Artis network, their respective localities, scale of activities, nature of independence, content of programs, and sources of funding. By making shared issues more visible, and through the deepening of dialogues between residencies of similar scales and working methods about mutually shared problems, I believe it will become possible to find solutions for encourage future activities and strengthen the possibilities for development.

I also feel it is important to concentrate on small-scale activity centers which surely occupy a large number of the Res Artis network. I want to bring attention to artist-led autonomous centers which, while providing free creative spaces, also bring new approaches to and perspectives on society different from those offered by the worlds of politics and business. These organizations or 'micro residencies', exist as 'mechanisms' or 'tools' serving society. They can also serve to give mutual aid when we are faced with such disasters or adverse change, bringing clearer meaning to the network. Through repeated discussions between members, I believe we can play a part in the creation of a new society.

Finally, again, I would like to thank you for your warm support and wishing all of you every success and prosperity.

*  Tatsuhiko Murata
as Res Artis, from 2011 Vice President, 2007 Board Member,
2002 General Member as Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, www.youkobo.co.jp

** We recommend that you may check information about the current situation of residency programs following the earthquake in Japan.

Updates from Res Artis Members in Japan

As recovery efforts continue throughout Japan, our members share with us a bit about what’s happening at their spaces and within their arts communities. We hope for a speedy recovery for all of those working in Japan!

The Six Japanese members of Res Artis

  • Youkobo Art Space, Suginamiku, Tokyo, Japan

    See the above Feature about Tatsuhiko Murata.
  • Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan

    From Yusaku Imamura, the Director of Tokyo Wonder Site at host to the 2012 Res Artis General Meeting.

    “Since the day of the earthquake, we, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, started opening theatres to host people who could not go back home after the earthquake. For example, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, located in front of Ueno station, accepted more than 3,000 people during the night because there was no public transportation in the city.

    Also, myself, along with all of our partners, have agreed to host the 2012 Res Artis General Meeting against all odds. It is a challenging moment but we, the cultural practitioners, have already started to move on, creating a new paradigm, a new system to save us form this disaster and to create a new society. I am very happy about the agreement with commissioner to go on organizing the Res Artis meeting.”

  • Seto Cultural Promotion Foundation, Seto, Aichi, Japan

    From Hitomi Sasaki, Director of Seto International Ceramic and Glass Art Exchange Program

    “The Seto Cultural Promotion Foundation is located in Seto, one of the major cities of the Aichi Prefecture, far away from the disaster-stricken area and the nuclear power plants in Fukushima. Therefore, although we are worried about the sufferers and effects of the broken down nuclear power plants, we are completely free from danger now.”
  • 3331 Arts Chiyoda Residence Program, Tokyo, Japan

    From Emma Ota and everyone at 3331 Arts Chiyoda

    “We at 3331 would like to offer our sincere condolences for all of those affected by the recent earthquakes and tsunami. Watching the news reports and seeing such destruction and hardship is deeply saddening, but being based in Tokyo we have felt strangely disconnected from the devastating events in the Northeastern regions, a disconnection we have attempted to overcome by having staff members visit the affected areas and joining in the voluntary relief efforts. At such a time as this, we are forced to question what is the relevance and meaning of art in the face of such suffering, but we can only come to the stronger conclusion of art's high significance. Through art we can achieve many things and now at 3331, after holding various public meetings as to what the art-world can do to help this situation, we are launching an art action campaign from 20th April - 10th July, utilizing our main gallery in order to raise funds for the earthquake appeal and raise awareness of the situation. We hope in some small way we can contribute towards Tohoku's recovery.”
  • D-SPAR Dhillon Sahib Punjab Artist Residency, Tokyo, Japan

    From Sonia Dhillon-Marty, President and Founder of the Dhillon-Marty Foundation

    “We still get daily aftershocks, sometimes they are quite strong, but everyone is focused on the rebuild efforts. This weekend, the art community of Tokyo- contemporary art galleries and the Mori Art Museum, had few different art sales of art donated by Japanese and foreign internationally renowned artists. I also bought a piece by Fuji Hiroshi. The 100% of the proceeds from these sales will go to earthquake relief fund through the Japanese Red Cross Society.”
  • The Arcus Project, Moriya, Ibaraki, Japan

    The Arcus Project seems to be continuing its activities. From their blog:

    “We extend our condolences and prayers to all the people in Japan. In addition, we really appreciate messages from oversea artists and art lovers. They are inspiring and make us happy. We try continuing Artist-in-residence program with our all efforts.
    Thank you.”

Case Study: Moving Forward - How the Japanese art world is responding

Arts organizations, residencies and artists themselves have the possibility of responding quickly in times of disaster, mobilizing their resources, activating their networks. Yusaku Imamura, director of the Tokyo Wonder Site, reflects on the power of art in the recovery process:

“…Although much remains unclear, the Japanese people have begun to move forward. The art world, too, has risen up, initiating efforts to support recovery through the power of art. Artists have begun collecting donations and working to establish funds to send artists to the affected areas.

What art can do may be limited at this early stage in the recovery process, but we do believe that art is capable of lighting a small flame of hope…”

Read his complete statement here

Initiatives from the cultural sector:

A call for job announcements

Beginning with our next newsletter, we'd like to begin to include a listing of job announcements for positions in the residency field. If you'd like to include a position listing, please send it to webeditor@resartis.org

Mapping Latin America

We have received funding to develop a comprehensive listing of residencies in Latin America. At our meeting last month in Lima, we gathered some information from members of residencias_en_red, the Latin American network that hosted us. We understand that there are many residencies in Latin America that are neither members of residencias_en_red nor Res Artis. If you would like to be included in our project please fill out the survey found at www.visualcultures.net/encuesta.doc and submit to mariocaro@visualcultures.net no later than May 20th.

Join us in Hungary! – Res Artis regional meeting in Debrecen, May 23-26

Registration Deadline Extended! - May 15th

The main theme of the conference will gather around the notion of Horizon. Thinking of Hungary, we are reminded of one of its symbols, the national heritage of the country, the Hortobágy, The Great Plains with its unending horizon. The topics discussed at the conference will all gather around the theme of Horizon, as a scale of unending possibilities for art residencies.

Panel Discussions:

  • Different Models of art residencies
  • Across the border-a geographical comparison
  • Mobility and its restrains
  • Expectations from an artists’ point of view
  • What is a successful art residency
  • Visual arts vs. other disciplines
  • International and EU institutions: introductions, working structures

View full conference program
More conference information


Res Artis at the Transcultural Exchange Conference

Several Res Artis members and attended the 3rd Annual Transcultural Exchange conference this April 7-10 in Boston, USA. It was a great chance for many of us to meet (a rare occasion for a global network) and also to reconsider our relationship with the artists and participants in our programs. Thank you to Mary Sherman and all the workers and volunteers that helped make for a fun and productive time in Boston.

Res Artis President Mario Caro was moderating the panel “Accommodating the Other/The Relativity of Cultural Exchange: On Seeing Ourselves as Other”. The Panel “An Affordable Catalyst: Flying in the Creator instead of Their Work: Putting Artists in Residence at Theaters, Museums and other Public Institutions” included Kayoko Iemura, (Tokyo Wonder Site) and Karol Frühauf, (Bridge Guard) Yeb Wiersma, (Trans Artists), and Julie Upmeyer, (Res Artis) both gave workshops “Finding the Best Fit: Researching and Applying for Artist-in-Residence Programs”

Dirk Drijbooms (Apothiki Foundation) and Richard Perram, (Bathurst Regional Art Gallery) both were on the panel “The Missed Opportunity: Beyond Youth”. On the panel “Discipline Specific vs. Multi-disciplinary Programs” was two Res Artis members, Boshko Boskovic (Residencies Unlimited) and Jean-Yves Coffre (CAMAC). Also on the panel was the future Res Artis new member Justen Ahren, (Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency). Former Res Artis Board Member Nicholas Tsoutas, (Visual Arts Practice Sydney College of the Arts) as well as Hanneke Frühauf, (Bridge Guard) were on the panel “National Residencies: Regional Aspirations”. Caitlin Strokosch, (Alliance of Artists Communities) gave a workshop “How to Start A Residency Program”.

On the panel “Making the Case for Residencies/Exchange and Similar Programs” was Margaret Shiu (The Bamboo Curtain Studio), David Macy, (MacDowell Colony) and Machiko Harada, (Akiyoshidai International Art Village). Aaron O’Connor, (The Arctic Circle) was on the panel “Case Studies in Collaboration. Putting Creativity to Work: Artists as Collaborators in Cross-Disciplinary Teams”. Mkrtich Tonoyan, (Akos) was on the panel “Charting the Unknown”. On the panel “The Eclipsing of the Galleries’ Importance?” was Dr. Daniele Perrier (Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral).

Ralph Crispino, (I-Park Residency Program) and Marja De Jong, (Saksala ArtRadius) were on the panel “Space: Environment as Inspiration, The Residency: Rural Retreat, Utopian Revival, Urban Incubator?”. Kathy Black (Vermont Studio Center) was on the panel “The Growing Popularity of Low-Residency MFA Programs and the Needs They Serve”. Jean-Baptiste Joly (Akademie Schloss Solitude) was on the panel “What do we mean by TransCultural Exchange?”

New Residency: Arna, Sweden

  • Where is it?
    ARNA is situated in The Avian Kingdom, in the most southern part of Sweden, an area rich in Nature Reserves and is home to many artists.
  • What is it?
    ARNA is part of a project aiming to develop The Avian Kingdom as an international venue for art and nature.
  • What's going on?
    ARNA is currently setting up a program called ‘Scandinavian connections’ where we take you backstage to our part of the world. Be inspired as you meet Scandinavian art, nature and history. For more information send us an email at – fagelriket@gmail.com
  • Arna on the Res Artis website
  • www.arna.nu