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Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio: International Open Call AIR Program

Deadline: June 25, 2021

Applicants must:

  • Have a nationality other than Japanese and live in a country other than Japan. (Foreign artists living in Japan and Japanese artists living overseas are not eligible.)

  • Be able to communicate in either English or Japanese with a staff, colleague artists and the local community.

  • Be able to concentrate on their research and the program activities for the full period of 60 days.

  • Be able to understand and follow the aim of the International open call program and proceed with their autonomous activities during their stay.

  • Be able to find the best space (for your temporary stay and work) during the residency period in your moveable area, in the city, in the country or in the region.

  • Preferably not have previously participated in an AIR program in Japan.

  • There are no restrictions on age or gender. When applicants are students, postgraduate level is required.

Theme: 2021, swimming in AIR (remote online residency)

We can’t move from our habitual place again this year but we can release a kite to the sky and let it fly.

“The name of the thing is octopus and the squid in my hometown”

This is a haiku composed in Tokyo(Edo) in 1675 by a poet from Kyoto, Shintoku Ito. The kite-flying, which was called “squid climbing” in Kyoto, was written in response to being called “octopus” in Edo and it points out that the name of the thing was changed in another land. The Shogunate banned kite-flying naming it “squid climbing”, and to circumvent this ban the common people who loved flying kites nicknamed it “octopus” instead of “squid”. I thought this haiku describes the spirit of those common people, their irony, wit and sense of seeking fun. The generations that came after them were probably equally enigmatic, and that goes for the present generation too.

I see them as kindred spirits to the artists who do not give up the movement (= transformation). Although we are in the midst of a pandemic that has entered its second year, a kite may still fly gently through turbulent winds blown by the complicated history of the multiple ethnic groups that originated in Sapporo/Hokkaido. With skillful hands lifting and balancing in AIR, (“Artist in Residence” and “air of the atmosphere”) a kite can soar and I’m excited to see it. It is joyful and it can heal the fatigue that everyone has accumulated during the pandemic. We may face another constraint but we can cope through creativity, that’s the real pleasure of managing AIR. It might remind us of people going out with their kites ready for take-off and then a scene unfolds where the kites fill up the sky. These are sketches from my imagination that can be reflected in possible works from artists, project proposals and the direction of the program coordination. In any situation, AIR is a platform of creative activities and keeps a hold on the liberty to soar.

Offered by the residency:

  • Letter of invitation from SAPPORO TENJINYAMA ART STUDIO

  • Coordination including interpretation and translation during the program period

  • 60 days studio & accommodations budget, up to 150,000 yen

  • 300,000 yen budget for 60 days living and activity expenses

  • 100,000 yen budget for a part of the production

  • Presentation at the end result budget, up to 100,000 yen

  • Interactive coaching from the selection committee

  • Technical assistant for realizing artworks/projects

  • Specialized advice to manage own physical and mental health and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus infection

  • Instagram B&W
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