Contemporary Art, Social Activism and Social Crisis in Japan: Echigo-Tsumari, Setouchi and Beyond


12月4日2015年 | 9.30am - 6pm

Norwich Cathedral Hostry
Norwich, NR1 4DH

Free to attend
No registration required

About the Conference

Far beyond the global conception of hyper-modern Tokyo and the consumer wonderland of “Cool Japan”, the declining local regions of Japan have, in the past two decades, seen a flowering of startlingly ambitious contemporary art festivals that offer a response to the many crises the country faces today. Artistic interventions, involving thousands of young volunteers engaging with ageing and often desperately isolated populations, have brought contemporary art installations, community projects and the latest curatorial trends to the most unlikely places: to disappearing villages surrounded by untended rice fields, former schools and factories in crumbling small towns, and abandoned houses in forests, up mountains, and on remote islands.

The day long conference on 4 December will examine the relation of dramatic social change in Japan to the social promise of these art movements – in the light of de-population and rural/urban divides, political disengagement and, most recently, terrible natural disasters. We welcome two other leading curators from Japan, Mizuki Takahashi of Art Tower Mito and Mizuki Endo of HAPS, Kyoto, as well as a range of distinguished researchers, curators and artists from the UK and Japan.

Themes discussed will include:

  • How much does “post-growth” Japan provide a global model for understanding the trajectory and crises of other advanced industrial societies?
  • Can art play a role in social care and welfare provision in ageing societies, or is this a symptom of governmental neglect of remote and peripheral locations?
  • How has Japan changed since the massive disasters of March 2011, and what is to be learned from new kinds of community building taking place around the country?
  • What are the parallels to be drawn between the context of rural Japan and the challenges of making the arts meaningful in an agricultural region such as East Anglia?

The Sainsbury Institute is also very pleased to welcome Fram Kitagawa, the visionary art producer and curator at the heart of this uniquely creative social movement, for a special keynote lecture on 3 December. It will be the first time Mr. Kitagawa has spoken in the UK about his life’s work and its impact on contemparary art and society in Japan.

Programme

Friday 4th December

0900 Doors Open

0930 Sociology, Politics and Art of De-Population and Social Crisis in Japan

Peter MATANLE (Senior Lecturer, Japanese Studies, University of Sheffield)
SOCIOLOGY, POLITICS AND ART OF DE-POPULATION AND SOCIAL CRISIS

Chair: Adrian FAVELL
Discussion: Rupert READ (Reader in Philosophy, UEA and UK Green Party)

1030-1100 Coffee/Tea

1100 Special Invited Curator’s Lecture (1)

Mizuki ENDO (Curator, Director Higashiyama Artist Placement Service Kyoto)
Chair and Discussion: Jenny WHITE (British Council)
ARCHIVE FEVER AS NUCLEAR REACTION: NEW INSTITUTIONALISM IN JAPANESE CONTEMPORARY ART AFTER 3/11

1200 Lunch

1400 New Research Panel

Chair: Gen ADACHI (Art Historian, Bunka-cho Visiting Scholar, TrAIN, Chelsea)

Eiko HONDA (Bunka-cho Curatorial Fellow, London)
POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN: 100 YEARS AGO AND NOW

Hiroki YAMAMOTO (Researcher, TrAIN, Chelsea College of Art and Design)
THE ART OF DE-COLONISATION: SOCIALLY ENGAGED ART AND POST-COLONIAL ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN

Discussion: Ele CARPENTER (Curator and Lecturer, Goldsmiths College)

1530 Coffee / Tea

1600 Special Invited Curator’s Lecture (2)

Mizuki TAKAHASHI (Curator, Mito Art Tower)
Chair and Discussion: Keith WHITTLE (Curator & Research Fellow, Central St. Martins London)
WHAT IS EXPECTED IN COMMUNITY ENGAGED ART?

1700 Closing Panel Discussion: Socially Engaged Art in Japan as an International Model?

Responses to the conference:
Kaori HOMMA (Artist and Director, Art Action UK)
Veronica SEKULES (Curator and Head of Education and Research, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich)
Neil POWELL (Pro-Vice Chancellor, Norwich University of the Arts)

Closing Discussion joined by:
Panelists: Jonathan WATKINS, Mizuki ENDO, Mizuki TAKAHASHI
Chaired with Q & A led by Adrian FAVELL

1830 Ends

Programme

About the keynote lecture on 3 December

Thursday Dec 3rd | 6-9pm | Norwich Cathedral Hostry

Art in the Age of the Global Environment
Fram Kitagawa in discussion with Jonathan Watkins, IKON Gallery Birmingham
Q&A Chaired by Adrian Favell (Sainsbury Institute and University of Leeds)

Fram Kitagawa will outline his socially engaged and environmentally conscious vision of contemporary art that has brought hundreds of Japanese and international artists to the mountains of Niigata and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. He will be joined in discussion by the curator, Jonathan Watkins, director of Birmingham’s IKON Gallery, who has organised many pioneering shows of Japanese contemporary art in the UK.

For further details and how to book, please click here

The conference is organised by Adrian Favell, Professorial Academic Associate, Sainsbury Institute

Sponsored by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts And Cultures

 

Image: James Turrell. House of Light (Photo: Tsutomu Yamada)

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