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AIT ARTIST TALK #68 "From the History of Battle to Reconciliation and Love"

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AIT ARTIST TALK #68: "From the History of Battle to Reconciliation and Love"
Artist Talk by Chaw Ei Thein (Myanmay/Burma) and Krishnapriya Tharmakrishna (Sri Lanka)
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 13 2016, 19:00-21:00

Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT] is pleased to present AIT ARTIST TALK #68 by two women artists Chaw Ei Thien (Myanmar/Burma) and Krishnapriya Tharmakrishnar (Sri Lanka) who are currently in Tokyo through the residency programme with the support of The Backers Foundation and AIT.

This artist talk is organised in conjunction with the exhibition, "Healing and Loving", which will be on view from July 9 to 23 at YAMAMOTO GENDAI.

Chaw Ei Thein (b. 1969)
(Image left: Chaw Ei Thein)
has been a prominent artist for many years working in Myanmar, also known as Burma, creating paintings, sculptures and provocative public performances which comment on the situation of women's experiences and a situation of brutal oppression and dictatorship. Since her residency to New York supported by Asian Cultural Council in 2009, Chaw Ei Thein is currently in exile and based in New York and was unable to return to her country until the recent democratic elections in Myanmar/Burma.

Krishnapriya Tharmakrishnar (b. 1987)
(Image: Impression 2-1, 2015, Nail drawing on tracing paper)
is an emerging artist lives and works in the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, which experienced fierce fighting during the civil war from the early 1980s. The loss of family members and home forms a powerful ground for her works which largely take the form of paper based drawings and prints. Many dots and lines outline her individuality and identity from particular times of her life such as childhood, emphasizing an inner-heart empathy. "Healing and Loving" exhibition in Tokyo will be the first time showcasing her previous works in addition to the recent works she produces during this residency period.

Both Myanmar/Burma and Sri Lanka have brutal history of battles in the past and these two artists have experienced them directly in their youth. At this artist talk, their stories behind the works will be shared with us and tell how these women artists see their countries after all these years with dramatic changes in the political landscape and take them into their artistic practices.

We hope that you can join us for the artist talk and "Healing and Loving" exhibition at YAMAMOTO GENDAI.

[ Outline ]
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 13 2016, 19:00 - 21:00 (18:30 Door Open)
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama (Twin Bldg. Daikanyama B-403, 30-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku)
Moderator / Translator: Roger McDonald
Capacity: 20 *Booking Required
Admission: JPY1000: General / JPY800: 'Base Members' and Students / Free: 'House Members' and 'Support Members'
Others: 1 free drink / This talk will be in English with consecutive translation.
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Co-Organized by: The Backers Foundation

[ Reservation ]
To book your seat, please send an email with its subject as "AIT ARTIST TALK #68" to otoiawase@a-i-t.net, including your name, and contact.


Exhibition "Non-self" by Rosa Doornenbal

>>> Japanese

The exhibition by Rosa Doornenbal
Date: March 26 (Sat) - 31 (Thu) 12:00 - 19:00
*Open daily / Admission Free
Opening Reception: March 26 (Sat), 18:00 - 20:30 *19:00 - Performance Lecture by the artist
Venue: Higure 17-15 cas (Tokyo)
Organizer: Arts Initiative Tokyo, with support from The Mondriaan Fonds Foundation, and with cooperation from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo.

Left: Shapes of my Pinkish Purity / 2016 / Collages, fabric, ceramic, 410 mm × 620 mm
Right: Calming Balming / 2016 / Single channel video (color, sound)


AIT is pleased to host the exhibition, "Non-self" by Rosa Doornenbal. The exhibition opens on Saturday March 26 through Thursday March 31 at Higure 17-15 cas in Tokyo. Doonenbal is from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and currently staying in Tokyo as an artist-in-residence with AIT.

If a tearoom can contain the universe, how can the tea bowl create emptiness?

In the history of the Japanese Tea Ceremony its specific aesthetic language got more and more defined, while at the same time, the ceremony still functions as a moment to escape reality and focus on the very moment of making and drinking tea. After leaving your worldly desires behind you, you will enter a spiritual realm and hopefully transcend the 'self'. Though, walking through the streets of a present-day urban landscape, another reality checks in. A contemporary pop culture with its own conceptions of beauty; where girls will always be young and eyes are excessively big.

'Non-self' is a visual exploration of the aesthetic ideologies of two contradicting but yet very explicit visual cultures. It tries to grasp their spiritual and signifying fundamental.

- Rosa Doornenbal

In Doornenbal's interdisciplinary practice, she investigates how formal, cultural and social aspects influence the appreciation of, and identification with objects in everyday life. The parallel of this in the art world - the viewer's experience of sculpture - is central in her work.

The exhibition by Rosa Doornenbal
Date: March 26 (Sat) - 31 (Thurs) 12:00 - 19:00 *Open daily / Admission Free
Opening Reception: March 26 (Sat), 18:00 - 20:30 *19:00〜 Performance Lecture by the artist
Venue: Higure 17-15 cas / 3-17-15, Nishi Nippori, Arakawa, Tokyo [Google Map]
Organizer: Arts Initiative Tokyo, with support from The Mondriaan Fonds Foundation, and with cooperation from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo.

[Rosa Doornenbal]
Doornenbal1 Doornenbal works in a variety of media creating detailed circumstances that reveal the interrelationship between viewer, object, equipment, tool and sculpture. With a critical and playful attitude she often treats the exhibition space, with its already formulated codes of behavior, as part of her work. In her most recent works the process of creation becomes a subject as she explores issues of craftsmanship and what artisthood could mean today. She obtained her BA of Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2013. She also has a background in Cultural Studies of which she obtained her BA at the University of Amsterdam in 2012.
Blog: "wabi-bijin"

2016-3- 9

【 Thai Art Night: Finding Ways Through 】

>>> Japanese

【 Thai Art Night: Finding Ways Through 】
Recent Issues in Thai Contemporary Art
With Artists, Curator and Writer from Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Date: March 12 (Sat), 2016 / 17:00-20:00
Venue: GRAIN / 5-25-1, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Capacity: 20 *Booking required
Admission: Free (excl. food/drink)

AIT is pleased to welcome Thai artist Atikom Mukdaprakorn, curator Penwadee Nophaket Manont, writer Judha Su and artist Takuro Kotaka who stayed in Thailand on a residency program in 2014. Held at GRAIN in Harajuku, the talk will take place on March 12. Mukdaprakorn and Manont are currently AIT Artists/Curators in Residence, staying in Tokyo until the end of March.
In recent years there have been many instances of younger artists and curators creating new alternative art spaces and initiatives in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. These kinds of movements are different from more formal university art schools as well as institutional museums and galleries and Western trends.
In addition to this we see an ongoing tense and unstable political situation in Thailand around street demonstrations and coup d'etat, which feed into the artistic culture and its context. With limited public funding, these artists and workers are actively looking for alternative networks and possibilities for practice.
For this talk we will hear presentations from each of the invited speakers, outlining their work as well as prospects for art in Thailand and tips for surviving in this situation.
This is a rare opportunity for emerging Thai artists to gather and share thoughts in Japan. We will also serve food and drinks from a chef Momoko's kitchen. We look forward very much to seeing you at GRAIN.

Date: March 12 (Sat), 2016 / 17:00-20:00
Venue: GRAIN / 5-25-1, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Capacity: 20 *Booking required
Admission: Free (excl. food/drink)
*Talk will be in English with consecutive Japanese translation
Moderator: Naoko Horiuchi[AIT]
Translator: Satoshi Ikeda
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo[AIT]
Supported by: Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2015

Please send an email with its subject as "Thai Art Night" to otoiawase@a-i-t.net, including your name, and contact.

17:00 Door Open
17:30-18:00 Talk by Penwadee Nophaket Manont (Curator)
18:00-18:30 Atikom Mukdaprakorn (Artist)
18:45-19:15 Judha Su (Art Writer)
19:15-19:45 Takuro Kotaka (Artist)
19:45 Discussion / Q&A
20:00 End

Atikom Mukdaprakorn (Born in 1981, Bangkok, Thailand)

Co-founder of mute mute, which emphasizes mutual discussion about society in order to expand the boundary of perception through art, cultural performances and social activities in different forms. He is personally interested in media/art culture, especially domestic photography, freedom of expression and the state of art in Thailand. These form the basis for many of the conditions used in his media/art performances. Currently, he has been collaborating on the project "Chiang Mai Art Conversation" which originated in Chiang Mai. The purpose of the project is to facilitate a connection of art with discussion and Thai society to gain greater knowledge through all kinds of management and media.

Penwadee Nophaket Manont
(Born in 1973, California, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand)

Her curatorial projects include the Mekong Art & Culture Project: Curatorial and Traveling Exhibition (2007-2008), supported by Rockefeller Foundation and Silpakorn University, where she was one of the four Southeast Asian Art Curators for the Underlying exhibition, from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. She also co-curated Poperomia/Golden Teardrop (2013), an exhibition at the 55th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, Italy. At the end of 2013, Penwadee founded ANTs' POWER Art & Cultural Group, who are active on Human Rights and Democracy related issues.

Judha Su (Art Writer, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand)

Judha dances around the ideas of art and its intersection with other disciplines. Her current research project titled: Thinking in Critical Constellations, funded by Asia Centre Japan Foundation.

Takuro Kotaka (Born in 1984, lives and works in Tokyo, Japan)

"Traveling Africa with a Potato" / 2010 / Video
Kotaka is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work references the everyday experiences of the people he encounters whilst traveling. His journeys to Indonesia, Thailand, Africa and other parts of the world have resulted in video works and performances that address issues of cross-cultural communication, otherness, history, rumours, and narrative.
In Chiang Mai, Kotaka produced the new video work How to Transform into Na Neck. He found the access point to integrate his relationship with society by imitation well-known Thai comedian Na Neck after Chiang Mai natives told him that he resembled the comic.


Exhibition "Karaoke at Le Moulin de la Galette"

>>> Japanese

"Karaoke at Le Moulin de la Galette"
The Revival of the Lost Exhibition by Thai Artivists curated by Atikom Mukdaprakorn

yebizo8_kom_maskparty_615pxPhoto by Atikom Mukdaprakorn (Reference image for the exhibition)

Date: February 12 (Fri) - 20 (Sat), 2016
Time: 11:00-19:00
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama [MAP]
*Admission free / Closed on Sunday
Reception: 12 (Fri), 19:00 - 21:00 / Artist Talk from 19:30 -

AIT is pleased to host the exhibition, "Karaoke at Le Moulin de la Galette" The Revival of the Lost Exhibition by Thai Artivists curated by Atikom Mukdaprakorn.
The exhibition is held as a partnership event of The Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2016. This year's main theme of the festival is "Garden in Movement", and runs from Feb 11 to 20 at several venues in Ebisu area.
>>> Website


MAD WORLD with NODE : One day workshop and seminar by Perla Montelongo

>>> Japanese

Global Art Perspectives from Tokyo

One day workshop and seminar by Perla Montelongo
Seminar: 'Art thinking: an insight on the thinking processes of artists'
Workshop: Institute for Terranautical Exploration: Fictional uses of art

Date and Time: Saturday December 12th, 2015 13:00 - 16:30
Venue: BankART1929 2F(Yokohama, Japan) *Booking required

Node Innovators Program 2015, Image courtesy of Node Center.

AIT is pleased to host Berlin based curator and founder-Director of NODE Center for Curatorial Studies, Perla Montelongo for a one day workshop. As part of our new MAD World series which aims to connect international art professionals to Tokyo through English language lectures and workshops, Perla will lead a unique workshop exploring the nature and possibilities of artistic creativity and inspiration.

The workshop will be held at the exhibition of the "Nissan Art Award 2015: Exhibition of New Works by the 7 Finalists" in BankART, Yokohama, with Perla leading participants through the exhibition and art works as a basis for the workshop. The event will be aimed at an introductory level and held in English.

Date : Saturday December 12th, 2015
Time: 13:00 - 16:30
Venue: BankART1929 2F(3-9 Kaigan-dori, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0002) [MAP]
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Lecturer: Perla Montelongo (Director of NODE)
Capacity:15 persons *Booking required
Admission: [Special Price] JPY4,500, Student/Base member JPY4,000
Other details: Admission includes a cup of tea and snacks
*The seminar and workshop will be in English only

[Curriculum Details]
13:00 - 14:00: 'Art thinking: an insight on the thinking processes of artists'
Modality: Seminar

What is the process that artists use prior to creating a work? Do artist think or see differently? Thinking divergently, questioning the everyday and using intuition are some common processes that artists consciously or unconsciously use as part of their creative activity. Can this way of thinking be applied to other disciplines and everyday life?

Node Center for Curatorial Studies - Berlin created a two-month program that gathered a group of 7 'innovators' from fields of art, education, neuroscience, physics and psychology to create a tool to strengthen ways of thinking divergently based on the thinking processes of artists.

As a first stage, we began researching texts on creative thinking and perception, particularly from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. In addition, we interviewed artists in order to find out commonalities in how they think. We also made an open-call survey to see whether there was a difference in thinking between artists and non-artists.

From this first mapping, we found four key components of the way that artists think that could be useful in other fields, specifically in education:

- Seeing - using multiple perspectives and ways of seeing the world
- Feeling - using intuition and trusting the senses
- Detouring - using abstract, non-linear ways of thinking
- Doing - an impulse to do and build regardless of its use or logic

With these components in mind, we created rough prototypes that were designed to train them: an app, a workshop and an online platform for teachers that heightens intuition, lateral thinking and engages the senses. These prototypes were developed and refined during the program and are still in development while we gain feedback from the actual users and testers.
In this seminar we will share the results, weaknesses and working methodology of the Node Innovators' Program.

L:Design thinking workshop at Node Innovator's Program, 2015. Image courtesy of Sabine De Schutter.
R:Node Innovators Program 2015, Image courtesy of Node Center.

14:30 - 16:30: Institute for Terranautical Exploration: Fictional uses of art
Modality: workshop and fun!

A workshop on art interpretation aiming to discover possible uses of art and artworks. In this workshop we will immerse ourselves into a fictional future where no knowledge of art exists. In this fictional future, the "Institute for Terranautical Exploration" is in charge to discover what kind of purposes, uses or information do strange objects (artworks) carry with them.

The aim of the workshop is to put aside our preconceptions of art in order to analyze artworks from an unfamiliar and fresh perspective, discovering what kind of uses, purpose or information can art have besides the known ones.

'Game Design in Artistic Research', workshop by Viktor Bedö and Perla Montelongo.
Photo courtesy of Aalborg University

Send an email with its subject as "MAD WORLD with NODE" to mad@a-i-t.net, including your name, and contact.

[ About Perla Montelongo ]

Perla is Director of Node Center for Curatorial Studies, her main focus is on designing alternative learning strategies from and for contemporary art. In 2010, she co-founded Node Center, establishing it as a place for teaching researching, and experimenting with subjects related to curatorial studies and contemporary art practices. Perla develops and defines Node Center's structure which has included the Collaborative Curatorial Residencies, Online Educational Platform and now the Innovators Program.

Speedinsights       MADwithNode


AIT SLIDE TALK #33 Jenni Lomax


The Artist in Education and the Place of Education in Residencies:
A Talk by Jenni Lomax, Director of Camden Arts Centre, London.
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 25th, 19:00-21:00
Venue: AIT Room, Daikanyama *The talk will be held in English only.

Left:Camden Arts Centre building Right:Outside space inside the art centre

AIT is honored to host a short talk by Jenni Lomax, long time Director of CAC in London, who will be in Japan as a jury member for The Nissan Art Award 2015. AIT has had the pleasure to collaborate with CAC since September 2014, hosting the CAC exhibition organizer Gina Buenfeld in Tokyo as well as Jesse Wine and Caroline Achaintre. Although AIT and CAC share very different histories and contexts, the two arts organizations do share a strong commitment towards the place and relevance of education, in multiple senses, for the arts and within artist in residency programs.

CAC has organized pioneering residency programs for artists where they also engage with learning and education within the centere's community and beyond. What role can the artist play in education, and how can learning be an integral aspect of residency programs? As the dynamics of global art and ideas of what a commons means changes in the C21st, it seems pertinent to ask these questions now. Jenni will speak on these topics from her extensive experience for about one hour, and an informal Q&A session will follow. Drinks will be served.

Date: November 25 Wed, 19:00 - 21:00
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama (B403 Twin bldg.Daikanyama, 30-8 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Capacity: 30 *Booking required
Admission: JPY1000 (JPY800 for Students and AIT Base Members / Free for AIT House and Support Members)
Other details: Admission includes one free drink
*Talk will be in English only

[ Reservation ]
Send an email with its subject as "AIT SLIDE TALK #33" to otoiawase@a-i-t.net, including your name, and contact.

Jenni Lomax
Director, Camden Arts Centre (London, UK)

Jenni Lomax has been the director of Camden Arts Centre, London, since 1990, where she has established a forward thinking programme of international exhibitions, artists, residencies and education projects, all of which have artists and their ideas at the core. She led the organisation through a major building refurbishment scheme which was completed in early 2004. She was awarded the Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007, and received an OBE for her services to the Visual Arts in 2009. Before Camden Arts Centre, Jenni developed and headed up the Community Education and Public Programmes at the Whitechapel Art Gallery throughout the 1980's. Throughout her career she has been involved in an advisory capacity with many arts, education and charitable organisations and has been a member of selection and judging panels for numerous awards and exhibitions including The Turner Prize, Arts Foundation Award and the Jerwood Drawing Prize.


AIT + ARCUS Minglius Night Part 8


AIT + ARCUS Minglius Night Part 8
"Hide and Go Seek- Uncovering history and borders"
Mini Talk by Artists from Indonesia, UK, South Africa, Sweden and Germany

Date: Friday November 27th, 2015
Time: 18:30-21:30
, Mini Talks begin at 19:00
Venue: AIT room Daikanyama [MAP] *Free Entry / No booking required

We are pleased to host AIT + ARCUS Minglius Night Part 8 "Hide and Go Seek- Uncovering history and borders" on Friday, November 27. 5 resident artists/designers from AIT and ARCUS Project will give a talk about their works and their experiences in Japan. The talk will be translated consecutively into Japanese from English.
From ARCUS Project, the coordinators organizing the residency will also be present at the event.

As usual, there will be a bar, snacks, a relaxed sitting on the floor environment and music.
We look forward to seeing you!

*From November 14 to 22(excl.16), there will be an Open Studio event at ARCUS Studio!
For details, see HERE>>.

[ARCUS Project Artists in Residence]
-Timoteus Anggawan Kusno (Indonesia)
-Stephanie Bickford-Smith (U.K.)
-Eduardo Cachucho (South Africa)

To know more about them, visit the ARCUS Project website!

[AIT Artist in Residence]
-Menja Stevenson (Germany / Supported by Mercedes-Benz Japan Co., Ltd.)
-Fredrik Färg and Emma Marga Blanche (Sweden / Supported by IASPIS)

Date: Friday, November 27, 2015
Time: 18:30-21:30, Mini Talks begin at 19:00
Venue: AIT room Daikanyama[MAP]
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Supported by: ARCUS Project, IASPIS, Mercedes-Benz Japan Co., Ltd.
Capacity:40 persons
Admission: Free *No booking required
*There will be simultaneous translation from English to Japanese for the mini talks
*Minglius is a non smoking event. Thanks you for your cooperation in advance!


Roundtable forum "IN AND OUT OF THE SCENE"

>>> Japanese

With support by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, AIT organized a roundtable forum in February 2015, entitled "IN AND OUT OF THE SCENE - Seven art centers working through art from the edges" to discuss the roles and relevance of art centers today. Participating institutions were 7 art centers which organize an Artist in Residence and various programs.

The forum was conducted in English only, and an excerpt from the 3 hour discussion is now available in Tabloid format (PDF / Japanese and English).

See the publication

(PDF: 2.9MB)


The opportunity to host curator Gina Buenfeld from Camden Arts centre in London became a catalyst to organize a roundtable discussion about the meaning and role of art centres' today. The very term 'art centres' in many ways seems old fashioned now, as arts organizations emphasize a more hybrid and networked model of working. Debates about the de-centralization of art have been prominent. However, art has also always operated through places of gathering, focused themes and centres for communities. Historically Tokyo in the 1960s had art centres that served as important hubs for avant-garde gathering, most prominently The Sougetsu Art Centre. These centres dissipated and became geographically dispersed through the 1980s, and today, like many other art cities in the world, Tokyo's art scene is highly fragmented.

I proposed to ask three interlinked questions through the roundtable: a) how do we work with art and artists today? b) how do we work with broader publics and communities? c) can we think about art centres as 'thinking machines' (in the words of Camden Art Centre's Director Jenni Lomax).
I invited Gina to give a brief overview of the historical and current activities of Camden Arts Centre. Seven Tokyo based independent arts organisations, including AIT, were invited to participate and share their experiences and ideas for the future. A broad range of models was represented, from artist in residency programs, critical research workshops, archive-building, art schools and artist based spaces.

The heyday of art centres in the 1960s was also embedded in a national politics of democratization, urbanization and participation. This was the era of John Berger's radical 'Ways of Seeing' (1972, BBC television), which in many ways heralded a shift towards art as a process of dialogue, inter-subjectivity and relations. How can we think about art centres in the contemporary context of global capital and information? We can perhaps suggest that a centre today not only points to a physical point in space, but also to an activity of 'centering', to a sense of stilling and concentration in time.
- Roger McDonald / AIT

IN AND OUT OF THE SCENE, Seven art centres working through art from the edges:
A roundtable forum in Tokyo about the role and meaning of art centres today, with seven different models of practice.
Wednesday 25th February, 2015 18:00 - 21:00
Venue: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT] (B 403 Twin Building Daikanyama, 30-8 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 150-0033)
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Supported by: Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2014


Roundtable Roundtable Roundtable

Ryota Tomoshige
ARCUS Project

Emiko Kato
Art Autonomy Network / AAN

Nozomu Ogawa
Art Center Ongoing

Roundtable Roundtable Roundtable

Gina Buenfeld
Camden Arts Centre

Emma Ota

Wataru Shoji

Roundtable Roundtable Roundtable

Yuko Shiomi

Naoko Horiuchi

Roger McDonald

【Participating organization】
ARCUS Project
ARCUS Project involves" Residency for Artists, Experiments for Locals" and aims to support promising artists who engage in creative activities around the world, as well as promoting the Ibaraki area through art. The project started in 1994 as a test artist-inresidence program and was an initiative of the Ibaraki Prefectural Government. After a successful six year test period, the project officially began. By collaborating with emerging artists, curators, and prospective art managers, ARCUS Project connects the Ibaraki area with art and encourages residents of Moriya city to participate in various art projects including exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and film screenings. Based in the city of Moriya, ARCUS Project is growing as a hub in which revolutionary art is fostered through international programs.

Art Center Ongoing
Art Center Ongoing is a complex art institution with a gallery that introduces the must-see artists that are leading today's art trends. Art Center Ongoing also includes a cafe and bar that are places for communication where visitors can read old and new art books, as well as browsing the library booth containing extensive information about the artists in our network. The institution also actively organises events such as symposiums and live events, with the aim of searching for the possibility of ongoing expression and to ask what's happening in art right now? By establishing new connections, Art Center Ongoing opens up new ground for the future of expression.

dislocate is a platform for research, debate and action upon the public sphere that seeks to invest an invigorated awareness towards the spaces we directly inhabit and attempts to reassess our very sense of agency within these. The platform also proposes through various artistic interventions the creative potential invested in us on an individual and collective scale to construct the spaces and communities around us and challenge our assumed ways of seeing the world. It asserts the importance of questioning and freedom of expression in our daily enactments of civil society, and hopes to open up debate upon the role of so called democratic processes in the politics of the everyday.

PARADISE AIR is an Artist-in-Residence program based on the upper floor of Rakuen pachinko parlour and organised by Matsudo Community Council, a group of local neighborhood associations from around Matsudo Station. Many years ago, Matsudo prospered as a place where travellers could rest between the cities of Edo and Mito. At that time, artists often paid for their lodging with a piece of art and a number of the city's current residents still collect the works of writers and painters from that era. Inspired by a rich cultural and artistic history, PARADISE AIR continues the tradition of "One Night, One Work of Art" by allowing artists to stay at the residence in exchange for an artwork.

Art Autonomy Network [AAN]
AAN was founded in Japan in 2005 to examine autonomous art organizations and individuals through the presentation of small but significant art activities across a range of fields. Since its foundation, AAN has built a network based around art activities that are not often represented in major institutions such as museums and commercial galleries. In fostering an art archive featuring documentation and information from various art organizations, AAN hopes to enhance cultural exchange by initiating and facilitating networks among organizations in both Japan and overseas. Emiko Kato, a director of AAN has been involved a core member of NICA: Nihonbashi Institute of Contemporary Arts which has opened in a centre of Tokyo for creating new contemporary art scenes in 2015, while understanding the global contexts from Japan.

Camden Arts Centre [CAC]
CAC is a place for world-class contemporary art exhibitions and education. With artists at the core of the programme, CAC strives to involve members of the public in the ideas and processes of today's artists, and the artists who inspire them. In addition to gallery spaces, the building comprises of studios which schools can use free of charge and in which people of all ages and abilities can learn skills in ceramics, painting, drawing and writing as part of the courses programme.

Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
AIT has been running an artist-in-residence program since 2003. In partnership with art organisations in Japan and abroad, over 70 international artists and curators have come to Tokyo to conduct research, build networks and experience the metropolis and its unique clustering of people, information, architecture and objects. The program is unique in that it interfaces with MAD (Making Art Different), the educational program run by AIT. The involvement of visiting artists and curators in both lectures and experimental workshops provides an additional platform for MAD students to exchange a variety of ideas and opinions with peers working in the art industry.

[From Left in the back row] Yuko Shiomi, AIT / Nozomu Ogawa, Art Center Ongoing / Emma Ota, dislocate / Roger McDonald, AIT / Ryota Tomoshige, ARCUS Project
[From Left in the front row] Naoko Horiuchi, AIT / Emiko Kato, AAN / Gina Buenfeld, Camden Arts Centre / Wataru Shoji, PARADISE AIR
Photo by Yukiko Koshima

[About Publication]
Published: 31st March 2015 by Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Editors: Ben Davis, Roger McDonald, Naoko Horiuchi, Rika Yoda
Translation: Hanare × Social Kitchen Translation
Photography: Yukiko Koshima
Design: Mika Okada, Fruitmachine

See the publication


AIT SLIDE TALK #32 Marianna Dobkowska

>>> Japanese

AIT SLIDE TALK #32: "A-I-R and the City / Laboratory of relations"
Talk by Marianna Dobkowska from the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 22nd, 19:00-21:00
Venue: AIT Room, Daikanyama
*The talk will be held in English, with no Japanese translation.
Top Left: "We Are Like Gardens" temporary permaculture garden, project by Juliette Delventhal and Paweł Kruk at A-I-R Laboratory, summer 2012 Photo : Michał Grochowiak, Courtesy of CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
Top Right: Bread and pizza baking oven project of Juliette Delventhal and Paweł Kruk at A-I-R Laboratory, summer 2011, Photo: Michał Grochowiak Courtesy of CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
Bottom Left: Francis Thorburn "Vehicle # 11: Amphibian", moving sculpture and public event, summer 2012, Photo: Bartosz Górka Courtesy of CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
Bottom Right:Beginning of the soudwalk in the frames of workshop "Urban Sound Design Studio" led by Caroline Claus, Warsaw, July 2015 Photo: Bartosz Górka, Courtesy of CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

We are pleased to be hosting Marianna Dobkowska, curator at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw for a one month residency in Tokyo supported by The Backers Foundation.

During Dobkowska's talk she will present some of the projects she has curated and produced at Artists-In-Residence Laboratory, a residency program where she is a curator. Founded in 2003, Artists-In-Residence Laboratory is a department of the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, one of the major institutions of contemporary art in Poland.

A-I-R Laboratory hosts up to 30 international artists a year and focuses on production and research based practices within the context of the residency treated as an artistic medium. Since 2014 the team of A-I-R Laboratory started a new program at the socrealist interior of the former hat shop Porthos in the center of Warsaw.

Invited architects gathered portfolios of the building while designing the revitalization of its interiors. Activities programmed in the space are directed to stimulate discussions: about the heritage of socialist realism and the social responsibility of the institutions of art.They are also focused on establishing new relations with local communities.

Throughout the talk, questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed.
We look forward to your attendance at this special event.

Date and Time: Wednesday, July 22 2015, 19:00 - 21:00
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
In cooperation with: The Backers Foundation
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama (Twin Bldg. Daikanyama B-403, 30-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku)
Capacity: 30. *Booking Required.
Admission: JPY1000 (JPY800 for Students and AIT Base Members / Free for AIT House and Support Members)
Other details: Admission includes one free drink
*Talk will be in English only

Send an email with its subject as "AIT SLIDE TALK #32" to otoiawase@a-i-t.net, including your name, and contact.

[ Curator Biography ]

Marianna Dobkowska

Marianna Dobkowska curates projects, residencies and exhibitions, edits and designs publications and produces new works at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. She studied art history at Warsaw University and curating at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. She was a curator and manager of the Polish-Norwegian production and research based project and exhibition, Rooted Design for Routed Living. Alternative design strategies and editor of the book under the same title as well as co-manager of Re-tooling Residencies, a project dedicated to investigate the current condition of the residency models and fostering development of new residency-based initiatives in Eastern Europe. Dobkowska's curatorial projects include a solo show of American artist Jesse Aron Green The Allies, a cycle of exhibitions of young Ukrainian artists Transfer and We Are Like Gardens - a permaculture garden established in the park surrounding CCA Ujazdowski Castle. During her research stay at AIT Marianna Dobkowska focuses on social practice Japanese art, grassroots initiatives and programs that have a wide community base.

2015-7- 9

AIT ARTIST TALK #67 Rattana Vandy and Kanitha Tith

>>> Japanese

AIT ARTIST TALK #67: "Today of Yesterday"
Talk and Film Screening by Rattana Vandy and Kanitha Tith from Cambodia
Date: Wednesday, July 15th 2015, 19:00 - 21:00

Top Left: Rattana Vandy, Looking In My Office 7, 2006 / Top Right: Rattana Vandy, Surface, France, 2011
Bottom Left: Kanitha Tith, Season of Cambodia, Transparent Studio at Bose Pacia, NYC photo courtesy: Pete Pin Bottom Right: Kanitha Tith, "Endlessly"(2011), Photo by Heng Ravuth

'History, memory, time.'
An evening talk and video screening with two emerging artists from Cambodia.

Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT] is pleased to present AIT ARTIST TALK #67 on Wednesday, July 15. Commencing at 7pm, the talk and video screening will be led by Rattana Vandy and Kanitha Tith, two Cambodian artists who are currently in Tokyo with the support of The Backers Foundation and AIT.

The event has been organised in conjunction with Vandy and Tith's exhibition,The BAR Vol.8 "Today of Yesterday", which will open on Saturday, July 11 at YAMAMOTO GENDAI.

A self taught photographer with a background in journalism, Rattana Vandy (b. 1980) is an artist working predominately with photography and video. As one of Cambodia's up-and-coming artists, Vandy has had his work featured in recent exhibitions including "TIME of OTHERS" at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art and "dOCUMENTA(13)", and was also shortlisted for this year's Hugo Boss Asia Art Award. In his most recent video work, "MONOLOGUE", Vandy speaks to those who lost their lives during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, addressing the time and pain that have since been removed from history. Through a translation project that has been reviving Khmer-language philosophy and technical texts lost through the bookburning policies of the Pol Pot era, Vandy has been reflecting on memory and history.

Kanitha Tith (b. 1987) is an artist who produces works across a range of media including sculpture, performance and installation. As an artist that questions the stereotypical roles assigned to women in Cambodia and the loss of history and place under the weight of power and capitalism, Tith's previous works include "Season of Cambodia" (2013), an installation comprising wire sculptures and women's underwear, and "Heavy Sand" (2012), a performance in which she wore a bathing suit and showered in a mix of water and sand. In 2010, Tith received an honourable mention at the inaugural You Khin Memorial Women's Art Prize, an award that recognises contributions to improving the rights and social status of women in Cambodia.

While celebrating strong economic growth in recent years, Cambodia is a country where much remains buried in history and time. Throughout the evening, the artists will use their talk and video screening as the basis for taking a broader look at their country's social circumstances, while also shedding light on the thinking behind their practice.
We hope that you can join us for this insightful and thought-provoking evening.

*Also participating in The Backer's Foundation/AIT joint residency program is Marianna Dobkowska, a Polish curator who will arrive in Tokyo on July 7. Dobukousuka will also be presenting an evening talk on Wednesday, July 22. The event will be held in English only, with further information to be uploaded to the AIT website in the coming weeks.

Date and Time: Wednesday, July 15 2015, 19:00 - 21:00
Organized by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Co-Organized by: The Backers Foundation
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama (Twin Bldg. Daikanyama B-403, 30-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku)
Twin Bldg. Daikanyama B-403, 30-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku
Capacity: 30. Booking Required.
Admission: JPY1000/JPY800: 'Base Members' and Students/Free: 'House Members' and 'Support Members'
Others: 1 free drink, talk will be in English with consecutive Japanese translation

Send an email with its subject as "AIT ARTIST TALK #67" to otoiawase@a-i-t.net, including your name, and contact.

[ Artists Biography ]

Rattana VANDY(Born in 1980 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Rattana Vandy
Still from "MONOLOGUE", 2015, Single channel HD video, color, sound

Vandy lives and works between Phnom Penh, Paris and Taipei. In 2007, he was one of the co-founders of Stiev Selapak / Art Rebels, and in 2009 he was also one of the co-founders of Sa Sa Art Gallery. He contributed, in 2011, to establish SA SA BASSAC, the first dedicated exhibition spaces for contemporary art in Cambodia. Vandy Rattana began his photography practice in 2005 concerned with the lack of physical documentation accounting for the stories, traits, and monuments unique to his culture. His serial work employed a range of analog cameras and formats, straddling the line between strict photojournalism and artistic practice. His recent works mark a shift in philosophy surrounding the relationship between historiography and image making. For Vandy, photographs are now fictional constructions, abstract and poetic surfaces, histories of their own. He lately began interested in film-making. The short-film "MONOLOGUE" is his latest work. In 2014, he co-founded Ponleu Association, which aims to provide access to international reference books, through their translation and publication in Khmer. It also publishes its own books, focusing on various fields of knowledge (philosophy, literature, science, etc.)

Kanitha TITH (Born in 1987 in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia)
Kanitha Tith

Tith lives and works in Phnom Penh, she works revolves around the production of sculptures and installations that investigate the possible relationships between the artist's personal experience and memories and her environment, namely the fast-changing landscape of Cambodia. Her sculptural work made of woven metal strings are informed by her childhood memories and combine her interest in the relationship between human and non-human form with spatial strategies that straddle Tith's domestic sphere with the public arena. The material used by the artist - metal strings, found traditional cooking stoves or collected objects belonging to her neighbours - pertains to the realm of daily Cambodian material culture. By so doing, Tith questions the status of the artist and its potential to engage with issues of community, gender and women's identity. The artefacts created by Tith thus act as documents of the effects of the economic and social development in Cambodia on the private and urban spheres, on the individual and her environment, and formulate a visual poetics that evoke the possibility of change. Tith collaborates on film (with French-Cambodian filmmaker Chou Davy) and music (with the American Cambodian band Dengue Fever) projects and is active as a costume designer.

2015-7- 2