The term chiiki art (community art) was used in a 2014 discourse by literary critic Naoya Fujita to describe the large number of art festivals in recent years that were named after the region where they were held. Many different remarks were made in response to the term as well as problems related to it, creating the singular phenomenon of chiiki art. But the term has been talked about by a wide range of people, from all manner of perspectives, both pro and con.
Furthermore, the term chiiki means something different to everyone and can include local residents, communities, governments, and business entities. All of those things and more are wrapped up in the concept that people call chiiki art. Activities referred to as chiiki art can take on many forms, all of which are distinct in nature yet also overlap with each other. These can include international art festivals, regional art festivals, art projects, regional art museum projects, socially-engaged art, support activities, and local revitalization. The aim of this project is to drive a wedge into current conceptions and generalizations by carefully looking at the range of chiiki art that has evolved independently and by understanding their significance and successes, as well as future possibilities and potential risks.
What has chiiki art communicated to us? And should it even be called chiiki art? In this event, speakers will revisit and reexamine this term, and this talk, as well as future writings and exhibitions, are set to be compiled in a catalog that will be published next year.
Apr 13, 2019 – Sep 1, 2019 (Tentative)
Born in 1960 Kagoshima, Japan. Graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. After lecturing at the Papua New Guinea National Art School, joining an urban planning group, establishing the Fuji Hiroshi Design and Production Studio, and serving as director of the Towada Art Center, he is now a professor and vice president of the Akita University of Art. He has been involved in many art projects and exhibited his work extensively both in Japan and internationally. In 1992, he established the Fuji Hiroshi Design and Production Studio and turned his attention to the community (chiiki), employing methodologies that combine collaboration and appropriate technologies in pursuit of ways to elicit artist expression.
*photo by Kuniya Oyamada
Nadegata Instant Party
The group, consisting of artists Tohru Nakazaki, Daisuke Yamashiro, and art manager Tomoko Noda, began their collaboration in 2006. They embed themselves within a local community, create a “trigger” as a starting point or springboard for the project, and open it up to the community in the process of making it a “reality”. They always involve the area’s residents in their creations, and film the creative process of bringing their “stories” to life. These documentary films are displayed alongside their installations.
Born in 1988 in Tokyo, Japan. Artist and president of Jun Kitazawa Office Yakumo. Working together with administrative agencies, educational institutions, medical institutions, private companies, NPOs, regional organizations all over the world, he organizes art projects that come in close contact with people’s lives. Through this work he hopes to build a culture of creativity within society by cultivating a place where questions about community and everyday life can be asked. His projects in recent years have put an emphasis on continuity and aim to integrate with local culture and become a part of everyday life.
*photo by CULTURE
This book is a partial English translation of Chiiki āto wa doko ni aru? [Where is Chiiki Art?] (ed. Towada Art Center, Tokyo: Horinouchi Publishing, 2020), published as a record of the titular project that was held at Towada Art Center from 2018 to 2019.
The book is available in PDF format and as POD on amazon.