Artist-in-residence program provides opportunities for artists in the field of contemporary art to cultivate their artistic creativity and vision since 1994. Located around an hour from Tokyo, a residency at ARCUS Studio allows participants in the program to come into contact with the contemporary art scene in Japan as well as devote themselves to their creative endeavors in a calm environment while interacting with the local community. Through the support the program offers from its dedicated team of coordinators and regular tutorials with a curator, artists are able to search for and explore approaches in their practices and undertake new challenges in their artistic expression.
The program particularly emphasizes research-based practices and presents the initial results of these processes at open studios. It welcomes ideas for artworks and projects that develop out of encounters with people, the land, and culture, and aspire to form critical spaces that are open and international.
ARCUS Project’s Artist-in-Residence Program received 330 applications from abroad (65 countries and regions) and 14 applications from Japan. Following a careful screening process, Laura Cooper (UK) and Shindo Fuyuka (Japan) have been selected as the 2023 residents. The artists will participate in a residency at ARCUS Studio in Moriya, Ibaraki, for 90 days from September 7 to December 5, 2022.
As the judges for this year’s applications, we welcomed Goto Oko, a curator at Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito and Che Kyongfa, a curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo who made the selection through a process of discussion with the ARCUS Project Administration Committee.
One international and one domestic artist have been selected for the 2023 Artist-in-Residence Program. The call for applications was made while the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was finally coming to an end, after continuing for approximately three years since 2020. The number of applications thereby exceeded that of previous years, with 330 from abroad and 14 from Japan.
An overview of the applications shows some with a concern for climate change and changes in the environment, others developing a transnational perspective with migration as the point of origin or research focus; and yet others seeking to renew their self-expression through inspiration from the Japanese culture and landscape. Many applications also proposed creating works together with the local community; however, there seemed to be a tendency of this co-creation itself becoming too much the objective. The international artist selected seeks to explore cultural differences relating to animals through hunting, while the artist from Japan will explore the relationship between the land where she lives and that of southern Ibaraki Prefecture, with particular reference to migration and disaster prevention. The two artists will spend 90 days in residence from early September until early December.
Born in 1983 in Shrewsbury, United Kingdom, and living in Birmingham. Artist and filmmaker Cooper is interested in the physical confinements of the human body, and the un-knowableness of other people and beings. She explores the relationship between human-animal, attempting to inhabit a less anthropocentric reality and creating works toward unknown territories and perspectives. Her moving image work includes documentaries which are variable and poetic, including people in a participatory manner. As she creates her work in response to specific landscapes, animals and communities, she has also collaborated with farmers, hunters, falconers, property developers, therapists, and scientists. For the ARCUS Project, she will focus on cultural differences between the UK and Japan regarding animals with the wild boar as a motif, creating her work while researching hunting sites. Past exhibitions and activities include The Political Animal, performance with Hermione Spriggs (The Showroom, London, 2017), LAM 360° (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2012), Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens (IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK, 2012).
The Sun’s Tongue
16 mm film, 2023
The Sun’s Tongue
16mm film, 2023
Eating up the Sky
Laura Cooper, who spent a brief period in Japan as a student, will focus on the contrasting relationship between humans and wild boar in the UK and Japan, creating the work Wilder with a combination of 16mm film and performance. The envisaged installation will create an abstracting multi-species forest environment, exploring the parameters of what we classify as “wild” in different rural/urban contexts. In Japan, as hunting traditions are lost the numbers of wild boar are increasing, and the creatures are entering and damaging human living environments in rural and urban areas. Meanwhile, in the UK, the wild boar has only recently been “rewilded” after being hunted to extinction in the 1600s, making the animals tourist attractions in certain landscapes. The ARCUS Project commends the attempt to explore the transition of human life and culture and changes in the natural environment, as well as re-resourcing for the sake of human economic activities, through a comparison of the relationship between humans and boars in the two countries and further future exploration.
(Director, Ozawa Keisuke)
Photo: Komaki Yoshisato
Born in Hokkaido in 1975, and living in Ebetsu City. While unraveling the history and culture of Hokkaido, where she was born and raised, Shindo creates works that shed light on the invisible power relations that propelled the modernization of Japan and other countries beyond. Utilizing the art museums that were institutionalized as a system alongside this modernization and their exhibition methods, she displays objects that reference the lifestyle and culture of Hokkaido. The underlying driving force is the ambivalence between the social desire to ‘preserve’ things through archives, artefacts and folklore, and the distrust of this desire. At the same time, despite the centralized nature of modern society she is also interested in anarchism based on the idea of autonomy, and the situation of local communities, and engages in performances and tours founded on observation and research. During her residency at ARCUS Project, she will conduct research and produce work based on the keywords of migration and disaster prevention. Past exhibitions and activities include Roppongi Crossing 2022: Coming & Going (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2022-2023), Child of Settlers (Moerenuma Park, Sapporo, 2019) and International Studio & Curatorial Program (Participated in artist-in-residence program, ISCP, New York, 2017)
Child of Settlers
Photo: Stuyuguchi Keiji Photo Courtesy: Moerenuma Park
Project (poster), 2019
Photo: Komaki Yoshisato
30,000m High Vomit, 360m Deep Saliva
We commend Shindo’s attempt to relativize her own experience of growing up in a family that had relocated to Hokkaido as settlers and the thoughts that spun from that experience, through temporarily relocating to Moriya. The settlement of Hokkaido cannot be considered in isolation from Japan’s process of modernization. Such external and political factors that lead people to travel to a new place to begin a life there still cast a shadow today on various lands and regions, on a global scale and in a different form. Shindo will seek to discover the larger forces which sustain modernization through an investigation of Moriya and the towns of southern Ibaraki Prefecture, and encounters with people who have relocated there. The ARCUS Project hopes that through her residence she will experience positive encounters and exchanges that will once again open her eyes, and that after her residence is complete she will have a renewed perspective on her familiar Hokkaido, leading to the beginning of new expressive activities.
(Director, Ozawa Keisuke)