Midori Mitamura

Residency Program

Exchange Residency Program (Japan-based creators sent abroad)

update: 2019.11.21

Midori Mitamura

Participating ProjectExchange Residency Program (Japanese Creators sent abroad)
Activity Based Japan
Period2011.4 - 2011.6
Purpose of the residency

My work is mainly separated into two styles.
The first is to spend time composing space, creating art built up around a theme.
That usually takes the form of an exhibition, which generally takes place in an art museum or gallery space.
The second style is to create site-specific artwork inspired by a particular location out of something.
My exhibition here at MUMA will be of this 2nd style.
I choose between various approaches in accordance with the location, such as communication art, improvised installations and performance art, and incorporating photos and videos of objects.
This sort of art style releases various constraints and stresses that are created by transportation and construction issues in the general form that art spaces take.
Also, it's not a one way passage of bringing artwork from far away. Making unrestrained installations as if drawing in the space makes it possible for me to create a deeper feedback with the basis of my artwork.

Plan during the residency

The art I will create here during my residency at Monash University will be part of a series called Art & Breakfast. Art & Breakfast is a title which hints at the phrase B&B (Bed & Breakfast). I create artwork while I'm staying somewhere. It's an art project that includes breakfast, and a coined phrase of mine.
Art & Breakfast started when I had breakfast together with some people who visited.
Based on the images and memories piled up during my travels I created artwork from things which were in the place I was at the time until a countless number of small installations covered the space.

Monash University Art & Design Lunch time Forum
20 Apr 2011, the artist presentation for visitors from inside and outside of university about my art activities and the plan about the residency program as showing visual materials.

Opening reception of three exhibitions at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
"Art & Breakfast Melbourne "
Danius Kesminas
Slowness (collections)
Collaborative projects by Danius Kesminas
Slowness ; The collection of MUMAThe opening Speech and short lecture by Doug Hall, the commissioner of Australian pavilion of Venezia biennial 2011 and Max Deleny, the director of MUMA

"Art & Breakfast" Breakfast events
10, 14, 17, 24, 31 May and 4 June
6 days: Tue 9:30-11:30, Sat 11:00-12:30
Free breakfast buffet with visitors
20 people on the average visited on each day.

The lecture at Art & Design faculty of Gippsland campus, Monash University,
The artist presentation for students and teachers of Art & Design faculty at the brunch campus in Gippsland, that is in suburbs 2 hours from Melbourne.
About my art activities and the plan about the residency program as showing visual materials.

Exhibition"The gravity of the situation"Art & Design faculty gallery
5-19 July at Art & Design faculty gallery, Monash University.
A Fundraising event for Japanese disaster relief efforts through the CARE Australia/Japan disaster reconstruction initiative. http://www.artdes.monash.edu.au/gallery/gravity/
Exhibition of available prints featuring selected work from Monash staff and affiliated artists, all individual edition purchases

Research and creative activities during the residency
Artspace Sydney http://www.artspace.org.au/
Curator contact; Tracy Burgess 、Mark Feaby
The Asia-Australia Arts Centre (Gallery 4A) http://www.4a.com.au/
Curator contact;Aaron Seeto
Art Gallery of New South Wales  http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/
Curator contact;Anneke Jasper

Production of new art work
Making photo and video works of LUNA Park that is an old fashioned amusement park for kids in St.Kilda area of Melbourne.

Achievements during the residency
All intents and purposes were done very well and successfully. The accommodation of University, curators, staffs and volunteer, all those were very supportive and made arrangement smoothly without any stress.
Especially one of very good points was that it had enough days after the opening of exhibition. That made it possible to cause communications and reactions between artist and people through its presentation. That is very important purpose of my project Art & Breakfast.
Another good point was to be booked with major Melbourne based Artist. That also helped to have more visitors than expected from a single solo showing.
Finally I was also pleased to involve my artwork from Art & breakfast in the another exhibition "The gravity of the situation" that is fundraising project for the disaster of Japan organized by Monash University Art & Design Gallery.

Points to be Improved
I should research details about exhibition space and the booking of another artists more in advance.

The communication with local artists were not much because the place is not usual artist residency studio that dose not have any other residency artist and the location was isolated from the center.

It would be more helpful if it is clearer who should be in charge of consulting for arranging materials except curators in case of the installation artist.
(e.g. local artists or exhibition staffs involved in the exhibition).
This time, one teacher from Art & design faculty and one volunteer helped me to collect materials personally. They were very helpful, yet it would be smoother to organize the preparation if they were involved in the exhibition. Because artists usually should arrange materials by own efforts for domestic exhibitions, but for overseas residency programs, artists have to arrange materials without enough knowledge about local situations in short time, although this would be different up to the production style of each artist.

Effect towards future activities
Doing my art project and making art works in this program just after the biggest disaster in Japan that we have never known in modern history made me think deeply about what is the most important artistic expression in my art. And that helped me to find out a reality that I should engage myself as an artist in this moment and the future.
In the other hand, my first activity in Australia provided me an opportunity to be free from Western art contexts and to think of the truth of art for our daily life. And then I could realize what would be a universal feeling in art that is able to be shared with people even if we are living in different environments, cultures or histories.

An episode that impressed you the most
Communications with a lot of people at the breakfast.
International friendship links;
A German curator who is a friend of mine forwarded my information to her friends. Owing to that, her friend artist in Melbourne and a curator from New York who was just visiting Melbourne by chance came to My breakfast.
That curator also forwarded information to Ken Friedman, a member of FLUXUS who is currently living in Melbourne had a interest in my work and visited me.
It was my great pleasure to introduce people to people at my breakfast. And new relationships would be happened in the future.

A serious disabled woman who loves art came to my artist-talk and gave me an impressive comment.
"Not often an artist work touches me like yours dose." That encouraged me a lot.

Changes in perception and new perspective towards the country and city where you were staying gained through research and production during the residency.
Australia is a country that English people immigrated to in the history. I recognized that thing brought a very particular environment geographically. Although Caucasian societies are major there, Asian countries are closest to them geographically. It seems that their mentalities are much closer to Asian than European even though their origin and cultures were imported from England. Especially I felt their sensitivity to situations or gauging the atmosphere is very similar to Japanese. And also Melbourne has a lot of immigrants and mixed cultures particularly that must help people to have open minds and being friendly. And then Melbourne is popular as a high culture city in Australia. That impression is different from Sydney. Independent high-design magazines of art and culture are also published in Melbourne.
A disadvantage for the art field is actually being very far from Western countries and not having such many historical layers like Europe. However, that distance is also an advantage to build up its own culture and market that do not rely on Western criteria.

Media (newspapers, magazines, websites) in which his activities were published during the residency program.
・Newspaper "The Age" (4 May 2011)

Creator Information