Residency Program

Research Residency Program

update: 2023.1.6


Participating Project   Research Residency Program
Activity BasedUK
Period 2022.9- 2022.10
Purpose of the residency

The residency will be used to explore the independent and self-organised communities of creative practitioners in Tokyo, with a particular focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced their strategies and approaches to practice. Alongside this, research into the histories of those communities in recent years pre-pandemic will also be undertaken. It is hoped that through this, a detailed record of self-organised practices in one of the most populous cities in the world will evolve, which can then be used to develop broader collaborative global networks of like-minded artists, curators, organisations, groups and collectives.

Plan during the residency
  • Visit independent, self-organised and institutional organisations, spaces and archives in Tokyo to see how creative communities co-exist and have previously co-existed.
  • Map significant organisations, groups and collectives working in different areas of the city in the recent past to see how creative communities have changed over time.
  • Observe practitioners and organisations at work firsthand to better understand how they practice and function.
  • Network practitioners in Tokyo with other practitioners in the UK and Europe, to begin to develop a global collaborative network of peers for knowledge and skill exchange.
Activities during the residency

During the residency I spent time conducting a number of activities including:
 -Visiting numerous artist-run, independent and alternative projects and organisations in Tokyo and beyond.
 -Taking part in organised dedicated meetings with artists, curators and other organisational staff.
 -Attending exhibitions and events at other arts organisations to compare methods of programming and organisational structures.
This was in order to develop a clear understanding of how self-organised practices have responded to conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how those people and organisations operate in relation to other organisations within the arts community of the city of Tokyo and beyond. By spending time with individuals/collectives/organisations it allowed me to gather much deeper and richer information to inform my research and residency outcome project moving forward, whilst developing trust and working relationships with those practitioners and organisations.

Outcome of the residency

The residency has helped to shift my own views on self-organised artistic practices in Tokyo (and beyond), and has given me tangible examples of new and innovative approaches to issues that impact practitioners globally. I would consider my achievements to be based on the new working relationships I have developed with individuals and organisations. Moving forwards, these relationships, and the experiences I have had, have shifted my future outlook of what is possible for knowledge and experiential exchange between practitioners working in self-organised contexts to provide broader forms of solidarity globally. If I had the residency time again, I would have liked to have had more time overall to spend in Japan to conduct even more detailed research – possibly spending time within artist-run organisations to directly contribute to their programmes and observe in more detail how they operate on a daily basis.

Dinner service at Tohmei Diner

View from the balcony out into the neighbourhood around The 5th Floor

Cooking a communal meal at Cocoroom

Learning to play the saw as a musical instrument from a visiting musician at Cocoroom

Curator talk about the Pacific Crossings programme at Art Center Ongoing

Creator Information