Research Residency Program
Nine Fumiko YAMAMOTO-MASSON
|Research Residency Program
|2023.5 - 2023.7
Purpose of the residency
My artistic research project explores contemporary echoes of Asakura Setsu’s paintings of the 1950s–60s that illuminate societal change in postwar Japan, the modernisation of Tokyo, the presence of biracial children left behind by the US occupation (often ostracised and growing up in orphanages). Asakura’s beautiful portrait studies and stunning large paintings understand that they too embodied a changing Japan. With her art, she was a witness and social commentator, valorising the history of transformation and diversity in Tokyo. My research will also focus on Asakura’s work in underground experimental avant-garde film in the 70s and 80s. I will document the research process through artworks of my own.
Plan during the residency
- Conducting research through typical (academic, archival, journalistic) methods as well as experimental artistic methods.
- Research on Asakura Setsu’s artist family (from Taito-ku) and her early work, taking photographs, filming, drawing the locations; while also researching the situation of biracial children in the 1950s–60s, and the modernisation of Tokyo ahead of the 1964 Olympics.
- Interviews and exchanges with other multiracial people with a Japanese parent (like me and the children painted by Asakura Setsu) of many generations, about their perspectives on diversity in Japan, past, present, and future.
- Archival research also in film archives about Asakura’s work in avant-garde film and in theatre.
- Developing artworks (drawings, paintings, installation, video) and writing as part of my artistic research project, inspired by and responding to Asakura’s painting and film work and the themes therein.