• Finished

Tokyo Project Study 1: Unwind our involvement

  • Art Project ,
  • Lecture / Symposium

Paving the way to new physicality and thought for co-existing and co-creating

Now that hybrid online/offline communication is becoming entrenched as the new normal, approaches to art projects trying to create new experiences and connections through communication with others from different backgrounds are also continuously transforming and updating. Lags in the rhythm and timing of on-screen conversation; difficulty establishing setting and context; a real sense of doubt regarding the collective experience; issues including approaches to information accessibility for people with different linguistic systems and perceptions of the world, art project accessibility, etc.: Firsthand experience of these new challenges and insights, which cannot be updated solely using existing methods, must have caused many people to reappraise their relationships and communication with others.

When people who are socially, culturally, and physically different encounter each other, this is surely the time to apply focused attitudes and skills for recognizing each other’s differences and trying to approach each other while valuing each other’s intrinsic sensibilities. On the back of our awareness of this issue, in last year’s programs we focused on the physical intelligence of interpreters and translators, those who stand between different people and foster communication. We engaged in research and development activities on visual / physical language forms of communication (sign language) and spoken and written language forms of communication (the Japanese language).
We daily not only convey our own will and intent to people but also sometimes translate people’s thoughts and feelings from the standpoint of a spokesperson. Viewed in this light, we might say that everyone is someone’s translator. However, communication, translation and interpreting of this kind always involves misunderstanding and misreading, and incomprehension is ever present.
How can we convey what we feel as we felt it? And conversely, how can we experience another’s thoughts and feelings as they are? We believe that even as we experience incomprehension, the frustration arising in any communication of being unable to convey something is itself replete with pointers for opening up new circuits of communication.

In this Study, while working on the assumption that everyone is someone’s translator, we reexamine communication that allows us to co-exist and co-create with others who have a different perception of the world than ourselves. Taking as our starting point diverse communication methods including visual / physical language (sign language) produced when people with different physical attributes and sensory perception try to interact and understand each other; tactile sign language as a transmission method for connecting the senses; and Braille, handwriting and audio guides, we will implement a series of discussions, workshops and research related to the individual’s body and memory, language and senses. Using this experience, participants will work on devising new channels and methods for promoting and expanding communication with others who have different senses, while at the same time deciphering their own senses and feelings.

*New channels and methods
Any expressive medium or specialty such as art, film, music, theater, architecture, spaces and environments, poetry, cuisine, sticky notes, online chat, clay, stone, play, professional interpreters, timetables, management skills, mechanism-building, etc.

Program activity keywords

– Discussion
– Workshop
– Guest talks
– Research
– Design of communication channel/method, design
– Translation/interpreting
– Other people
– Umwelt (one’s environment)
– Communication

Target participants

– People interested in the themes of the body and memory, the senses and language, the body and communication, and who are attempting to engage in related projects
– People who want to develop new methods for communicating with other people who have different physical attributes and languages
– People who are interested in being intermediaries for different people and concerns, and in being involved in the capacity of coordinator / translator
– People who are interested in using their own experiences to establish and give shape to communication channels and methods that others can experience
– People able to engage in project activities while showing respect for different ideas and values
– People who often attract happy coincidences

*Any expressive medium or specialty such as art, film, music, theater, architecture, spaces and environments, poetry, cuisine, etc.


– There will be a regular discussion meeting for all project participants once or twice a month.
– After each discussion, participants compose a piece of writing (essay, diary entry, etc.) to organize their ideas and questions, and record changes in their thinking.
– Guests who use different sensory faculties to make sense of the world will join workshop sessions to be held from August through November. Sessions will comprise lectures, body-based workshops, discussion, prototyping/experimenting with tools and techniques, etc.
– From November through December, we invite people with creative skills in different fields such as design, architecture, plastic arts, and interpreting to help participants learn about the special characteristics of various fields, and explore tips for developing new communication methods (developing new channels for communication).
– We may conduct research and field work as necessary as the Study progresses.
– From January through February, together with navigators and Study participants we will proceed with planning and developing means/tools of communication by giving shape to thoughts and practices engaged in through the Study, using our own forms of expression and methods.
– A presentation (exchange of projects and prototypes) will be given in March.
– Project activities will take place in Arts Council Tokyo ROOM 302, 3331 Arts Chiyoda and online. Project participants may hold independent activities in ROOM 302 (advance reservation required).

*Information accessibility services such as sign language interpreting and text-based communication support is available according to participants’ needs.
*We can provide support as necessary with production related to the planning and development of means/tools of communication.
*Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection control measures will be implemented under a safe and secure management system. However, program activities scheduled to take place in ROOM302 may be implemented online instead depending on the spread of coronavirus (COVID 19).


About 10 persons
*Selection will include document screening and interviews.

Participation fee

General 24,000 yen, students 16,000 yen/for approx.8 months
*Does not include transportation/food and drink expenses for fieldwork and other activities.

Dates of activities

Wednesday, August 18 20:00 – 21:30 (online) Session 1 Guidance/self-introduction
Sunday, August 22 10:00 – 12:00 (ROOM302, elsewhere) Session 2(1) Guest workshop
Sunday, August 29 10:00 – 12:00 (ROOM302) Session 2(2) Guest workshop
Sunday, September 12, 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302) Session 3 Guest workshop
Wednesday, September 22 20:00 – 21:00 (Online)Review/Discussion/Progress sharing
Sunday, October 10 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302) Session 4 Guest workshop
Sunday, October 31 13:00 – 18:00 (ROOM302, elsewhere)Session 5 Guest lecture
Sunday, November 14 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302)Session 6 Guest workshop
Sunday, December 5 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302)Session 7 Discussion
Sunday, January 16 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302)Session 8 Planning and production of means/tools of communication
Sunday, February 6 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302)Session 9 Planning and production of means/tools of communication
Sunday, February 13 13:00 – 16:00 (ROOM302)Session 10 Planning and production of means/tools of communication
Sunday, March 6 10:00 – 17:00 (ROOM302) Session 11 Presentation of means/tools of communication

*Schedule/details are subject to change.
*There may be work related to summary/creation of deliverables in February-March.

How to apply

Please fill in the application form here.

Friday, July 30, 2021 18:00 Monday, August 2, 2021 12:00

*Priority will be given to people able to attend all dates of activities
*How we hold project activities – face-to-face, online or such like – will be determined as occasion calls, based on the situation with coronavirus and any accompanying social measures.
*Please note that after the project has begun, there will be no refunds due to cancellation of attendance.
*Program details are subject to change.
*Your personal information will be used only to send you information from the organizer about this project.

Selection schedule
Tuesday, August 3 – Sunday, August 8: Selection period
*After the document screening we may contact you online or by telephone.
*Interviews are scheduled to place on weekday nights (19: 00- / 20: 00-) from Tuesday, August 3 – Friday, August 6 as well as Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8 (10:00 – 17:00). If these dates/times are not convenient, we may arrange a separate schedule for you.
Around Tuesday, August 10: Notification of results


Natsumi Wada (interpreter), Narumi Okamura (designer/director/costume designer/artist)

Kazuhiro Kimura (playwright/editor/writer)

Study Manager
Tae Yoshihara (Program officer, Arts Council Tokyo)


TARL office
Project Coordination Division,
Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
TEL: 03-6256-8435(Weekday 10:00-18:00)


Arts Council Tokyo ROOM 302 (6-11-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo [3331 Arts Chiyoda]), online, and others


Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)