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Discussion program: Ways to go beyond borders

  • Art Project ,
  • Others

“Discussion program: Ways to go beyond borders” is a program for addressing and thinking about borders and disconnects that have ordinarily been hidden from us because we haven’t actively thought about or been involved with them, or because we haven’t been conscious of them.
As an opportunity for program participants to think about “invisible borders,” we invite guest “practitioners” who go beyond borders and keep their feet on the ground in their activities, and provide a forum to enable our guests to have direct discussion with participants.
The program aim is to discover opportunities for new powers of imagination and action that individual participants are unlikely to arrive at by themselves.


Session 1 “Going beyond, through partnering”
Riken Komatsu says that the Great East Japan Earthquake was the starting point of his activities, and that Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture, where Komatsu was born and raised, is a land where different “currents” meet. Komatsu conducts his activities in a figurative vortex, where the currents roughly equate to borders. How does he see the “borders” created by the disaster? And why does disconnect occur between people? Komatsu currently has a series of essays being published in a magazine on the subject of what he terms “kyojisha,” people like him who are not “tojisha” (meaning people who are personally affected by the disaster or challenged in some way) but who are nevertheless involved as a “co-partner” or“kyojisha.” The program has been greatly influenced by the way he crosses borders. We find out how Komatsu became a “kyojisha” following the disaster, and discuss new possibilities for the concept.
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 18:00 – 20:00
Guest: Riken Komatsu (local activist)
Applications for participation: From Tuesday, November 1, 2021

Session 2: Going beyond, through artworks
A wall of sorts has been in place between Musashino Art University and Korea University in the city of Kodaira, Tokyo, for over fifty years. Neither had there been any open exchange between the two institutions during that time. But in 2011, the work “The Bridge Which May Be Crossed,” designed and constructed by MAU student Chiaki Haibara, a member of the artist collective “Suddenly, the view spreads out before us,” as well as invitations from the art department of Korea University and other developments resulted in the start of dialogue between the two institutions. Walls and bridges are symbolic of borders. Talking about this work should give us some important insights as well.
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021 18:00 – 20:00
Guest: Artist collective “Suddenly, the view spreads out before us”
Applications for participation: From Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Session 3: Continuously looking at ways to go beyond
In her books, Ario Kawauchi observes and writes about people who transcend various borders in what they do. In “Sora o yuku kyojin” (“The Giant in the Sky”) she portrays a friendship/relationship going beyond position and title between Tadashige Shiga, who runs a company in Iwaki, and world-renowned contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang. In her new book, which has the refreshingly to-the-point title “Me no mienai Shiratori-san to āto o mi ni iku”(“Going to see art with blind Mr Shiratori”),she writes about the process by which she gains a new experience of art appreciation through Shiratori, a blind man who enjoys contemporary art, which is usually experienced visually. What is the significance for Kawauchi of continuously looking at and writing about people who transcend different borders in what they do? We have a feeling that Kawauchi’s point of view will help us find another perspective on borders.
Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 18:00 – 20:00
Guest: Ario Kawauchi (non-fiction writer)
Applications for participation: From Thursday, December 16, 2021

Session 4: Going beyond, through cooperation
FC Echigo-Tsumari developed as a part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field project in 2015. Team members work hard training in soccer every day as well as working the land, seeing to the upkeep of local artworks, and running local art festivals. Why does their work involve a mixture of agriculture, art festival operation and soccer? Putting this question aside, the result is that the project is thriving, having generated a collaborative relationship with local people by crossing over into a variety of fields. While their focus is on soccer, how do the women collaborate and build relationships in each field when they are wearing three different hats? We find out in this session.
Date: Friday (public holiday), February 11, 2022 15:30 – 17:30
Guests: Hiroaki Sakaguchi, Atsushi Motoi, Misato Ishiwata (FC Echigo-Tsumari Senior Director, GM/coach, team player)
Applications for participation: From Sunday, January 16, 2022

Session 5: Looking beyond borders that proved impassable
Fram Kitagawa, who works as a director of regional art festivals throughout Japan, often says that the Japanese are still completely exclusive in their outlook. In this session we want to think about why the Japanese have a tendency towards exclusivity by looking at the experience of Kitagawa, who has worked with artists all over the world. And we would also like to take the opportunity to go over with Kitagawa what we have discussed in the “Ways to go beyond borders” program.
Date: Sunday, February 13, 2022 15:30 – 17:30
Guest: Fram Kitagawa (Art Front Gallery)
Applications for participation: From Sunday, January 16, 2022

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Target participants

-People who want to expand their knowledge of the various “disconnects” (borders) that occur in society
-People who want to learn about ways to go beyond borders from the experiences of our discussion guests and think about this for themselves.
-People who are working with society through their own activities and those who want to do so in practice in future.
-People who are interested in “Beyond Invisible Borders in Tokyo” project activities.

*Discussion is central to this program. We look forward the participation of people who wish to engage in progressive dialogue as well as ask questions.


8 people each session (First-come-first-served basis)

Participation fee

1,000 yen

How to apply

Please fill in the required items on the application form.

*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential, and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.


Beyond Invisible Borders Administrative Office (@ Theatre Company shelf)
102 Space Sakura, 3-9-6, Sakura Jo-sui, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0045
Tel: 090-6139-9578
Fax: 03-5317-0802


hagukumu KOHAN (prendre ys 1F, 5-2-2 Matsubara, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0043)



Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), shelf Association