Responsive art projects: Case study file

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Grasping the connection with the social climate by looking at art projects in detail

We take up a variety of art projects developed since 2011 and hear from the practitioners how these projects were initiated, how they have continued, and where they are heading going forward. We grasp the connection with the social climate by looking at art projects in detail.

Case study

File 09: Learning from an old man in Kamagasaki
Guest: Kanayo Ueda (Poet/Activist)

The “Kamagasaki University of the Arts” project began in 2012 in the Kamagasaki district of Nishinari-ku, Osaka on the basis of Ueda’s belief that “if you have people who want to learn from and about each other, you have a university.” Now in its eleventh year, this community-based initiative provides around a hundred lectures a year on subjects including astronomy, philosophy, and aesthetics at various local facilities. Ueda talks about the beginnings of the University, expansion of the project, the encounters it has engendered, and her vision for the project going forward.

File 10: Spreading giant furoshiki
Guest: Seinoshin Yamagishi (Project FUKUSHIMA! Representative/Director)

In the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Project FUKUSHIMA! was launched by volunteers from inside and outside of Fukushima Prefecture, spearheaded by musicians and poets born or living in Fukushima. Yamagishi talks about the development and current status of the project, which continues to expand along with its colorful giant furoshiki sewn together from cloth gathered from various regions.

File 11: Building communication channels as travelers
Guest: Komori Haruka + Seo Natsumi (art unit)

Komori Haruka + Seo Natsumi is an art unit that started its activities in March 2011 when the duo went to coastal Tohoku to volunteer. The two discuss discoveries, insights and developments generated by their activities, in which they continue to create works that focus on the documenting of landscapes and people’s words, creating spaces for dialog in the various regions they travel to.

File 12: What it takes to be “let in” somewhere
Guest: Mayumi Hirano (Load na Dito Projects Co-founder/Director)

Based in Manila in the Philippines, Mayumi Hirano works as an independent researcher and curator exploring context-based curation methods. She talks about attitudes and approaches gleaned over ten years of activity conducting research and having close contact with the history, topographical and cultural climate, and society of a given area.

File 13: Carving voices
Guest: A3BC (Woodblock art collective)

A3BC is an art collective that practices art activism by collectively creating woodblock prints with anti-war and anti-nuclear themes. They discuss grassroots practices that create a forum enabling every individual involved to ask their own questions, engage in dialogue, and take on the challenge of expressing themselves in the form of a “collective” that connects individuals organically.


Takashi Serizawa (Director, P3 art and environment)


Tokyo Art Research Lab official YouTube channel


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


Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Planned and Operated by
P3 art and environment