What we do

Art for the next decade

  • Organization : KENJI KUBOTA ART OFFICE
  • Section : Project on artistic and creative focus
  • Type of Grant Program : Long
  • Art Forms : Visual Art / Media Art

Outline of the project

Project outline
“Art for the Next Decade” is a three-year project exploring directions and modes for art in the near future.

At a time when the environment surrounding Japan is undergoing major transformation alongside changes in the global political and economic climate, and given current conditions in which the roles and needs of art in society are diversifying and subject to much experimentation, we discuss and verify the possibilities for artistic expression over the next ten years using complex techniques including a lecture series, exhibitions and workshops.

【First year】
In the first year we invited artists, critics, researchers, curators and the like at the vanguard of art practice to discuss and verify transitions in artistic expression since the beginning of the 21st century, and the possibilities for artistic expression over the coming ten years.

Special lecturers
Takeshi Okada (cognitive science), Taguchi Kaori (conservation science), Osamu Sakura (history of science), Jason Waite (curator), Jacob Lillemose (curator), Laurel Ptak (curator), UJINO, Chim↑Pom (Ryuta Ushiro and Yasutaka Hayashi), Tatzu Nishi, yang02, Kenichi Kondo, Yoshitaka Mouri, Fumihiko Sumitomo, Kenji Kubota

【Second year】
In the project’s second year, we further discussed the possibilities for creative expression over the next ten years with overseas curators (Jason Waite, Margarida Mendes), based on the lecture series and symposium discussion of “Art for the Next Decade” implemented in the first year. We also held an exhibition, “The Sleepless Alliance – Art for the Next Decade,” at an Oxford University art gallery. Twelve Japanese and overseas artists were interviewed for the exhibition on the subject of art in ten years’ time, and five artists’ works were displayed along with footage from the interviews.

Participating artists
Helene Kazan、 Larry Achiampong、Adelota Husni-bey、Pil and Galia Kolectiv、Christian Nyampeta、Ayesha Hameed、Ahmet Ögüt、Melika Ngombe Kolongo、Ho Rui An, Hikaru Fujii, Kyun-chome, Rintaro Fuse, Bontaro Dokuyama, Takuro Kotaka
Jason Waite, Margarida Mendes, Kenji Kubota

【Third year】
The final year of the project, “Art for the Next Decade” organized an exhibition and published documentation as a three-year culmination.
The documentation was published for the overview of the three-year activity, and curators and artists involved in each year’s project wrote essays and work descriptions, and explain the purpose of the project in an easy-to-understand manner. The exhibition “Marginalia”, with Rintaro Fuse as a curator, contained many suggestions about the coexistence of humans and machines that will come in the near future, and the resulting changes in human consciousness and spirit.

Title: Marginalia
Date: February 22 – March 21, 2020
Venue: SNOW Contemporary (Minato city, Tokyo)
Curation: Rintaro Fuse
Participating artists: Kazumichi Komatsu, Sen Takahashi, Aoi Nakamura, Goro Murayama, and Rintaro Fuse


Kenji Kubota is an independent curator since 2006 focused on art practice toward diverse fields of society. He worked as a curator of Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo (1994-1999) and Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito in Ibaraki (2000-2006).
He is a founder of KENJI KUBOTA ART OFFICE (2008-), SNOW Contemporary (2010-) and Japan Art Donation (2011-).
His curatorial practice focuses on how art could function in systems of society such as economy, education and politics by using various cultural formats.
He curated many exhibitions such as “X-Color / Graffiti in Japan,” Art Tower Mito (2005), “Money Talk,” Hiroshima Contemporary Art Museum (2007-2008), “Twist and Shout,” Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (2009-2010), “Roppongi Crossing 2010, Can there be Art?,” Mori Art Museum (2010), “Red Bull Music Academy: ART Exhibition,” Red Bull Japan (2014), “Don’t Follow the Wind,” inside Fukushima exclusion zone. (2015-), “Koganecho Bazaar 2017,” Yokohama (2017) and “Asian Art Biennale” National Taiwan Museum of Art (2017).
He is currently a board member of Art and Public Association (2009-) and Kawamura Arts and Cultural Art Foundation (2017-).


Director:Kenji Kubota
1-12-6-2 Komazawa Setagaya-ku Tokyo, 154-0012, Japan