What we do

Arakawa・Africa 8 : Open Studio

  • Organization : Arakawa Africa Executive Committee
  • Section : Artistic and creative activity in Tokyo
  • Type of Grant Program : Single
  • Art Forms : Visual Art / Media Art


Arakawa Africa Executive Committee is a group of companies, gallery and artist organizes the comprehensive African art event in Arakawa ward in Tokyo. Our annual art project “Arakawa Africa” takes place in summer and autumn explores potential capacities and resources found in Arakawa that is common with Africa. Every time our project contains various events such as exhibitions, lectures and networking event, and we provide the opportunity to audience to learn about present Africa’s aspect and think about our possible diversity society in future.

From the point of view both in global and local, Arakawa Africa aims at transmitting the charm of Arakawa and identifying those African elements that exist in Arakawa, through the lens of contemporary arts, imaging Arakawa to be adjacent to Africa, and enhancing cultural potential and capacities of each region, together.

[This year’s program]
This year Arakawa Africa 8 had a guest from Kenya for our first time, and held a variety of events consisting of networking event, workshop, lectures and open studio, etc.

1 Self Select is Yoshinari Nishio, a contemporary artist’s ongoing art project the participant walks on street and approaches people with their local language and offer them to exchange their clothes. This whole act would be recorded in video and photo at the same time. This year, as the newest Self Select, we had Nairobian David Omondi as participant and did this experiment all over in Tokyo. Omondi was an assistant to Nishio Yoshinari when he was sent to Nairobi as a grantee of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2011. We also showed this ongoing project “Self Select: Nairobian in Tokyo” at OGU MAG gallery as our open studio.

2 Lesson on Arakawa and Africa
(1) Nairobi Fitness : talk event and health exercise held by David Omondi(fitness instructor)
(2) Nishio Yoshinari’s Critical Report on the Pavilion of Kenya at Venice Biennale 2017
(3) Kosuke Shiiba’s Rwanda Cuisine Workshop
(4) Debate Night with Africans

3 Arakawa Africa Editing Room
We opened Arakawa Africa Executive Committee’s studio to the public on our archive project.

1 Arakawa Africa Residence
“Self Select : Nairobian in Tokyo”
November 13, 2017(Mon) – November 19, 2017(Sun)

2 Lesson on Arakawa and Africa
November 18, 2017(Sat), November 19, 2017(Sun)

3 Arakawa Africa Editing Room
November 13, 2017(Mon) – November 19, 2017(Sun)


【Yoshinari Nishio】
NISHIO was born in Nara Prefecture, Japan, in 1982. He lives and works in Nara. After obtaining a Ph. D. in Fine Arts from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2011, Nishio stayed in Nairobi, Kenya for two years as a grantee of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. He currently works as a Junior Associate Professor at Nara Prefectural University. His works have consistently referred to relationships between fashion and communication, as he has developed art projects with the cooperation of citizens and students around the world. Based on his unique long-term study of clothing through the lens of a contemporary artist, he set up his own fashion label FORM ON WORDS. He has been active in planning and organizing art projects that link Africa and Japan.


Hideko saito
ArakawaAfrica Executive Committee
OGU MAG, 4-24-7 Higashiogu, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo 116-0012


OGU MAG Gallery (Arakawa City, Tokyo)