Artists Residency – Onomichi Japan

I look forward to participating in ‘Re- & De-‘, a research and residency project with colleagues and practitioners Dr Kyung Hwa Shon from the Royal College of Art, London and Yutaka Inagawa and Tamaki Ono from Onomichi City University, Japan. The project is supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and will begin in Japan from 16 July to 13 August 2022.

The project is divided into several phases beginning in Onomichi, located in Hiroshima prefecture Japan. Dr Kyung Hwa Shon and I will have studio accommodation at the university as a base to work with a range of communities. We will hold workshops and artists’ talks for local residents and school and university students hosted at Onomichi City University and Nakata Museum and participate in AIR Onomichi.

The project’s second phase will take place in October/November with Japanese artists and educators from the Department of Art and Design at Onomichi City University. Yutaka Inagawa and Tamaki Ono will be invited to participate in an online artist-in-residence programme hosted at the RCA, followed by a visit to London in December 2022 to continue the project. Artists’ talks and workshops will be provided for RCA students and local communities.

The collaborative project, ‘Re- & De-‘ is an interdisciplinary hybrid research project and model designed to build links nationally and internationally with artists and communities. The prefixes re-and de- are often seen as opposing or opposites. They convey a sense of negative or positive, for example, reconstruction and deconstruction. The project’s premise, ‘Re- and De-‘ is to question the placement and agency of both prefixes in the context of global notions of decentralised pedagogy and practice considering the post-pandemic future and its ramifications in person and online. Our project focuses on the dialectical process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction to rethink and recreate pedagogy and educational methods in art and design education and re-imagine art and design practice through de-centralisation. The discussions exploring the idea of de-centralisation have been developed through reflecting and examining decentralised co-learning platforms in the post-pandemic era and the uniqueness of a local creative community in Onomichi decentralised from Japanese mainstream art ecology. The collaborative project will set up a network of artistic practitioners, organisations and institutions between Japan and the UK as collaborators establish new research-based practice arts and humanities methodologies. Through a series of workshops and talks for students in both institutions, enabling students to engage and become aware of the potential of re-examining a decentralised platform, leading them to further collaborations as a result of sustainable relationships.

The work and research generated will form the bases of both a physical and online archive, publication and series of exhibitions across the length of the extended research project between 2022 – 2024.