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Supporting Japan-related programs in European Capitals of Culture

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Artist Support Project #TuneUpforECoC

In order to encourage artists who are continuing their activities despite the various restrictions imposed by the pandemic, and who are seeking to expand their activities in Europe in the near future, we EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee has launched a new artist support project #TuneUpforECoC. The hashtag “#Tune up for ECoC (short for European Capital of Culture)” expresses our hope that this support project will lead to their new collaboration and developments in the future European Capitals of Culture and many countries in Europe.

In deciding our support, we asked experts in each genre with whom we have a relationship to understand the purpose of the project and recommend artists.

As a first step, we have decided to support the following 9 artists!
We hope that their activities this year will be fulfilling as much as possible!



  • In the midst of the lingering effects of the pandemic, we will provide publicity and financial support to help maintain and sustain the activities of artists this year.
  • To further support artists who are currently based in Europe and those who are planning to expand their activities to Europe.



<Activities to be supported>

In addition to annual activities such as exhibitions, performances, publications, etc. during the Japanese fiscal year 2021 (1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022), preparatory programs such as workshops and research aimed at developing activities in European countries, including the upcoming European Capital of Culture, are also eligible.

<Artists to be supported>

Artists who meet the following criteria and have been recommended by experts in their respective genres

  • Japanese artists based in European countries.
  • Artists based in Japan who aim to expand their activities to Europe in the future (regardless of nationality)


■Supported Artists/Programs

Performing Arts | Media/Digital/Visual Art | Visual artist in Europe


Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!”: https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/568

Right: Photo by Kota Sugawara

●SICF Winners Performance

 11-12 Sep. 2021 / Spiral Hall (Tokyo) 

<From the artist>
A performance by the winner of the Grand Prix at SICF (Spiral Independent Creators Festival) 20. A new 30-minute performance piece. The work depicts the frustration and misplaced energy that arises when young people and the city meet. The work pursues the question of where our responsibility lies and what “everything” means to us in Tokyo after the Olympics. The cast includes four performers with dance training experience and four from PUMP management, an up-and-coming gender-free modeling agency in Tokyo, for a total of eight performers, the largest number to date. What is the definition of gender and what exactly is called “dance”? Who is the “dancer”? By delving into the essence of human nature with these questions, the framework drawn inorganically by others is melted by the heat of the lives of those who exist and live there purely. The work emphasizes and proves that reality and the world of the work are not separate but connected, as if the audience who witnesses what happens on stage also has a responsibility as a member of society.

●Dance New Air 2020->2021

 30 Oct. 2021 / Spiral Hall (Tokyo) 

<From the artist> 
I am in charge of curating artists in their twenties who will lead the new era. I will also perform a new 20-minute performance piece myself. The program will feature four groups that combine a highly pure style with the determination and ability to lead the next generation. The selections are Aoitsuki, Yae Yamamichi, SHIMIZU MASH, and Roma Hashimoto. By curating artists with various methods of expression, such as contemporary dance, street dance, classical performing arts, and contemporary art, I challenge the definition of dance to be ambiguous. With each work, the audience is treated to a fresh surprise: “This is dance, too! The theme of the curation is “Expression of Intention for the Future”: what do artists in their 20s see for the future? With their determination and the responsibility that comes with their expression, the four artists will provide a space and place to express their intentions in Tokyo in October, when the House of Representatives election will be held.


Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/577

<From the artist> 
In 2016, “ARIKA”, a co-production with TAMAKI ROY, premiered at the Aichi Prefectural Art Theater, and was scheduled to appear at the Berlin dance festival TANZTHEATER IM AUGUST in August 2021, as well as festivals in Italy and Taiwan, but due to the pandemic, it has been cancelled. However, I don’t want to give up on the possibility of performing overseas in the future and would like to rehearse with TAMAKI ROY regularly. We are also thinking of a new version of “ARIKA” to make the work itself more compact and easier to take abroad.
“ARIKA” is a project that began with a search for common ground between dance improvisation (mainly Forsythe’s improvisation technique) and rap freestyle. The choreography and tasks are meticulously structured, but each time the piece is performed again, it is updated. The emphasis is on live performance, with elements of improvisation incorporated throughout.

Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/580

©naoshi hatori

<From the artist> 
I am currently working on three works simultaneously for “Aichi Prefectural Art Theater x Dance Base Yokohama: Ryu Suzuki Triple Bill,” a collaboration between Dance Base Yokohama (DaBY), a dance house established in Yokohama in 2020, and Aichi Prefectural Art Theater. Three works will be presented: “never thought it would”, a solo work that takes over the collective dance project led by Suzuki until last year; “Proxy”, a work created in collaboration with the dance house Kogane 4422 in Aichi Prefecture, in which young dancers from within the Aichi area are selected through auditions; and “DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP”, which explores modes of communication in asymmetrical relationships. They are scheduled to perform at Aichi Prefectural Art Theater from December 3 to 5, 2021, and at Kanagawa Arts Theatre from December 10 to 12, 2021, as part of YPAM-Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting at KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre.



Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/583

Small press “Ordinary Whales” Vol.6, 2020

●Online publishing & open research “Ordinary Whales” 

Oct. 2021 – the end of March  2022

<From the artist> 
This is an online publishing and open research project to prepare and bring my booklet “Ordinary Whales” to Europe, which I have been publishing continuously since 2016. In the booklet “Ordinary Whales,” which has been published in six issues by 2020, I have conveyed the relationship between people and whales (whaling, whale hunting, or as objects of worship) that has been handed down in Japan and North America through my embroidery work. Starting in the fall of 2022, I plan to stay in Oslo, Norway, and conduct fieldwork on whales, as well as create and exhibit my work there. This year’s project aims to deliver the various whale stories I have collected so far, along with the images of embroidery and drawings inspired by those stories, to Europe in English, to lay the groundwork for research and discussion for next year’s activities and beyond. The relationship between people and whales has a deep and complex history. The whale, which crosses borders and boundaries set by people and appears in the waters of various lands, has sometimes been used as food, sometimes as a material for tools, and sometimes as an object of worship. Looking back in history, it is probably known that countries that now oppose whaling used to do so. I believe that in order to rethink and reweave the complicated image of whales, we need to connect the small stories that are unique to each region. Through my activities, I believe that whales can transcend various boundaries and lead people’s imagination to the horizon, to the depths of the sea.

I will translate into English the narratives of Japanese people who consider whales to be “messengers of God” or gods themselves, which I have collected over the past several years and currently in Tohoku and Hokkaido, Japan. They will be disseminated online (online publishing, social networking sites and personal websites, etc.) along with my own embroidery work. In the process of spreading the stories, we will exchange ideas with researchers and artists in Norway and other parts of Scandinavia, and conduct research to examine the internationally controversial image of whales as creatures. The translated stories will be published in my ongoing booklet “Ordinary Whales” in Japanese and English with embroidered illustrations in the following years. The booklet will be distributed to museums and libraries in Norway and throughout Scandinavia.

Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/582

●Solo exhibition “Support Dynamics”

22 Jun. – 18 Jul. 2021 / alternative space of SEIBU SHIBUYA (Tokyo)


11 Sep. – 23 Nov. 2021 / Kobe-city, Hyogo prefecture of Japan
Participation as a member of Pondparnasse (Yusuke ASAI, Natsuki TAKAYAMA, Erina MATSUI, Goro MURAYAMA) 

●Solo Exhibition “Paintings – Plurality” 

6 Nov. – 19 Dec. 2021 / THE POOL (Hiroshima-city, Hiroshima prefecture of Japan) 

● Pondparnasse (Yusuke ASAI, Natsuki TAKAYAMA, Erina MATSUI, Goro MURAYAMA) 

3-24 Dec. 2021 / TURNER GALLERY, kasukabe kan architect office , WACCA Ikebukuro, and other (Tokyo) 

●Collaborative Research with PhD.Tuukka Toivonen 

*Tuuka Toivonen: Director, MA Innovation Management, Central Saint Martins, UAL.
*under discussion

●Collaborative works with PhD. Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

*Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos: Professor of Law & Theory, University of Westminster, Director of The Westminster Law & Theory Lab
*under discussion

Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!”:  https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/572

photo: Tadasu Yamamoto

●Tokyo 2020 NIPPON Festival “ONE –Our New Episode- Presented by Japan Airlines”  Our Glorious Future ~KANAGAWA 2021~ 

Held without audience & recording: 14-15 Aug.2021 
Online Content Release: 3 Sep. 2021 – 
Exhibited work:  “Study of Air”
Exhibition (on-line): https://kanagawa.nippon-fes-one.tokyo2020.org/
Art work: http://mhrs.jp/study_of_air

OKUYAMATO MIND TRAIL 2021  Museum in your mind

9 Oct. – 29 Nov. 2021 / Yoshino area (Nara prefecture of Japan) 
Exhibited work: new installation 

●Special lecture / workshop “Future Ambient Project” 

30 Oct. 2021 / KINDAI University

●KYOTOSTEAM2022 International Art Competition Exhibition 

29 Jan. – 13 Feb. 2022 / Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

●Online exhibition and publication “the world filled with blanks” 

1-21 Mar. 2022



Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/554

untitled, 2021, lead, glass, paper, wooden box, steel stand, 61,5 x 81,5 x H79,5 cm.

●Exhibition “utakata”

24 Apr. – 12 Jun.  2021 / MIKIKO SATO GALLERY (Hamburg, Germany) 

●Exhibition “Werkschau 21 (Lange Nacht der Bilder in Lichtenberg)”

3-4 Sep. 2021 / Alte Gießerei Berlin e.V. (Berlin, Germany) 

●Exhibition “ARTVENT 2021”

4-5 Dec. 2021 / Galeriehaus Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany)


●Exhibition “echo”

2022 / Berlin, Germany

●Research: sound recording

2021~ / Berlin (Germany), Barbican Centre (London, UK) 


Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/410

Commemorative valve 2021 ABSTECHER ( Danziger str.22 ) Coins from Spain World Cups 1982 ( Copper, Nickel, Alminium,Magnesium ) 42×34 cm

●Group ehibition “I Rejseleve”

19-23 May 2021 / Copenhagen, Denmark
Exhibited work: ”Travel to double landscapes”

Group exhibition for the 160th Anniversary of German-Japanese Friendship “Abstecher”

30 Jul. – 15 Aug. 2021 / Danziger Straße (Hamburg, Germany) 
Exhibited work: “Commemorative valve”

●Group exhibition 

Dec. 2021 / Mikiko Sato Gallery (Hamburg, Germany) 

●”Jahresausstellung 2022″

10-13 Feb.  2022 / HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany) 
*Picture book will be published.


Portfolio in the “Meet Up ECoC!” : https://eu-japanfest.org/meet-up/artist/profile/553


● Group exhibition for the 160th Anniversary of German-Japanese Friendship “Abstecher”

30 Jul. – 15 Aug. 2021
Danziger Straße (Hamburg, Germany) 

●Exhibition “Meanwhile” 

26 Aug. – 2 Oct. 2021
Gallery cube+(Kiel, Hamburg, Germany) 

●Solo exhibition “Orange und Schwarz”

18-28 Nov. 2021 (Thu. – Sat.: 16:00-19:00 / Sun.: 14:00-17:00)
Haus der Alfterer Geschichte (Alfter, Germany) 

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