Contributed a short text for the catalogue for 20th Domani, an exhibition showcasing the achievements of the Overseas Study Program hosted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japanese Government. https://domani-ten.com/english/
20th Domani: The Art of Tomorrow Exhibition Official Catalogue
Published by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, on January 13, 2018
2010 Researcher / Art (Art Management)
New York (Japan Society Gallery)
My life before participating in the overseas study program had stagnated. I had almost no opportunities to plan an exhibition how I wanted, and I was mostly doing work that I did not find interesting. On a personal note, my private life at that time had also hit a low. The overseas study program was, thus, a miraculous opportunity that I could seize as a way of reviving my life. As I was at that time a curator who specialized in manga culture, one of my research objectives was to learn the accumulated knowledge and attitudes at the host institution in relation to communicating the merits of Japanese culture to people from different backgrounds, and I was able to return home having achieved what I expected. However, the greatest shock of all was that the world seemed completely different outside Japan. Accordingly, my life then started moving forward at an astonishing speed.
In order to deepen this perspective, in 2013, I enrolled at the Royal College of Art in the UK to study curating in contemporary art. I also started working as an independent curator at around the same time. Since then I have been involved in exhibitions in
London, Toulouse, Madrid, and Shanghai. In Japan, too, I have been part of several important projects, including Spiral’s 30-year anniversary exhibition and KENPOKU ART 2016. I am currently working on several projects. The biggest among them is my role as a chief curator at Towada Art Center, where we are currently preparing four exhibitions. Due to differences between places in terms of language, domestic affairs, and audience, I face
challenges that sometimes seem quite hopeless, yet my work as a curator continues to offer me great fulfillment.
My interest in Japanese cultural imperialism originally led me research manga culture. While in the UK, this evolved into an interest in the postcolonial condition that now covers the world. Additionally, the nature of manga culture, which has both materiality and immateriality, overlaps with the media that emerged after modernism such as video and the internet, which led me to reflect on its influence on these media and our life in general. Looking carefully at the differences and similarities that exist in people who grow up in different societies, histories, languages, and cultures, my role is one of careful mediation. This is my curatorial practice and I believe that it contributes to making the world a better place.
(Translated by hanare x Social Kitchen Translation)