Getting My Voice Back

With this internship in Japan, I came with the focus of working on the marketing side to my double major at Illinois Wesleyan University.

However, an unexpected opportunity opened up for me during my time here at the art residency. One of the performance artists, Aurora Lagattuta, asked me to collaborate with her in a contemporary dance piece for the exhibition. I accompanied her, singing the Rachmaninoff Vocalize blind folded while she danced — an experience I will be forever grateful for & will never forget.
So for my last exhibition in Onishi, I was not just an observer, but an artist myself. The piece we did was durational with a set done 3 times, each slightly different and titled Itako: The Human Body Time Machine Archive Performance. 
If you are curious about the title, it comes from the Japanese word Itako who are blind shaman women who train to become spiritual mediums in Japan.

Through a contemporary format we interpreted what it was like to be an itako. And in this piece, I was able to serve as more than accompaniment. Together we explored the overall concept of time; the influence of water with sound; the relationship between sight (or lack there of) and sound; and sound and movement. Within each set, I was able to build up the vocalize from humming to whistling and half voice and finish with full voice.

For me, this moment where I got to experience the raw exposure yet safety of singing with no view of the audience has changed my perspective on performance and given me a new found confidence.

The feedback I received from the community was so heartwarming and it reminded me of why I choose to sing and share my voice.

This past year I had run into the habit of shying away from many performance opportunities. To be able to perform for a community that was so appreciative and touched by what I can do was incredible and so reassuring.

Much needed.

I am so grateful for the IWU Asia Freeman Foundation for giving me this amazing opportunity to intern across the world for an organization that catered to both my interests and talents.

Thank you to the amazing, Sarah Dale, who sent me the accompanist recording of herself on the piano when I asked her for this favor. You are a gem!

Thank you Aurora Lagattuta for giving me a chance.

Thank you Kjell Hahn for such a great internship and exhibition experience.

6 Things Interning Abroad Taught Me

1.It’s okay to not know everything. Β 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I can’t stress how important this is. Ask questions about everything; about work, about the culture, about the language, about etiquette, etc.

You can never succeed if you don’t try. You can never know if you don’t ask. No question is a bad question.

As an intern you are not expected to be perfect, but you are expected to learn and work hard. The same is associated with being a foreigner. When you are not native to the country you are not expected to know everything so asking a stranger for help is perfectly okay.

2. Make an effort to learn the language.

The more you attempt to fit in to the culture, the more you try to expand your vocabulary, the more you utilize the words you do know with confidence, the more respect you are treated with.

Effort is your ticket to acceptance.

People notice that you’re trying and appreciate it. I cannot count the amount of times I got a lot of smiles, compliments and questions on if I knew how to speak Japanese whenever I used my limited vocab. Each time I would say just a little bit, but they would still remain happy with my effort.

3. Say yes to after office events

The way to really make the most of your internship abroad is by getting to know your colleagues outside of the work place. Get to know each other, learn about their life story, talk about more than just the “Work To Do List”.

Creating a more personal relationship to the people you work with changes the environment of the internship experience and will make you feel more at home and accepted in this foreign country you’re in.

4. Have an open mind

Said to every traveler.

You are not interning in a foreign country for you to not try new things and constantly Β wallow in the fact that you miss this & that about home.

Of course you will miss certain things from home, that’s a given. But you should focus on the amazing things you get to try that are not at home.

Hopefully you are interning abroad because you want to experience more than what home offers. Hold on to this excitement and desire to try new things until the end!

5. Break routine – explore

When your work schedule falls into the groove of 9-5 it’s easy to want to go back to where ‘home’ is during your internship and just relax. But, don’t forget you are in this foreign country for only a certain amount of time.

Don’t only explore the area during the honeymoon phase and keep to what you know. Keeping to what’s familiar is easy.

Try to eat at different restaurants and try new food as much as possible. Take a bike ride up a mountain you haven’t explored before. Swim in a different part of the river. Keep biking past that point you know.

And if you can, explore more than just the city you’re stationed in. Create an itinerary, just wing it and travel around this new country you’re in. You’ll never repeat what’s happening here and now.

6. Experience doesn’t stop once you reach home

What you have learned in this new country will stay with you for a lifetime. There’s no doubt that it will leave an impact on your career — whether from the connections and relationships established or from the knowledge you gained.

But a key factor to allowing this experience to linger and keep an impact on your life is by maintaining the relationships you made and keeping in touch with people.

I know that for myself, I wish to go back an visit Japan again one day.

Until next time πŸ™‚

またね

My Solo Trip to Kyoto

Recently, I journeyed solo to Kyoto, the most historically and culturally rich city in all of Japan. Around almost every corner you can find a shrine, a temple, great food, a geisha… so for these reasons I found it imperative to visit before I left Japan. To not go would be the equivalent of going to Greece and not seeing the Acropolis!

Here's a little taste of my experience there:

Day 1:

Taking the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto was wicked cool. In just 2 short hours I made it there in high speed with great views. Kinda felt like time traveling….

As soon as I arrived at Kyoto station I put my backpack in a locker and went straight away to the bamboo grove in Arashiyama, in order to not waste any time on my limited 4 day trip.

The bamboo grove was magical for me who had not experienced so much bamboo in my life before. But, it is really just a grove and by no means a forest. So if you've been lucky enough to experience "a real bamboo forest" this site is a pass.

After the grove, I made my way to Tenryuji temple gardens. (Picture below)

Following that, the next important destination in that area I went to was the Monkey Park.

From the bamboo grove, it was a 13 minute walk down the street past very touristy shops, lots of matcha and bamboo flavored ice cream and over the bridge to the park.

From the park, it was a 20 minute hike up the monkey mountain to see a great view of all of Kyoto and to get to experience essentially what it's like being inside the monkey house at a zoo, but better. The animals just roam around everywhere! They walk past you casually, maybe even sit like 1 foot away. The best part was going in the feeding house.

Video of a greedy little guy:

Next stop coffee break at % Arabica Cafe. If you know me, you know I love lattes and my latte art. Supposedly, there is a latte artist at this cafe who won a latte art competition.  It was too crowded for me to ask for a special design, but I'm happy with the latte regardless. Great flavor.

To end the long day of traveling (5 hours in total) and site seeing, I got my backpack and went to check in at my hostel, The Khaosan Kyoto Theater near the Gion area of Kyoto. Great location, great staff, bar environment to make friends, everything you want in a hostel as a solo traveler.

And friends I did make.

In fact, because of these new people I was able to try the winner of best gyoza in Japan & I love my gyoza!

Day 2:

Nara

About an hour trip by train, I went to Nara to see the famous bowing deer and the Todaiji Temple, home to the Big Buddha statue that almost bankrupted Japan once upon a time.

For 150 yen I bought snacks for the deer, getting to witness their polite behavior for the savory treats.

What they don't tell you is that once you feed them once, they become slightly less polite and keep nodding their heads because they want you to feed them the whole pack of food. The key is to not panic, say no in Japanese and walk calmly away from the greedy ones.

I found that the deer just outside of the Todaiji Temple were way more polite and less pushy towards food. So maybe skip the deer park and just go near the temple if you're planning to make a trip.

Overall, the deer were incredible to see. I even got to take a selfie with one of them.

Let me tell you about Todaiji temple: massive, beautiful, jaw dropping. Walking through the gates to the temple is dreamlike and totally worth the trip.

The Big Buddha also lives up to the title of "big"

When all was said and done, I finished off my day with a nice bowl of Ippudo Ramen, Ranked as one of the best in all of Japan.

Day 3:

Temple Hopping around Kyoto

I started off this day with a steep goal of wanting to see around 4 temples and shrines in the same day. I knocked off half of this goal.

First on my list was the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, said to have over 10,000 tori gates up the mountain. The tori gates are donated by companies during times of prosperity, giving thanks to their good fortune. On each tori is the company's name, a really cool chunk of history given that this shrine is 1300 years old.

I took the long way up at around 11am at a temperature of 94 degrees with 80% humidity. You could imagine that it took me about an hour & half because of heat exhaustion and that by the summit I looked like I had jumped into a shower with all of my sweating.

Pro tip: most people give up and don't go up the whole mountain. Don't waste your time trying to get that perfect selfie at the bottom with the rest of the tourists. The perfect picture awaits you if you put in the time to get to the top!

Pictures don't do this place justice and it ranks as my favorite historical site in Kyoto.

Next, I hopped on the subway to visit Kiyomizu Dera Temple with the big orange pagodas that stand near its entrance. Unfortunately, the actual temple is covered with scaffolding due to renovations so it wasn't quite worth the entrance fee. Regardless, the pagodas, garden and surrounding tourist area is very attractive and worth a see.

Something you may notice is a whole bunch of people dressed in kimonos touring the area. Almost around every corner in that area are shops that rent kimonos for the day. Some also offer the hair style.

Day 4:

Kinkakuji Temple (the golden pavilion) and Nishiki Market

On my last day in Kyoto I decided to visit the famous golden pavilion. You can't go inside the actual temple, but it is beautiful to see nonetheless.

It was originally a villa to Shogun Yoshimitsu and it was his wish that once he died, the structure would be converted into a Zen temple.

After this great view, picture taken by a stranger and walk of the gardens I took the bus back near my hostel to stroll down Nishiki Market Street before I caught the subway to Kyoto station to take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo.

Similar to Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, this is where you go for a plethora of street food.

 

Summary:

I got to explore a lot of things about myself as a solo traveler during this excursion. There's a lot of freedom to do what you want, see what you want and stay as long as you find necessary.

In 4 days I think I captured all the must see's Kyoto had to offer. For longer trips I'd suggest seeing more of the off the beaten path temples. There are close to 2000 temples in all. Best of luck!

Here is a great website I used for my itinerary planning:

http://www.insidekyoto.com

 

 

 

 

Onishi Summer Music Festival

This past weekend (July 15th & 16th) I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to not just experience but participate in an authentic Japanese summer festival. Like I promised in my “The Art of Taiko” blog post, I have proof that I, in fact, became an amateur taiko master in 2 weeks time. 

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This is just a video from the end of Day 1 of the festival. Pretty nuts.

And the next day they made sure to emphasize that “yesterday doesn’t really count, today’s the real festival so we need to work even harder.”

So now that I have given you this perspective, let me further elaborate about the Onishi Summer Music Festival…

The festival is a 2 day, all day event.

From 2pm to 10pm each neighborhood pulls around their own shrine – working together through the 90 degree heat and 80 percent humidity – to visit each other’s shrine and share their own version of the drum music.

At each new neighborhood we pulled the shrine to, we paid our respects to that neighborhood’s shrine and were then offered some refreshments.

Here’s a photo of the 250 year old uniform I got to wear as I pulled the shrine for our own Aio-Cho team.


From little kids to the elderly, everyone of all ages grabbed on to the rope and chanted  as well pulled our best!​​

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At the end of the “Official” festival day there was a competition between each neighborhood’s Shrine where the best drummers would show off their speed, accuracy and overall performance (flow and grace of the the sticks is essential and  your arms need to move like moving water).

It was incredible to be a part of!

Of course I may be biased, but I think Aio-Cho was the best Shrine. 

πŸ™‚

At the closing festival party on Monday night, we were told that we’re all welcome to come back to Onishi and play at the music festival anytime in the future – we are taiko family now.

Maybe I’ll take them up on that offer.

Thank you Aio-Cho for letting me a part of your family. This was an experience I’ll never forget.

Life as a Shiro Oni Intern

I have officially been in Japan one whole month and it feels like I only arrived yesterday. 

Time flies & here’s why:

(A debriefing of a day in the life of a Shiro Oni intern)

Every morning I wake up, enjoy a wonderful 7/11 iced latte or some of Yoji’s delicious coffee and head to the office at 9am.

Between the hours of 9am and noon the four of us – Kjell, Yoji, Chase and I – work out the staff & studio schedule, deciding what our focus for the day is. Within this meeting time, we are constantly working towards different ways to improve the residency. 

I’ve gotten the opportunity to help edit/improve the website; I’ve learned to use different programs like photoshop, illustrator, and premiere; I’ve helped document the artists in their studios & workshops (my photography skills have improved immensely… yay!); I help run the new Instagram page and current Facebook and twitter page; I help edit the mailchimp newsletter; and on top of that, Chase and I are collaborating on the first ever video about the residency program for the website. Fingers crossed we can create something up to par!

But, the wonderful thing about this place is that everyone is so talented and knows so much AND is willing to share what they know. So not only do I learn from my colleagues but from participants in the program. It’s a really neat collaboration environment.

So depending on the day’s agenda, most of these things are mainly worked on during the first half of the day.

Then, between 1pm and 5pm we have artist support hours where we help any artist who needs assistance. Along with that, many of our workshops are also scheduled during the afternoon hours. So far we’ve had Japanese lessons, a tea ceremony workshop, a private taiko lesson, and the zen meditation workshop. Tomorrow I get to visit a tofu factory for our next workshop.

So many things that make time just blur together!

At night from about 8:00pm-10:00pm I get to attend Aio-Cho practice (Onishi’s community taiko team). 

And yes, I am almost an amateur taiko master. T-4 days until the festival!

I’ll be sure to post a video of me drumming while on the shrine. 

πŸ™‚

One month down, one to go!

Hope you got a good feel of my day to day. Thanks for reading!

(Here’s the bento box themed flyer photo for the next exhibition… I work with some pretty cool people)

Zen

To reach the point of feeling nothing and emptiness. To practice zen meditation is to experience letting go of the self.

The other day I had the opportunity to participate in the Zen Meditation Workshop Shiro Oni Studio offers. A 10 minute bike ride away, we rode up the mountain to the Kongoji Temple in Onishi. There, we met a priest who was willing to explain the concept of zen meditation to us curious gaijin (foreigners).

This temple specifically meditates while staring at the moon. The theory behind this practice is that looking at moon is easier to concentrate on emptiness and lose thought. The round of white shape of the moon helps calm down the mind and quiet it of the constant buzzing.

Here are a couple key things to know in order to zen meditate:

Breathing is very important inhale, exhale, count to ten for each action.

Of the two, exhaling is more important. It is the function that quiets the body and mind. When we are afraid we are breathing in fast. Slow exhalation of ten seconds slows the thought process and panic.

Use your tummy, not your lungs for breath. (As a singer this concept puzzles me, but I assume it means deep and low breath)

Be aware to take time little by little.

Sit in lotus or half lotus position on your cushion. But most importantly, sit in a way you are most comfortable.

For posture, try to β€œpush the sky” with the top of your head. Have your back straight and pull in your chin. Balance is the key concept with this part.

Eyes should be half opened, concentrating on the moon image. This is to avoid drowsiness during meditation.

Hands should be right near the belly button right over left with thumbs barely touching.

Once you are in this position meditation time endures 20 minutes.


In summary

For zen meditation, the most important concept is of the here and now. If we keep looking towards the future we cannot have peace of mind.

Thank you to the priest of Kongoji Temple for so graciously inviting our studio in to learn from him; a very rare opportunity for foreigners in Japan to get.

If you have more questions about zen meditation, this website is very helpful:

http://www.zen-buddhism.net

 

 

The Art of Taiko

A key highlight to group 3’s residency at Shiro Oni Studio is the Onishi Summer Music Festival. During this festival thousands of people from all over come to visit and see the seriously intense taiko drumming that goes on. What is normally small quiet town is flooded with people.

From the start of July each neighborhood -people of all ages – practices drumming every night from around 6:30pm until 10pm.

It is serious business.

So for the past 4 days I have been trying hard to become a drum master and skillfully play what the people of Onishi have been playing since they were toddlers.

It’s a pretty steep goal. But luckily one of the workshops the residency provides is a private lesson with the drum teacher to break down the complex rhythm. 

Slowly I’m getting the hang of it.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook you might have seen me tagged in one of our first practices.

I promise I’ve improved since then!

The goal is to be able to have a couple seconds of playing time on the shrine by the festival date, July 15th & 16th.

Will I get become Christina, Drum Master? 

Stay tuned to my blog to find out πŸ™‚

My time at an Onsen

Japanese business culture is devoted to hard work and long hours. As a result, relaxation time is something to be considered essential.

This is where the onsen comes into play.

Onsens are natural hot mineral baths heated by volcanic activity in Japan. They are thought to be very therapeutic with natural restorative properties.

So at the end of a long day or to spend your weekend the right way, many people come to these public bath houses to unwind.

However most gaijin (foreigners) are not too keen at the idea of communal bathing. But to the Japanese, it’s a traditional part of their culture.

Here are some tips I learned from my first experience at an onsen:

1. Birthdaysuits only

Yes, you are completely naked in the bathing area and it’s completely okay. Once you figure out that no person has any sort of self consciousness or judgement towards another, the feeling is complete liberation.

2. Shower before you bathe

Before the hot spring you’ll walk through a row of shower cubbies with little stools to sit and wash yourself. Shampoo, conditioner and body wash is provided and smells wonderful so take advantage of the accommodation. 

Also, you are expected to sit down while you wash. It’s considered bad manners to stand and you may accidentally splash the person next to you.

Most importantly, washing yourself in the bath is considered very gross so don’t skip this step or you may get some odd glances.

3. Leave your big towel in the lockerroom 

The Japanese leave their clothes and big towel in the lockeroom area. What you can bring (if you want) is a small wash cloth for shower purposes and to cover your private area on the walk to the bath. But it’s by no means required. 

If you do bring one, avoid getting it wet in the bath. You might notice people carrying the cloth on their heads. It’s pretty common.

4. Don’t dunk your head in the water

Keep your hair up and your face out of the water. Although the bath should be very clean due to the cleanly practice everyone partakes in, you can risk infection the hot water may carry.

5. No tattoos

Even though today’s modern culture includes a lot of tattoo art, people with tattoos are not allowed at onsens because of the association of tattoos with gang/mafia affiliation.

That’s the rule. Sorry tattoo’d friends!

So…

More than just the hotspring, onsen’s may offer different areas to experience such as a nap room, a reading room with a collection of manga and free coffee, as well as a cafe/restaurant and spa features like massages and facials (extra charge).

I chose to spend my time in the nap room and then moved to the reading room checking out the different content and typing out this blog because of my strong desire to share my experience πŸ˜€

Here’s a picture of the very inviting pamphlet:

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Tokyo In 5 Days

Because of last week’s long days and hard work, we were rewarded with some time off in between the arrival of the next artist group.

What better place to spend it than Tokyo?

A living, breathing city that is so wonderful, clean, and fascinating. But the first thing that you should know about Tokyo is that it’s impossible to see it all.

I know this notion can be sad for some… “But, I want to be able to check off ALL of the exciting things on my travel itinerary!!”

So do I.

But you see, the fact that you can’t conquer everything on your Tokyo bucket list is just an invitation to visit again – something I definitely intend on doing.

Anyways, here is a summary of how I spent 5 amazing days in Tokyo…

First things first, a must buy is the Suica train card, NOT passmo. Suica can be used on any JR lines AND the underground subway lines. Passmo cannot work on JR lines so you are restricted in how you can travel to each district of Tokyo. So this was a life saver for getting around. Without it, you have to figure out the exact fare to the destination you’re going and figure out how to use the ticket machines each time, which isn’t as efficient.

Second thing, google maps is the most helpful, amazing app on the planet!! You can find different train lines, times and the platform number to go to the place you need and while you are on the train there is a feature that let’s you track all of the stops, assuring you that you’ll get to the right place. Traveling around the city never seemed to easy!

So…

DAY 1- Taito, Akihabara and Shinjuku

After we arrived in Tokyo we took the Hibia line to Iriya Station, a 7 minute walk away from THE BEST Hostel Bedgasm. Now I don’t know about you, but I learned the best way to travel alone is to stay at a hostel. There, you can make friends, potentially intrude on each other’s plans and sight see together. I met some wonderful people this way and created some great memories. My stay in Tokyo would not have been nearly as amazing if I didn’t choose to stay at bedgasm. Not to mention the staff was soooooo helpful, kind and knowledgeable. It was just perfect, the atmosphere, everything.

After check in, we hung out at Iriya Plus Cafe where I had the cutest and tastiest latte (Thank you Naomi). This cafe in the area was owned by our dear friend and colleague Yoji’s wife.

Looking for a cool and relaxing hipster cafe? This is the place.

Next stop? Akihabara or “Electric City”


This area is notorious for video gaming and some odd cafe’s so we chose to walk around a 5 story SEGA then go to MaidDreamin, a maid cafe. (A maid cafe is when the waitresses dress up in maid costumes and make you chant cute little phrases with them when they serve your food. You can choose a set that includes a polaroid picture with a some animal ears with your server and a dessert as your meal. It was quite an experience…lol)


Last stop to end day 1?

Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant – an incredible show that never seemed to end and get better and better. Worth. Every. Penny.


DAY 2- Tsukiji, Ginza and Asakusa

The fish market is a MUST in Tokyo and you’ll eat the best sushi of your life. Unforgettable.


Best time to get there? Morning for breakfast. We took the 8am subway where we were literally packed like sardines…no exaggeration.

Thankfully Yoji was an excellent tour guide. What would we have done without him???

We walked the outer streets of the market, ate some sushi breakfast then at 10am they allowed tourists to enter the tuna auction area (the real fish market).

After that we saw a traditional Kabuki theater and walked around the famous Ginza area (The Michigan avenue of Tokyo).

To to top the day off? What’s a better way to end the evening than to see the famous Senso-Ji Temple all lit up and beautiful.


DAY 3- Chayuda and Shibuya

This day I did some independent sight seeing, meeting up with Chase after my list was checked off.

I started off with the famous Tokyo SkyTree going up to the 350th floor, taking selfies, taking pictures of my feet on the glass floor and finally consenting to the photo purchase of the professional shot I got done while up there. Mega touristy but also an incredible view.


After that I visited the Times Square of Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing. It was crazy during rush hour but it was so cool to see an indication of how crowded Tokyo is. The best view of it was from the Starbucks on the second floor. Not to mention, it’s pretty nice to watch while sipping on a matcha frappuchino.​

​After exploring the craziness of Shibuya and all the fun things it has to offer, I settled done for a bit at the moCHA cat cafe. It was purrrfect.


DAY 4- Chayuda and Harajuku

To learn more about the history of this city I was starting to fall in love with, I joined a free tour of the imperial palace with some friends from the hostel. All in all, it was great learning and also 3 hours of my day gone. Would I do it again? No, but I’m glad I did it.

To finish off the day, I went to the heart of all fashion and modern art, Harajuku. There, we walked the famous Takashita street, and ate at the Kawaii Monster Cafe and found the alice on Wednesday store for some alice in wonderland goods.


Can’t forget about the famous harajuku street crepes. The selection is overwhelming and basically anything you can imagine can be put into a crepe. Soooo good.


DAY 5- Taito, Akiba and Ikebukuro

The last and final day was spent seeing any unseen things on the bucket list (among the top ten, because like I said, you can’t check off everything on the list.)

The day began with sushi for breakfast, this time at a really good local restaurant near our hostel where you shout your order at the chef.


“Sumimasen. Salmon.”

“Hai”

“Arigatoo gozaimasu”

After that we took the subway line to Akiba where we saw the famous real life Mario Kart driving (sans banana peels on the road, but costumes? Yes.) and later went to yet another animal cafe.

This one was an owl cafe where I got to pet some really cute owls and drink my iced coffee that came out of a vending machine.


The last stop before home was Ikebukuro where we visited the famous Kit Kat Chocolatory and I purchased some matcha, green tea and pomegranite flavored kit kats.

*Disclaimer* The Chocolatory isn’t as impressive as you expect it to be compared to most things in Tokyo. It’s basically just a fancy chocolate counter. That being said, I did get to purchase those interesting flavors so it was still worth it to go.

FINAL WORDS-

Now that you’ve read my brief outline (or as condensed as I could make it…SORRY)  of my 5 day stay in Tokyo, I think you may have got a feel for all of the crazy, wonderful things it has to offer and why I must visit again.

For now, I leave to go back to the art residency to greet the new group of artists.

See you later Tokyo πŸ™‚

 

Shiro Oni Studio

Where to begin? 

This is my beloved new place of work for the next 7 weeks and here is why I love it…

Kjell Hahn (my boss) has created something really beautiful here. 

The residency program and its integration of the Onishi community provides a unique experience for the artists and staff alike. The last group of artists we worked with were unanimous in saying that Shiro Oni is special. And although I’ve only had a one week glimpse of this place, I completely agree.

So what is an art residency?

For those of you who don’t know, an artist residency is a 6-7 week program where an artist works on their craft and participates in different workshops. The end goal is to put on an exhibition highlighting what the artists have worked on and typically all the art work shows influences from their stay.

Before they leave, Kjell asks that they donate a piece of work behind to contribute to the growing gallery he has at the studio. 

This past week my internship partner (Chase) and I got to see the end of Group 2’s 6 week journey in Onishi. We got to help out with the layout of the exhibition, creating the floor plan map, setting out posters, photographing different moments throughout the exhibition process and just helping the artists with any of their finishing touches. It was a busy week but it was really cool to see it all come together.

It was also really incredible to witness the group’s chemistry and relationship with the town at the end point of the residency. A good number of the community and some people from out of town came for a great showing and for the artist talks later in the afternoon. 

At the end of the big day there was a party at the Kinuya building, celebrating a wonderful exhibition and residency. It was a bittersweet end to their stay, many goodbyes and thank you’s. It was hard even for me being here for one week, to say goodbye to all of the interesting people I met from Denmark, Sweden, Britain, Australia, Germany, Florida, all over the world.

But, being able to start our internship with the exhibition gave us great insight towards what we are working towards with the next group. We now had an idea for the end goal which gave us so many more ideas to help expand and improve the program — an exciting opportunity — especially for a nerd like me who loves brainstorming ideas and planning things.

Cheers to the next 7 weeks πŸ™‚

Here are some photos I took of the exhibition: