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"Call for Artists: Kamiyama Artist-in-Residence"
2002-10-14 until 2003-02-18
Executive Committee of Kamiyama Artist in Residence
, , JP Japan

The Kamiyama Artist-in-Residence (KAIR) Program was established in 1999 to invite and provide artists with the unique opportunity to concentrate on their work in a supportive, communal environment. The following is vital information pertaining to the KAIR program.


Creating "Kamiyama International Village of Humanities and Arts" is the main purpose behind the KAIR Project. The community is searching for an artist who looks to the future and at the same time can appreciate the beauty of the Japanese countryside. The purpose of this project is to invite someone who can work not only in the field of art but through dialogue and art work can help the local residents make new discoveries, have a new appreciation for art, and learn about culturally related ideas. The committee is looking for an artist whose personal contact with the "tangible and intangible Kamiyama Town" will be expressed in his/her art and noticeable in his/her conversations with residents. In other words, the desire is for an artist who can impact on the community.

Kamiyama, Tokushima

The Japanese Islands consist of four main Islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu ranging 2,400 km (1,500 miles) from north to south in an arc shape. Kamiyama is located near the center of Tokushima Prefecture (a prefecture is equivalent to a state), which is in the eastern part of Shikoku Island. The area of Kamiyama is about 174 km2 (68 square miles) and 83% of it is forest. It is about 25 km (16 miles) from east to west, about 10 km (6 miles) from north to south and is shaped like a parallelogram. Approximately 8,700 people live mainly in the area of an alluvial fan opening along the Akui River, which is a branch of the Yoshino River.

After driving 25 km (16 miles) to the southeast from Tokushima City, the seat of the prefectural office and the east gateway to Shikoku, (at Long. 13421'06"E., Lat. 3357'47"N., 120 m (400 feet) above sea level) you come to the Town Hall of Kamiyama. The industry of Kamiyama used to be primarily agriculture and forestry (Japanese Cedar, Japanese Cypress etc.) but with a decrease in population engaged in those occupations under the influence of the recent economic growth in Japan, people started to seek for other kinds of works, or try to divert rice-producing to fruit or mushroom-producing, or to horticulture, such as orchid raising. Salaried workers are mainly in the town factories, which produce electric parts, metal goods, textiles etc., or in the construction industry. Also, quite a few people commute to offices in Tokushima City.

Recently Kamiyama has drawn people's attention for its naturally beautiful surroundings and has been changing into a bedroom town for commuters to Tokushima City and also as holiday resort because of its hot spring and verdant scenery.

Kamiyama is not only the geographical center of the prefecture, but it is also rich in culture and tradition.

Its cultural resources can be traced far back to the Bronze age (B.C. 300).?People, who had been migrating to seek fertile land, then changed their lifestyle through agriculture and bronze were introduced from the Asian Continent and settled down in one place and cultivated the land. Those who started to live in groups and learned to work together cooperated to clear the wasteland one after another and built safe, productive settlements. One of those settlements is the original form of Kamiyama today. Our ancestors lived on millet (Awa) and were called a 'millet tribe' because of their staple food. This millet tribe is the oldest group of all in Tokushima Prefecture and 'Awa', the ancient name of Tokushima originally stems from their name, so Kamiyama is also the starting point of the whole culture of Tokushima.

Incidentally, Kamiyama means 'Gods Mountain' and Jinryo where the Town Hall is means 'the sphere of Gods', which is referred to in the oldest history book in existence in Japan, The Kojiki (712 AD). From the end of the Edo Period Kamiyama's locally staged puppet shows (joruri - a type of ballad-drama) became popular and are representative of that era.

At the time of the joruri puppet performances, the stage was adorned with fusuma (sliding screen) paintings. 1,459 panels of fusuma paintings from the Edo Period, through the Meji Era, and into the Taisho Period still exist in Kamiyama. Through interpretative color tone and stirring brush strokes the created fusuma panels stimulated overwhelming emotion in many of those who saw them.

Conditions for application

A. Artist currently active in the field of Art or Music.
B. Someone who can produce at least one piece of art in a short period of time.
C. The Artist in Residence must be able to work in a cooperative atmosphere with other artists in the program.
D. The artist must be able to participate in cultural exchange with Japanese artists outside the program and the public.
E. The applicant must be in good health.
F. The artist needs to be able to understand English. (Applies to Artists other than Japanese.)
G. The artist will be expected to adhere to a schedule for production of art and cultural exchanges.

Number of Invited Artists

Three artists (two artists from outside Japan, one from inside Japan). An artist other than Japanese could qualify for the in-country artist position.

Period of Invitation September 30th - November 10th 2003 (42 days) For more information go to the KAIR website. OR

The Kamiyama Artist-in-Residence Executive Committee
100 Honnoma, Jinryo, Kamiyama-cho
Myozai-gun, Tokushima Prefecture
Japan 771-3395

TEL: From outside Japan (81) 88-676-1522
Fax: (81) 88-676-1100

From inside Japan (088) 676-1522
Fax: (088) 676-1100

Email: kyoiku@town.kamiyama.tokushima.jp Or

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