© January 2002
International Exchange by means of art as a simple and effective way of promoting international relations
the local Coordinator for International
Relations in Moriya machi, I have conducted
some interviews with the present artists in
residence within the ARCUS project who live
and work in Moriya. The „artist - in -
residence“ - programme is the core of the
project, which enables Japanese and foreign
young artists to live and work from September
to February in Moriya machi in
have been asked to send some interviews with
the local artists in residence, coming from
work of a CIR (Coordinator for International
Relations) is to promote the
If this latter exchange takes place in an international environment as it is the case in the ARCUS Project in Moriya, the benefits will be ample.
Real exchange always requires going to the depths of the essence of the country one wants to exchange with. This requires knowing its people. The people can only be known, if one can view in their hearts, and to do this, one ultimately has to open one’s own. But this is exactly, what the artist does: opening up his own heart, and manifest its inner impressions in the outside world.
Thus, the world comes to know it, and the world can react. If the artist manages to make the reaction coming from the viewer’s inner core, real exchange will be born. If this happens between the people of different nations, the entire background of the different nations will be a part of this process. Since art usually appeals to the creative faculties of man, it can achieve much more than could be achieved, if international exchange just concentrated on the exchange of “ordinary” knowledge and information.
From the CIR’s point of view, art is a valuable means of reaching those he cannot reach by other means, and of appealing to those he can reach in a much deeper way. For the artist, International Exchange can provide a framework, where the influences he is taking in and giving out will multiply the comprehensiveness of his work.
Therefore ultimately, both do have the same aims.
This can be seen by the projects of the current ARCUS artists. For example, Cheng san is working on the „rose exchange project“. In this project, he uses a universally known flower as an “interface” to connect with people of different nations and to show them that there are similarities between them.
Considering, that the rose is an old symbol for the inner heart in the West, it really can reach the core.
san is explicitly researching the genetics,
family tradition and identity both physical
and cultural, handed down from various
generations, and the cultural relationship
This, in my eyes, could be called an “international multidimensional exchange”.
Pipitkul san is making sculptures by used clothes and food received from Japanese people and thus making them rethink what they consume and what they practically use in everyday life.
In the current context, this is of importance because to become conscious of one’s own habits is the first step in becoming conscious of oneself - and in becoming conscious of oneself, one will gain a basis for understanding others better as well, thus making real exchange possible.
Sawanobori san’s medium is performance in which in a very intense process that can take those visiting it into her own sphere and thus directly impart the passion she feels she aims at making people aware of their unconsciousness and bringing encounter and developing communications in their ordinary lives. If you consider what has been said as to the work of Pipitkul san, you will see that Sawanobori san’s work is providing an important basis for exchange. Without becoming conscious of the contence of the unconscious, one never will know one’s own personality. If this is not known, it will continue to be an obstacle to any true relationship and, ultimately, to peace.
I have not yet interviewed Sheehan san, who is doing mostly very small (but also very large) painting, and Floc’h san, who is working with installations, so just view there works yourselves (and those of the others as well, please) and try to find out what it could mean for international exchange and… for you. It is ultimately the individual, who contributes to all that, and it is the centre in which the outer world begins and ends.
ARCUS PROJECT 2001 Press Release.
ARCUS PROJECT 2000 Catalogue (2001 Catalogue yet to be published).
ARCUS STUDIO 2418 Itatoi,
Moriya, Ibaraki 302 – 0101, Tel. and Fax
ARCUS Project http://www.arcus-project.com.
© 2001 by André Marhaun