“CONNECT⇄ ” is a project intended to offer opportunities for people with diverse sensibilities and characteristics, regardless of whether or not they have disabilities, to easily access art, culture, and history, and for participants to connect and mutually exchange insights.
Okazaki is a cultural zone of Kyoto home to museums, a theater, a library, a zoo and more. With these unique facilities loosely interconnected, there will be a number of programs in which anyone can participate online and/or offline, including sound works on the theme of the Okazaki district streaming videos, exhibitions of works by people with disabilities, and work shops programs incorporating physical sensation.
Alone or with others, in person or from home. Today, with the significance of “connecting” being explored in unprecedented ways, it is an ideal time for us to come together and consider new possibilities for openness at cultural facilities and for shaping a society of harmonious coexistence.
In recent years, there has been systemic progress in Japan with passage of laws such as the Promotion of Cultural and Artistic Activities for People with Disabilities Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in Fiscal 2020, and a nationwide increase in activities promoting participation in and enjoyment of the arts and culture without barriers due to disability. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has organized four editions of the exhibition Kokokara: First Steps on Disability, Expression and Co-existence, launched in 2016 and held at The National Art Center, Tokyo, with the aim of deepening public interest in symbiosis and cultural diversity, and this year the Agency expands the project to Kyoto. With the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto serving as a hub, prefectural and municipal museums, a theater, a library and more in Kyoto’s Okazaki district will join in launching “CONNECT⇄ .” A range of programs, such as exhibitions and participatory events, is planned to coincide with The Week for Persons with Disabilities (December 3-9).
The concept of the project is “Openness.” It will present arts by people with disabilities and activities enabling people to enjoy art, culture, and history together, regardless of presence or absence of disabilities, with the three perspectives of “art,” “body,” and “design.” Through open-ended connections among various cultural facilities located in the Okazaki district, Kyoto’s cultural hot spot, the goal is for people from all walks of life to come together to explore specific measures for realizing a symbiotic society, identify shared challenges, and further expand this initiative.
With the recent spread of COVID-19, there is a more urgent need than ever to explore new possibilities for access to cultural facilities and interpersonal relationships through culture and the arts. This project was initially intended to include workshops for appreciating art through all five senses, such as enjoying works by touching them, and special programs for children from special-education schools. However, it is unfortunately necessary to refrain from implementing several programs so as to avoid physical contact and close proximity amid the COVID-19 crisis. Under these circumstances, during this project, programs at each facility will be carried out using three approaches: “Online (connected even if at a distance),” “Offline (connected at the same location),” and “Connected (both online and offline).” We sincerely hope that the fiscal 2020 edition of “CONNECT⇄ ” will serve as a first step in the examination and exploration, by people with disabilities, staff of cultural institutions, and artists, of the significance of, and strategies for, “connecting” people to other people and to culture and the arts.
The Agency for Cultural Affairs
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Dates：Thu., December 3 – Sun., December 20, 2020
Venues：Multiple cultural facilities in Okazaki Park, Kyoto
Admission fee：Free (application in advance is required for some programs)
Sponsors：The Agency for Cultural Affairs; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
Co-sponsor：The Kyoto Shimbun
Supporters：Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto City, Kyoto Okazaki Miryoku-zukuri Iinkai, KBS Kyoto, FM Kyoto
Special Cooperating Partner：NHK Kyoto
Cooperating Partners：Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, Kyoto City Zoo, Kyoto Prefectural Library, ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Miyako Messe, Kyoto City International Foundation, Japan Design Museum, Higashiyama Artists Placement Service (Social Work / Art Conference), Fujitsu Limited, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media]
We will offer a variety of programs that anyone can enjoy, including exhibitions, participatory workshops, and streaming videos.
*Links are to pages in Japanese only.
Dates: December 3 – December 20, 2020 (streaming video)
We are pleased to welcome the philosopher Kiyokazu Washida and architect and Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art director Jun Aoki for a three-way talk, moderated by National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto director Masaki Yanagihara, on the theme of cultural facilities in an era of coexistence. A pre-recorded video of the talk will be streamed during the dates shown above.
(1) Online program: Starts December 3, 2020
(2) Offline program: December 8, 2020 – approx. March 2021
(1) Online program: On this webpage
(2) Offline program: The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, first floor lobby
We will present new work by artist Haruchi Osaki, who has been producing artworks and pursuing research activities while engaging with the fields of psychological, physical, and developmental rehabilitation and psychopathology. Based on the perception that we are all challenged now that the pandemic has made all sorts of activities difficult or impossible, Osaki weighed ways of encouraging people to visit the museum and produced Hakkaku Monogatari (“Octagonal Story”), an online narrative that eventually leads participants to the venue. The program also involves searching for “pilgrimage sites” that cannot be experienced through ordinary tourism, and on-site (offline) exhibition of works.
(1) Offline program: December 3 – December 20, 2020
(2) Online program: Starts December 3, 2020
(1)Offline program: The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art; ROHM Theatre Kyoto
(2) Online program: Dedicated site to be launched
Lake Biwa Canal is a piece of crucial infrastructure that underpinned Kyoto’s modernization. An aquatope centered on Lake Biwa is still being nurtured today at temples, homes, and cultural facilities into which the canal’s water flows. For this program, sound artist Yoichi Kamimura focuses on the relationship between the canal and the Okazaki area, and presents an audio piece incorporating the sounds of Lake Biwa Canal recorded at various sites. Listening intently to these sounds of which we are not usually conscious makes participants aware of the presence of Lake Biwa, not visible from Kyoto, and observing water flowing from underground enables them to imagine how facilities in the Okazaki area are closely interlinked through subterranean culverts.
December 3 – December 20, 2020
Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art
Three people (Kyotaro Tosaka, Tomoyuki Hirano, Hatsune Yonemasu) who participate in ateliers for people with disabilities in Tokyo and Kyoto have become deeply absorbed in writing and drawing, inspired by people and things they encounter in their daily lives. We are pleased to present the sparkling humor of their creative visions at the Glass Ribbon, a façade in front of Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, which features an extraordinarily transparent and luminous design.
December 3 – December 20, 2020
Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art
There is a zoo next door to the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art, but now another “zoo” will open inside the museum. We will screen a video piece by filmmaker Chikara Urasaki inspired by his encounters with animal paintings in a storage space at Mizunoki, a support facility for persons with disabilities. Urasaki selected depictions of animals from among the works of Mizunoki art class attendees, and adapted the images using animation to create a zoo.
December 8 – December 20, 2020
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, first-floor lobby
Since fiscal 2017, the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto has been implementing “Opening the Senses: Project to Promote Innovative Art Appreciation Programs,” working with visually impaired or challenged persons from the region to explore ways of enjoying art regardless of ability, such as touching works of art, conversing, and listening to sounds.
While CONNECT⇄ is underway, we will introduce and enable visitors to experience teaching materials from our “Tactile Collection” program, in which participants engage with works from the collection through touch-images and words, as well as showcasing our art appreciation activities with junior high and high school students at schools for the blind. Also, we will present an exhibit introducing the ABC Project, an extension of the art appreciation program that is being carried out cooperatively by artists, visually impaired persons, and the museum.
December 9 – December 13, 2020, 11:00-18:00 (until 16:00 on final day)
Kyoto City International Foundation, Sister City Corner / Exhibition Room, second floor
Tensai Art Kyoto operates a permanent facility where artists with disabilities can devote themselves to their work, and its activities include exhibition production. In this exhibition, works by artists registered with Tensai Art Kyoto will be shown alongside crafts and panels introducing Kyoto’s sister cities and partner cities, from the collection of the Kyoto City International Foundation.
1. 26th Kyoto Totteoki Art Festival
December 10 – December 13, 2020, 10:00-17:00 (free admission)
Japan Design Museum (Miyako Messe, B1 floor)
This series of exhibitions has been held since 1995, offering persons with disabilities living in Kyoto Prefecture opportunities to utilize their talent and originality. Works in seven categories (painting, ceramics, photography, calligraphy, haiku poetry, senryu poetry, and various crafts) are accepted, and all submitted works are exhibited at the venue. This year there will also be an online edition of the exhibition.
2. Streaming Video About Exhibiting Artists
Scheduled to launch in late November
On this webpage
At the 26th Kyoto Totteoki Art Festival a film will be screened introducing two of the exhibitors, Yuji Yoneda and Akio Kawamura, including scenes of them at work, their studios, and interviews.
December 3 – December 20, 2020 (*except December 7 and 14)
Kyoto Prefectural Library
Kyoto Moa-in (school for the blind and deaf), established in 1878, was the first institution of its kind in Japan. At the Kyoto Prefectural Library, replicas of teaching materials and tools for children who studied at Kyoto Moa-in will be exhibited, as well as panels tracing the origins of special-needs education. In collaboration with Kyoto University, we will also hold a unique exhibition entitled Enjoying Without – Twisted Edition that can be enjoyed with various senses. Also, we have created an original coloring book for all to enjoy, adapted from illustrated books by Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934), whose solo exhibition was held at the library in 1912 and 1918. In addition to offering it as a free download on this page, we will set aside a space in the library where people can enjoy coloring while the event is in progress.
1. Streaming Video of Tour with Cultural Facility Staff
Okazaki Park is a cultural zone of Kyoto home to museums, a theater, a library, a zoo and more. In this video, staff at these facilities and hearing-impaired persons guide viewers around the highlights and discuss the history of the facilities with spoken words, sign language, and subtitles.
2. Streaming Audio Content: “Hearing the MoMAK Newsletter ‘Miru’,”
Okazaki Park has been home to various cultural facilities since the Meiji Era (1868-1912), and has accumulated a rich history. Building on the culture and history of the place, we offer content from the newsletter of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto to listen to and enjoy which conveys the unique features of Okazaki and the connections among its various facilities.
November 21 and 22, 2020, 13:00-15:00 both days
ROHM Theatre Kyoto
Participants in this workshop will create an original play script based on memories of the Okazaki area and their favorite venues. A drama is a play script. A play script may sound like it involves various difficult rules... but no need to worry! The workshop begins with playwright and director Shinichi Anasako and all the participants walking around and showing others venues of which they have special memories, or which are particular favorites. After the walk, the playwriting team start working in the conference room. If expressing yourself and creating something sounds appealing to you, please join us. (Advance reservations required)
*The completed play will be shared on this website in audio and written form.
December 5, 2020, first part 13:00-14:30, second part 15:00-16:30
Experience the sounds of various animals in Kyoto City Zoo with Ontenna, a perception aid that converts sound into vibration and light. After a talk by Ontenna developer Mr. Honda, zoo director Mr. Sakamoto will talk about animals and their ecosystems, and participants will experience the sounds of various animals with the Ontenna. In the second part of the workshop, we set off on a live-streamed tour with zoo director Mr. Sakamoto! Enjoy seeing what the zoo’s animals are up to now. (Advance reservations required)
December 12, 2020, 13:00-16:00
This is an online workshop jointly developed by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM], artist Miyu Hosoi, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. Using smartphones or other devices and the Zoom app, participants imagine a space based on sounds. They record sounds around them, play them for each other, draw scenery and images they envision based on the sounds, share them, and exchange opinions. Through this experience, participants can deepen their understanding of how imagination expands with sound as a starting point, and explore various means of expression. (Advance reservations required)
Dates: December 18, 2020, 14:00-15:30（LIVE） Venue/Site: Online