ACAC Artist In Residence Program

This open call for the Artist-In-Residence (AIR) program offers contemporary artists, curators, researchers and others who are involved in cultural and artistic endeavors the opportunity to practice preparing for exhibitions, performances, workshops, talks and other activities, with the full support of ACAC. Assistance is provided every step of the way, from the planning stage and research to installation, presentation and catalog archiving and distribution. Although holding an exhibition is not compulsory, participants are required to introduce their achievements through some form of Exchange Program in order to ensure their activities become widely recognized.

The length of stay is optional. Participants are asked to select the desired period of time in 2-week increments, from a minimum of one 2-week term (13nights, 14 days) to a maximum of six 2-week terms (83 nights, 84 days). It is recommended that applicants ensure that the activities they wish to achieve while making use of ACAC’s environment, correspond with the chosen period of residency. If participants request a two-term stay, adjustments may be made to change the residency period to a one-month stay of 30 nights, 31 days, but only if this is necessary due to grant requirements. Participation in this program is based on an in-person residency at ACAC, although remote participation will also be accepted for activities deemed as significant. This year, we are planning to specially invite one group or individual for meaningful activities during a short stay of one term.

The name of the program, which changes annually, is not a theme that defines the activities of participants, but rather a guidepost to reflect and update the “present situation” of the Artist-In-Residence program at ACAC. This year’s name, “SPINNING SCAPES,” combines “scape”, referring to the “landscape (of something)”, with the word “spinning”, which refers to something rapidly rotating or the act of spinning yarn. Natural and human-made disasters, including wars and earthquakes, can drastically change our everyday landscapes. Recently, in such situations, we have had cause to think about what we can accomplish in the world through “expression”. By having various artists from around the world gather at ACAC, their movements, which are completely different in terms of speed, methods, and trajectories, will involve local residents, students, and the surrounding environment, creating unprecedented “scapes”. And from there, we believe that each of us can start to explore new landscapes and begin thinking together about hints for surviving in such a world.

2. Guest Judge for 2024 program

KONDO Ryosuke

Art critic and curator. Born in Osaka, Japan in 1982, Ryosuke Kondo holds a B.A. from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, University of London, and an M.A. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. After serving as a Fulbright visiting researcher at Harvard Graduate School of Design and an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo, he is currently an adjunct lecturer at Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. He specializes in the aesthetics and history of landscape, and his work revolves around researching Japanese, British, and American art and gardens, aiming at understanding landscape as a living environment through both theoretical and practical pursuits. He is the editor and author of several books, including Looking at Tokyo’s Parks from the Perspective of Central Park (Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association, 2023), and produces contemporary art exhibitions, including Urban Sansui (kudan house, 2023).

3. Number of Participants

1) Applicants residing abroad who will stay and work at ACAC for one month (29 nights and 30 days) or longer, up to 6 terms (optional): 1 or 2
2) Residents of Japan who will stay and work at ACAC for one month (29 nights and 30 days) or longer, up to 6 terms (optional): 1 to 2
3) Applicants residing abroad or in Japan who will stay and work at ACAC for 2 weeks (13 nights and 14 days): 1

4. Program Schedule

Residence Period:
The period of stay at the ACAC must be chosen from the following terms between October 2 (Wed) and December 24 (Tue), 2024. You must select at one and up to six terms.

1. October 2 (Wed)―October 15 (Tue)
2. October 16 (Wed)―October 29 (Tue)
3. October 30 (Wed)―November 12 (Tue)
4. November 13 (Wed)―November 26 (Tue)
5. November 27 (Wed)―December 10 (Tue)
6. November 11 (Wed)―December 24 (Tue)

Application Period:
March 1 (Fri)―April 28 (Sun), 2024, 17:00 JST (GMT +9:00)

Selection Schedule:
April 28 (Sun), 17:00 JST (GMT +9:00) ——- Application Deadline
From early to mid May ——- Preliminary Screening (By the ACAC curatorial team)
From late May to early June ——- Screening (By the ACAC curatorial team and guest judge)
From mid to late June ——- Invitations Sent

5. How to Apply

Screening by application form (see appendix) and a portfolio of up to 5 works.
*Please submit the application form by email by the following deadline.

Application Deadline:April 28 (Sun), 2024 17:00 JST (GMT +9:00)

Subject: AIR 2024 Application (Name)

– For the application form, please submit the second and subsequent pages as one PDF file.
– The total file size of the application form and portfolio should be no more than 5MB. Please compress them as a zipped file and send it to the above e-mail address.
– Please read page 1 of the application form carefully regarding the guidelines for the portfolio.
– An e-mail will be sent within a week to notify applicants if the documents have been received successfully. Please e-mail us if you don’t receive this confirmation notice.

6. Screening and Notification

Based on submitted materials, artists will be selected by the ACAC curatorial team and guest judge Kondo Ryosuke.
The applicants will be informed of the final decision by email from mid to late June.

7. Application Requirements

a)Individuals or groups engaged in artistic pursuits, including curators, researchers, artists, or otherwise. (Hereafter referred to as “the artist” regardless of background or genre.)
b)The artist should understand the purpose of his or her visit to the ACAC and be able to stay or participate during the period for which they are invited.
*Remote participation will be allowed if the organizer deems it necessary.
c)Artists who choose not to exhibit will instead participate in exchange programs, including artist talks, lectures, performances, workshops, and school visits.
d)The artist should be able to explain their artwork and give lectures or workshops in English or Japanese as part of the exchange program.
e)The artist should be in good health.
f)The artist should be able to speak and understand basic English daily conversation.
g)The artist should be independent and capable of working and living on their own.
h)The artist will work with the ACAC in the setup and breakdown of exhibits and events.
i)The artist should be able to participate in a community lifestyle with other artists on the program. (Please consult in advance if support is needed for living.)

8. When Holding an Exhibition

Organization: Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (ACAC) and vicinity
*If the participants intend to hold an exhibition, Nov 23 (Sat) to December 22 (Sun) will be the base dates for the operation of the program. (negotiable)
*Following consultation with ACAC curators, exhibitions may be organized as separated exhibition in the same venue.
*The nature of the work required for the exhibition, and the location of the exhibition, will
be decided after due consultation between the ACAC and the artists.

9. Obligations of the Organizer and the Artist

The Organizer and the Artist have the following obligations to each other throughout the duration of the program and enter into a contract on the basis of this. In principle, it is a precondition that all successful applicants come alone to Aomori. Artists can apply as a group or unit. In this case, the organizer considers 1 artist’s group or unit as 1 artist and provides expenses only for 1 artist’s expense.
If successful applicants wish to be accompanied by family members or an assistant, it is necessary to consult with the ACAC beforehand. Should the ACAC approve the Artist’s request, the accompanying individuals may stay at the ACAC’s facilities. In this case, the artist is financially responsible for paying both the travel fare and the accommodation fee (2,040 JPY per night) for the accompanying individual.
Each amount of money noted in this guideline includes tax.

10. About Aomori Contemporary Art Center

The Aomori Contemporary Art Center (ACAC) is an art center offering a flagship artist-in-residence (AIR) program through its residential art facility. Since its foundation in 2001, the program has been an active platform for a diverse range of artists for their creative pursuits and presentations. Located at the foothills of the Hakkoda Mountains, residents can enjoy a rich natural environment while still being close to the center of Aomori City. The ACAC’s architectural design is the work of internationally-acclaimed architect, ANDO Tadao, and features the concept of “invisible architecture”. The center consists of a production studio (Creative Hall) and an accommodation facility (Residential Hall), encouraging interactions with others while providing a comfortable space for visitors to focus on their creations. A huge gallery space (Exhibition Hall) allows artists to work experimentally in their production process and directly practice into presentations as an exhibition at the site—another distinct feature of the center. ACAC’s AIR program is an initiative expected to unlock various creativities stimulated by and solely borne under the ACAC’s unique environment. The center aims to be an inspirational space for all involved, emphasizing interactions between domestic/international artists and local communities. Its management was transferred from Aomori City to Aomori Public University in 2009. Exchanges between university students majoring in management and economics and regional development have also been active since that time.

11. Address & Inquiry

For particulars or requests about the materials please inquire at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre by E-mail. *Please note that we are unable to respond by telephone.
atten: AIR 2024
Aomori Contemporary Art Centre
152-6 Yamazaki, Goshizawa, Aomori, 030-0134 JAPAN

Application guideline and form (via Google drive):

  • Open call 2024 Application Guideline
  • Word
  • PDF
  • Application Form
  • Word
  • PDF
  • Exhibition Hall Floor Plan
  • PDF

Website link:

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