CALL: IMAGINE CLIMATE DIGNITY
The new international call by the Directorate General for International Cultural Relations at the Foreign Ministry and Austrian Cultural Forums in cooperation with the Künstlerhaus Vereinigung is dedicated to the theme: IMAGINE CLIMATE DIGNITY. Application deadline: November 15, 2023. https://www.ontheroadcall.at/
ONCE UPON NOW 1873-2023
The Vienna World’s Fair of 1873 represented a significant milestone in the history of Japan: After several centuries of isolation, the Empire had the opportunity to present itself to the world for the very first time.
In an acclaimed pavilion built by Japanese architects, carpenters, and garden designers, Japan displayed several thousand high-quality art and craft objects collected all over Japan over a period of two years prior to the Vienna World’s Fair.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary, the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo commissioned the Austrian artist Johanna Riedl to develop a contemporary take on Japan’s participation and the Japanese pavilion.
Johanna Riedl created "Once Upon Now 1873-2023" (OUN) as a performative video and sound installation which was displayed at the Chinretsukan Gallery of the Tokyo University of the Arts in Ueno, Tokyo.
"OUN" functioned as a platform for intercultural exchange in the form of a contemporary position. As a pavilion of togetherness placed in Tokyo, the installation plays with the different spaces that exist between cultures while operating on the "what ifs" to blur the dualism between the West and East in a globalized age.
AWAY Manual for Austrian artists-in-residence in Tokyo
The Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo collaborated with the Tokyo-based STUDIO Gross to design a manual for the Austrian artists-in-residence program in Arakawa, Tokyo.
Each year four artists get the chance to live and work for three months as artists-in-residence in a studio house in Tokyo. Around 50 artists have benefited so far, and interest in the activities of Austrian artists in the residency program in Tokyo is unwaveringly and remarkably high. The call for Tokyo attracts around 100 applicants every year.
The AWAY Residence is located within the district of Higashi-Ogu, in Arakawa Ward, in one of the traditional Shitamachi areas of Tokyo. The neighborhood is known for its history of manufacturing. The AWAY Residence is a Japanese three-story family house from the Showa Period.
Publication design and cover illustrations: VVAA Studio. With the support of the Austrian Ministry of Culture (BMKÖS). Printed in Risograph by Hand Saw Press.
Beate Sirota Gordon Award
The Austrian Cultural Forum’s Beate Sirota Gordon Award is given to an artist from Austria to realize a project in the field of gender justice in Japan. The award was launched in 2022 in honor of Austrian-born Beate Sirota Gordon (1923-2012), the author of Articles 14 and 24 of the Japanese constitution after World War II, which gave women unprecedented rights in marriage, family, and society.
The Beate Sirota Gordon Award recognizes the accomplishments of an Austrian or Austria-based artist in the field of gender equality and women’s rights, by granting financial support for the creation of a new artistic or cultural project in Japan, sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo. The award is given out yearly on International Women’s Day (March 8), and has a special focus on supporting the work of young and emerging artists who explore the role of women and gender equality in the context of the 21st century.
The inaugural Beate Sirota Gordon Award in 2022 went to Austrian artist Martha Schnuderl for her project “DO YOU SEE ME NOW”, a documentary short film exploring the role of women, gender equality struggles, and the challenges of self-realization in contemporary Japanese society, seen through the eyes of a group of young Japanese collaborators.
In 2023, the Beate Sirota Gordon Award went to Vienna-based artist Elsa Okazaki for her project “INTO THE WILD”, a series of Japanese women portrayed as mythological characters, which explores the representation of gender in historic portrayals of Japanese deities and idols through the lens of contemporary photography.
AUSTRIA'S NEW MASCOT IN JAPAN: KICKORY
Following a call for submissions, 86 proposals for an Austrian mascot were submitted, out of which “Kickory” was selected by a jury consisting of representatives from the Austrian Embassy in Tokyo, the Tokyo Foreign Trade Office, the Austrian Tourism Bureau, and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tokyo. The winning mascot was designed by Yumi Yoshizaki from Oita.
The mascot comes across as warm and endearing. The beaver is a protected species and a mammal that is native to all of Austria. It is associated with untouched wilderness, the environmental conservation of waterways, forests, and woodlands; and in a broader sense, with the natural experience, adventure, leisure, and recreation. In addition, the beaver is perceived as industrious and family-friendly, and its building activity evokes thoughts of architecture, skill, and craftsmanship.
The name "Kickory" (きっこりぃー) is a diminutive form of the Japanese word for lumberjack. Wood as well as wood derivatives, forestry, and biomass power generation play a prominent role in exports from Austria to Japan. Sustainability and the innovative power of Austrian know-how are also conveyed. The name is gender-neutral and therefore open and inclusive.
#JapanRevisited202x: then-now-after has been conceived by the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo as a platform for artists from Austria to reimagine and revisit their memories, interpretations, and dreams associated with Japan. Building on more than 150 years of cultural exchange between Austria and Japan, the exceptional year 2020 seemed perfect for this experiment.
Following a Call for Submissions, a staggering 237 artists from or based in Austria have accepted the invitation and entered 223 projects in a vast variety of genres and forms of artistic expression.
A selection of about 100 works submitted to #JapanRevisited202x: then-now-after is featured in a curated audio-visual JOURNEY and virtual artist GALLERY:japanrevisited.at
This unique collection of artworks has also been published in print format. The projects presented allow us to glimpse the artists’ passion and curiosity for Japan and provide a panoramic view of Austria's dynamic and diverse contemporary art scene.
SPIRIT IN MOTION – FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
To spotlight the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020/2021, a top-level international multi-sport competition and a celebration of excellence, courage, and life, the Austrian Cultural Forum, on behalf of EUNIC Japan, coordinated a Paralympics Photo Exhibition entitled “Spirit in Motion - for Diversity & Inclusion”. “Spirit in Motion” is the official motto of the Paralympic Games.
In order to contribute to the recognition of the achievements and raise awareness of the sportswomen and sportsmen who compete in the Paralympic Games and highlight the importance of disability inclusion, “Spirit in Motion” was held in partnership with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
16 European institutions based in Tokyo and Photo Kishimoto (Japan) worked together to showcase about 40 photographs from across Europe and Japan that put visitors at the heart of magical moments from the Paralympic Games.