Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris (The Japan Foundation), commonly abbreviated to MCJP, hosts a series of exhibitions Transphère to introduce new creativity, which corresponds to sensibility of people living today, from international perspectives. Under the supervision of the MCJP's artistic director Aomi Okabe, the series is to exhibit nationally and internationally active contemporary artists, architects, designers, and other artists and creators. As the first exhibition of the series, the MCJP held Fertile Landscape welcoming the media artists Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi, who have a mastery of cutting-edge technology, between March 16 and May 7, 2016. We reprint the interview of the two artists, which was originally appeared in the exhibition catalogue, together with pictures taken at the exhibition and the artists' past works.
The Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) co-hosted the international symposium for media art "Art & Technology: Changing Times, Contemporary Trends, Future Platforms" on July 9, 2016. The goal of the initiative is to promote the creation and spread of innovative forms of arts and culture, such as media art, through the application of groundbreaking technologies.
The Japanese edition of The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka hit the bookstores in late March this year, and became a critically acclaimed hit immediately after its publication. In mid-April, carefree and clueless, I entered a bookstore and impulsively picked up the book, lured by the pretty flowers on its cover. But the moment I turned the first page, I was captivated.
The Japan Foundation invited a group of young intellectuals, with an interest in social issues in contemporary Japan, from Southeast Asian countries for its program. It aims to promote and deepen exchange between specialists, as well as build and strengthen network, in order to establish joint and cooperative initiatives in Asia toward tackling these issues. In FY 2015, under the theme of "Revitalization of Rural Areas and Creation of New Values," the program seeks to provide a comprehensive introduction to the issues confronting rural society in contemporary Japan, such as depopulation, rapid decline of population, and super-aging society, as well as the actual state of the country that has emerged as a result of these issues. It also provides an opportunity for learning about the initiatives taken by the Japanese central and local governments, civil society, and individuals to resolve these issues. Tans Szue Hann and Dang Thi Viet Phuong, two of the program participants, have written their impressions on the program and how they make use of the experience they gained from it for the future.