This is an article on a special topic published each month. It carries an interview with a top runner in one of various fields or a dialog with a key person who leads an international project.
The Japan Foundation is proud to present the Japan Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, to take place from June to November 2013 in Italy. To represent Japan, we have selected as exhibiting artist Koki Tanaka, and as curator Mika Kuraya (Chief Curator, Department of Fine Arts, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo). In November last year, we hosted a talk event inviting these two figures to discuss about the progress in the preparations for the Japan Pavilion and the process of creating new works for display.
The year 2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the Japan Foundation Awards. Here are a summary of the 2012 award ceremony and from the recipients' speeches, the address given by Haruki Murakami, the author who has been captivating readers all over the world with "truly fine stories" that "help people have good dreams" through his work and translations.
For the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, the Japan Foundation invited as commissioner the architect Toyo Ito, and as exhibitors, architects Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto, and Akihisa Hirata, and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama.
Marking the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, 21 university students from Japan and 26 university students from China took part in a week-long exchange camp in the city of Yanji in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture near China's border with North Korea.
"The first thing I felt upon landing at the airport was a sense of familiarity. The scenery that jumped into my eyes was full of Cyrillic characters--as exotic as I had expected--and yet somehow it all invoked a kind of nostalgia.
"Breathing Atolls", the first exhibition of contemporary art in the Maldives, was held from March 20 to April 19 at the National Art Gallery in Male. An interview with artist Fujiko Nakaya and curator Sachiko Namba about the exhibition.
Karima Elsamny Morooka, author of Islam kara kangaeru, has been attracting attention for her real accounts of the Islamic world and her sharp insights. Ken Miichi is a researcher studying Southeast Asian politics and the Islamic movement in Indonesia in particular. A wonderful opportunity to learn about the diversity of the Islamic world beyond the borders of the Middle East.
The following article delivers an interview between Yoshitake Takada, founder of Light Up Nippon, which aims to brighten up and revitalize the Tohoku region by connecting people in Tokyo with people in the devastated areas, and Takamasa Matsuura, head of NPO Blastbeat Japan, which works to empower youths through music events. The two leaders seek an answer to the question: What can Japan do right now? Their approach offers a hint of the potential of young people, and of lifestyles and work styles befitting new times ahead.
The 2nd Japanese Book News Salon welcomed the writer Hiromi Kawakami and Professor Mitsuyoshi Numano of the University of Tokyo to discuss with translators of various nationalities Kawakami's novel Kazahana.
Internationally acclaimed Brazilian graffiti artist Titi Freak launched a project together with local groups in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, an area devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The artist traveled from Brazil for the project, during which he worked together with residents of temporary housing to create wall murals. With his strong personal ties to Japan, what did he see and feel in the Tohoku region? The interview was conducted by up-and-coming artist Enrico Isamu Oyama.