Report following the conclusion of the project to invite overseas media creators to Japan 2011 “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2011-2012” program.

The three invited artists, Ms. Ewa Borysewicz (Poland),
Mr. Immanuel Wagner (Swiss)
and Mr. Mikey Please (UK), spent 75 days in Japan as part of the “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2011-2012” program and returned to their countries at the beginning of March. During their stay in Tokyo they enthusiastically participated in the various planned educational and cultural exchange programs while continuing to work on their individual projects. The educational programs included three meetings at which they received comments from their advisors, two visits to the ateliers of animation artists, and two visits to studios to see animation in production. The cultural exchange segment of the program included participation at events such as the Japan Media Arts festival and “animemirai” (a human resource develpment program for young animators run by the Agency for Cultural Affairs), two exchange sessions with students at educational institutions, screening/project presentation events in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, and a final presentation on the results of the program. While introducing their own works and the projects they are working on as part of this program, the invited artists built bonds of friendship and intercultural exchange with many Japanese animation creators, visual artists, and people related to these fields. The works produced during the program (Ewa Borysewicz’s “1-2-3″, Immanuel Wagner’s “Happy” and Mikey Please’s “He is here”) are scheduled to be completed by the end of December, 2012, and the finished animations will be presented in 2013. The advisors who worked with the artists during their stay were Mitsuko Okamoto (Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts), Sonoko Kifune (Tokyo Polytechnic University Department of Animation), and Tatsutoshi Nomura (Animation artist, Robot Communications Inc.) The progress of this year’s program is described below.

Photographic record

First educational event
January 7th (Sat.)
First meeting between the three selected artists and the program advisors (Mitsuko Okamoto, Sonoko Kifune, and Tatsutoshi Nomura).

Visit to the campus of Tama Art University’s graphic design department
January 13th (Fri.)
The artists in residence visited Tatsutoshi Nomura’s class and viewed graduation projects by students in this department. The event gave each of the three artists an opportunity to present their own projects and interact with students with whom they could potentially collaborate during their stay in Japan.

Exchange event with animation students in Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate Film and New Media Program
January 17th (Wed.)
An event featuring screenings of works by the three invited artists, presentations of their projects, and question and answer sessions was held with sixteen animation students studying under Mitsuko Okamoto.

Visit to Koji Yamamura’s atelier
January 20th (Fri.)
The artists in residence visited the atelier of animation artist Koji Yamamoto. With reference to sections of his latest work, Muybridge Strings, Mr. Yamamoto discussed his approach to creating animation and his own distinctive production style.

“AAIR×CALF Global Independent Animation”
January 22nd (Sun.)
The three invited artists were introduced to the general public in Tokyo. Focusing on screening of the invited artists’ past works and presentations of their planned projects, this event also touched on the broader topic of the current state of independent animation in Japan and overseas with screenings by past works and works currently in production by two members of “CALF”, an independent animation label based in Japan. The event was held in ASTUDIO (Aoyama).

Visit to Production I.G.
January 26th (Thu.)
The artists visited the office of Production I.G., a company that produces commercial animation for film and television. Francesco Scandolari showed them the various sections assigned specific production tasks.

“Global Independent Animation in Kansai”(Kyoto)
February 10th (Fri.)
At this event, held in collaboration with Kyoto Seika University’s Video & Media Arts Course, the three artists were given an opportunity to screen their works and present their current projects. Following the presentations a social event was held to give the artists a chance to interact with attendees.

“Global Independent Animation in Kansai”(Osaka)
February 11th (Sat.)
At this event, held in collaboration with PlanetPlus1, a focal point for independent film production in Osaka, the three artists were given an opportunity to screen their works and present their current projects. Following the presentations a social event was held to give the artists a chance to interact with attendees.

Second educational event
February 15th (Wed.)
The three artists gave presentations on the progress of their projects. The artists shared their opinions with each other in addition to receiving questions and advice from the program advisors.

Visit to Kotobuki Shiriagari’s atelier
February 17th (Fri.)
At the atelier the artists viewed original sketches from Kotobuki Shiriagari’s pieces of 3.11, an animated work dealing with 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and listened to Mr. Shiriagari discuss its production.

Visit to ROBOT
February 20th (Mon.)
The artists visited ROBOT, a company that not only produces animation for television but is also involved in other media such as live-action films for theatrical release. Tatsutoshi Nomura, one of the artists’ program advisors, showed them around the production facilities.

Opening party, press preview of the Japan Media Arts Festival
February 21st (Tue.)
The artists viewed works at the Japan Media Arts Festival’s press preview event. At the opening party they were greeted and given encouragement by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Seiichi Kondo. They were given the opportunity to meet many animation artists and film festival programmers from both Japan and overseas.

“Animemirai” preview
February 23rd (Thu.)
Immanuel Wagner attended a preview screening event for “Animemirai”, the 2011 Agency for Cultural Affairs young animator training program.

Third educational event
February 29th (Wed.)
Looking ahead to the project presentation event, the three artists discussed the current state of development of their projects. They received final recommendations from their advisors.

Project presentation event
March 6th (Tue.)
Individuals connected to the field of animation or the Agency for Cultural Affairs were invited to this event held at the National Film Center in the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. After a greeting from the organizers was given by Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Seiichi Kondo, the three artists presented the results of their work during their stay in Japan. In the second part of the event the three advisors (Mitsuko Okamoto, Sonoko Kifune, and Tatsutoshi Nomura) held a panel discussion to talk about the nature and meaning of this program and points of interest concerning each artist in relation to the advisory process.

Tokyo University of the Arts Film and New Media Animation Department final project exhibition
March 8th (Thu.)
Having met some of the students during their visit on January 17th, Ewa Borysewicz and Immanuel Wagner attended Tokyo University of the Arts Film and New Media Animation Department’s final project exhibition.