Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2015”

The three artists who came to Japan on January 7th of 2015 for the “Animation Artists in Residence Tokyo 2015” program, Alex Grigg (Australia), Anna Budanova (Russia), and Natalia Chernysheva (Russia) returned to their countries on March 17th after having completed their 70-day residence. 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, a visit to the atelier of an animation artist, and a visit to a studio to see animation in production. The cultural exchange segment of the program included participation in events such as the Japan Media Arts festival and the Yebisu International Festival for Arts and Alternative Visions, two exchange events with students at educational institutions, screening/project presentation events in Kobe and Kyoto, and a final presentation on the results of the program. While introducing their own works and the projects they were 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 other individuals involved in these fields. The visiting artists will complete the works they began during their stay (Alex Grigg’s “Into the Heart of the Sun”, Anna Budanova’s “Among Black Waves”, and Natalia Chernysheva’s “Cobweb”) after returning to their home countries. The advisors who supervised them during the program were Sonoko Kifune (animation artist, Professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Animation), Taku Furukawa (animation artist, illustrator, President of the Japan Animation Association), and KÙji Yamamura (animation artist, Professor at the Graduate School of Tokyo University of the Arts). The progress of this year’s program is described below.

Three artists chosen to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2015″ >>

January 10th (Sat.)
First educational event
First meeting between the three selected artists, the program advisors (Sonoko Kifune, Taku Furukawa, and KÙji Yamamura) and Chief Senior Specialist for Arts and Culture at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Tomonori Saeki.

January 16th (Fri.) Place: Agency for Cultural Affairs
Visit with Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Masanori Aoyagi
The invited artists visited Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Masanori Aoyagi. The Commissioner asked them questions on various topics, including methods and duration of production when creating animation using computers, the themes of the works they would be working on during their stay, and the meaning of the titles they had chosen. He offered them the following words of encouragement: “Please enjoy your stay in Tokyo, and take advantage of this chance to encounter various forms of Japanese culture. I look forward to seeing the results of your work.”

January 25th (Sat.)
Visit to Yamamura Animation
The artists visited the atelier of animator KÙji Yamamura (Animation artist, Professor of animation at the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media). Using his illustrations and original drawings from his animated works, Mr. Yamamura explained to them his production methods and use of materials, and spoke to them in detail about his distinctive production style and approach to creating art.

January 18th (Sun.) Place: Tokyo University of the Arts Bankokubashi Building
Visit to the Tokyo University of the arts Graduate School of Film and New Media Animation Department
The visiting artists conducted screenings of their previous works, production presentations and question and answer sessions with approximately fifteen students in the Tokyo University of the arts Graduate School of Film and New Media Animation Department. They viewed previews of the graduate students’ first year and graduation projects and exchanged ideas and opinions with these student filmmakers. The students’ films also gave them ideas for the works they were in the midst of creating.

January 22nd (Thu.) Place Tokyo Polytechnic University Nakano Campus
Visit to Tokyo Polytechnic University
The visiting artists conducted screenings of their previous works, production presentations, and question and answer sessions with approximately ten students and educators in the Animation Department of Tokyo Polytechnic University. They were asked many concrete questions such as how they came up with the stories of their previous works. The event was held in the “Muybridge theater”, and after it was over they were given the chance to experience this facility’s 11.1 channel 3D sound.

February 2nd (Mon.)
Second educational event
The three invited artists gave presentations on the progress of their projects using sketches and test animations. After presenting these concrete materials they then received extensive questions and guidance from their advisers.

February 3rd (Tue.) Place: The National Art Center, Tokyo
Participation in the preview event, awards presentation, and gala of the 18th Japan Media Arts Festival
The invited artists attended the Japan Media Arts Festival’s preview event, and then took part in the awards ceremony and festival gala. Invited artist Anna Budanova’s work “The Wound” was awarded the Grand Prize in the Animation Section. At the gala the artists met animation artists and film festival programmers from Japan and overseas, and had an opportunity to make many new acquaintances in Japan.

February 18th (Wed.)
Visit to Robot Communications Inc.
The invited artists visited the offices of Robot Communications Inc., a company that has its own animation artists and produces art animation in addition to commercial animation. They received practical explanations of various production sections and the workspace of animation artist Takuya Inaba, and watched a showreel of the diverse works this company has created. They exchanged various thoughts and opinions with Robot Communications staff members including animation artist Tatsutoshi Nomura and producer Emi Matsumoto.

February 20th (Fri.) 19:00〜22:30 Place: Kobe Art Village Center
Global Independent Animation 2015 (Kobe)
An event at which recent works by the three invited artists were screened and presentations on their plans for their residence were given, and a program entitled “Independent Animation from Asia” was also held in which six leading Asian animation artists screened works and gave lectures on the state of animation and challenges being faced in their various countries. Afterwards an exchange event was held at which the artists and participants shared their thoughts and opinions.

February 21st (Sat.) 17:15〜20:45 Place: Kyoto Art Center
Global Independent Animation 2015 (Kyoto)
A program with the same content as the previous day’s event in Kobe was held in Kyoto. The artists shared ideas and opinions with participants at an exchange event held after the program had finished.

February 26th (Thu.) Place: Yebisu Garden Hall
Preview event and reception at the 7th Annual Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions
The invited artists viewed works being screened at the festival and took part in an opening/reception event. They met curators and others involved in the field of moving images in Japan as well as filmmakers and contemporary artists from Japan and overseas.

March 4th (Thu.)
Third educational event
The three invited artists discussed their plans to complete their projects and received guidance from their advisors, and also prepared their presentations for their results presentation events.

March 14th (Sat.) 15:00 – 20:10 Place: ASTUDIO (Aoyama Gakuin)
Results Presentation Event
A results presentation event was held under the title “Global Independent Animation 2015” with the aim of reporting on the progress of this event and presenting the results of the invited artists’ work during their stay. In addition to the contents of the screening and presentation events held in Kobe and Kyoto, the three invited artists screened and explained the work they had produced during their stay, and the three advisers then exchanged thoughts with them while offering guidance and then gave a summary of this year’s project. After the general comments of the advisors, an exchange event was held in a different room at which the invited artists enthusiastically engaged in sharing thoughts and opinions with the event’s participants.

Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo (A-AIR) 2016 – Application Guide >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014” >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013” >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2011-2012” >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2010-2011” >>