Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014” – the International Invitation Program for Animation Artists 2013

The three artists who came to Japan on January 7th of 2014 for the “Animation Artists in Residence Tokyo 2014” program, Michael Frei (Switzerland),
 Ofra Kobliner (Israel), and
 Tomasz Popakul (Poland), 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 three visits to studios 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, an exchange event with students at an educational institution, 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 (Michael Frei’s “Kids,” Ofra Kobliner’s “Shika (SHIKA),” and Tomasz Popakul’s “Black”) after returning to their home countries. The advisors who supervised them during the program were Sonoko Kifune (Animation artist/Professor, Tokyo Polytechnic University Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Animation), Tatsutoshi Nomura (Animation artist/Associate Professor, Tama Art University Faculty of Art and Design Department of Graphic Design), and Taku Furukawa (Animator/Visiting Professor, Tokyo Polytechnic University Faculty of Fine Arts). The progress of this year’s program is described below.

Three artists chosen to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014” >>


Photographic record

January 11th (Sat.)
First educational event
First meeting between the three selected artists, the program advisors (Sonoko Kifune, Tatsutoshi Nomura and Taku Furukawa) and Chief Senior Specialist for Arts and Culture at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Tomonori Saeki.


January 25th (Sat.)
Visit to Yamamura Animation
The artists visited the Atelier of animator Koji Yamamura (Animation artist/Professor of animation at the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media). Visiting Mr. Yamamura’s workspace they learned about various aspects of his work such as his production process and the materials he uses and listened to him talk about his distinctive production style and approach to creating art.


February 3rd (Mon.)
Second educational event
The three invited artists gave presentations on the progress of their projects using sketches and test animations. After their having presented these concrete materials, extensive questions and advice were then exchanged between them and their advisers. These presentations also doubled as practice for the screenings and production presentations in the Kansai area scheduled for February 21st and 22.


February 4th (Tue.) Place: The National Art Center, Tokyo
Participation in the preview event, awards presentation, and gala of the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival
The invited artists met individuals connected to the Agency for Cultural Affairs as well as animation artists and film festival programmers from both Japan and overseas, and were given the opportunity to become acquainted with many people involved in the field of animation.


February 6th (Thu.) Place: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Preview screening and reception at the 6th Annual Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions
The invited artists viewed works being screened at the festival and attended 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.


February 17th (Mon.)
Visit to ROBOT CAGE
The invited artists visited the offices of ROBOT CAGE, a company that includes animation artists and produces art animation in addition to commercial animation. They received practical explanations about various production sections, and watched a diverse selection of works that had been created by this company in the past as well as “Golden Time”, the latest film by Takuya Inaba. They exchanged ideas and opinions with animation artists Takuya Inaba and Osamu Sakai and several producers at Robot Communications Inc.


February 18th (Tue.)
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 twenty 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.


February 19th (Wed.)
Visit to Studio4℃
As requested by one of the invited artists, Tomasz Popakul, all three visited Studio4℃, a studio that produces moving image works with an emphasis on animation such as “Tekkonkinkreet” and “Mind game”. While looking at original background art they listened to director Michael Arias, character designer Shoujirou Nishimi, and art director Shinji Kimura talk about the creation of “Tekkonkinkreet”, and they also received practical explanations of various aspects of the studio production environment.


February 21st (Fri.) 18:30〜21:00 Place: Kobe Art Village Center
Global Independent Animation 2014 in Kansai (Kobe)
An event at which works by the three invited artists were screened and presentations on their plans for their residence were given was staged in cooperation with Kobe Art Village Center. Afterwards an exchange event was held at which the artists and participants shared their thoughts and opinions.


February 22nd (Sat.) 16:00〜18:30 Place: Kyoto Art Center
Global Independent Animation 2014 in Kansai (Kyoto)
An event at which works by the three invited artists were screened and presentations on their plans for their residence were given was staged in cooperation with Kyoto Art Center. Afterwards an exchange event was held at which the artists and participants exchanged ideas and opinions.


February 24th (Mon.)
Visit to the IKIF+ studio
Using extracts and making-of footage and of some of their major works such as “Kingdom” 2nd series and “Innocence”, IKIF (Sonoko Kifune and Tokumitsu Kifune) explained their production style to the artists. They also visited different sections within the studio, and along with receiving an explanation of the production system got to meet and interact with young members of the production staff.


March 7th (Fri.)
Third educational event
The three invited artists discussed their plans to complete their projects and received guidance from their advisors, and prepared their presentations for their final project presentation events.


March 14th (Fri.) 17:00 – 20:20 Place: ASTUDIO (Aoyama Gakuin)
Project Presentation Event
Along with a general audience, individuals involved in the field of animation or connected to the Agency for Cultural Affairs were invited to this event held at ASTUDIO (Aoyama Gakuin). After a greeting from the organizers was given by Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Seiichi Kondo, Japan Image Council Executive Director Hiroyuki Ikeda described the program and gave a report on its progress, and the three artists then screened and discussed the works they had created during their stay in Japan. In the second part of the event the three program advisors (Sonoko Kifune, Tatsutoshi Nomura, and Toku Furukawa) held a panel discussion in which they talked about the results and content of the program while sharing their thoughts and feelings about their experience advising the invited artists.


Animation Artists in Residence Tokyo 2015 – Application Guide >>
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” >>

Artist in residence program for young animation creators
A-AIR Tokyo 2015 – Application Guide



1. Aims of the project

This project, organised by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka-cho / Government of Japan), is an artist in residence program which aims to provide three outstanding young animation artists from around the world with an opportunity to come to Tokyo and create new works while directly interacting with Japanese animation culture. In doing so, we aim to promote both the creation of excellent works of animation and a better understanding of Japanese culture.
[Read more...]

Announcing the selection of the three artists chosen to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014,” a program that invites creators of media art from other countries to visit Japan.

With the application period having ended on September 9th, we are pleased to announce the selection of the three artists that have been invited to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014. [Read more...]

Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013” – the International Invitation Program for Animation Artists 2012

The three artists who came to Japan in January of 2013 for the “Animation Artists in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013” program, Caleb Wood (United States), Elli Vuorinen (Finland), and Emma de Swaef (Belgium), returned to their countries in the middle of March 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 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 the Yebisu International Festival for Arts and Alternative Visions, an exchange event with students at an educational institution, 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 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 (Caleb Wood’s “Goodbye Rabbit, Hop Hop,” Elli Vuorinen’s “Sukkavartaankatu 8,” and Emma de Swaef’s “Otto”) after returning to their home countries. The advisors who supervised them during the program were Mitsuko Okamoto (Professor, Department of Animation of the Graduate School of Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts), Tatsutoshi Nomura (Animator/Associate Professor, Department of Graphic Design of the Faculty of Art and Design at Tama Art University), and Taku Furukawa (Animator/Visiting Professor, Faculty of Arts at Tokyo Polytechnic University). The progress of this year’s program is described below.

Three artists chosen to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013” >>


Photographic record

January 10th (Thu.)
First educational event

First meeting between the three selected artists, the program advisors (Mitsuko Okamoto, Tatsutoshi Nomura and Taku Furukawa) and Chief Senior Specialist for Arts and Culture at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Tomonori Saeki.


January 13th (Sun.) 14:00 – 18:00 Place: ASTUDIO (Aoyama)
“Global Independent Animation 2013”
The three invited artists were given a public introduction at this event staged by the School of Cultural and Creative Studies at Aoyama Gakuin University and CALF. After screenings of the artists’ previous works and presentations on what they planned to create during their stay, works by three young Japanese artists (Shin Hashimoto, Ryo Hirano, and Yoriko Mizushiri) were screened and a panel discussion was held on the state of independent animation in Japan and overseas.


January 31st (Thu.)
Second Educational Event
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.


February 9th(Sat.) 16:30 – 20:00 Place: Kobe Art Village Center
“Global Independent Animation 2013 in Kansai” (Kobe)
Screenings of works by the three invited artists and presentations on their planned works were staged in cooperation with Kobe Art Village Center. Many participants shared their thoughts at the exchange event held afterwards.


February 10th (Sun.) 15:00 – 18:30 Place: kara-S at Kyoto Seika University
“Global Independent Animation 2013 in Kansai” (Kyoto)
At this event, held in collaboration with Kyoto Seika University’s Video and 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.


February 12th (Tue. )
Participation in the preview event, awards presentation, and gala of the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival
“Oh Willy…,” a work created by program participant Emma de Swaef in collaboration with Marc James Roels, received the “New Face Award – Animation Division.”

At the gala the invited artists 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.


February 25th (Mon.)
Visit to I. TOON Animation Studio
The artists received explanations of clay and craft animation techniques from Yuichi Ito while viewing the clay figures from one of his best known works, “Nyakki!,” and the set of his latest work, “Harbor Tale.”


February 25th (Mon.)
Exchange event with animation students enrolled in Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School of Film and New Media, Department of Animation
In cooperation with Professor Mitsuko Okamoto, twenty animation students took part in an event featuring screenings of works by the three invited artists, presentations of their projects, and question and answer sessions. Works by the participating students were also viewed and discussed. The artists in residence also participated in a preview event for the 4th Graduation Exhibition held on March 7th.


March 4th (Mon.)
Visit to Koji Yamamura’s Atelier
The artists visited the Atelier of animator Koji Yamamura. They watched his latest work that had only just been completed (an animated segment in the NHK program “Kojiki Girl Travelogue”) and listened to Mr. Yamamura talk about his distinctive production style and approach to creating art.


March 5th (Tue.)
Third educational event
Looking ahead to the project presentation events, the three artists discussed their plans to complete their projects and received advice from their advisors.


March 7th (Thu.)
Visit to “Dwarf” studio.
The artists visited TYO Inc.’s Dwarf division, a studio that has been involved in the production of many works of stop-motion animation. Focusing on “Domo,” a work currently in production, they viewed sets and production equipment while receiving concrete technical explanations from director/character designer Tsuneo Goda and animator Hirokazu Minegishi.

The artists also took part in a preview screening of the latest work by Dwarf held on March 8th, and in addition to viewing materials related to both new and old works produced by this studio they were also given an opportunity to meet and interact with participants involved in various aspects of animation.


March 13th (Wed.) 16:00 – 18:00 Place: ASTUDIO (Aoyama)
Project Presentation Event
Individuals involved in the field of animation or connected to the Agency for Cultural Affairs were invited to this event held at ASTUDIO (Aoyama). After a greeting from the organizers was given by Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Seiichi Kondo, Japan Image Council Executive Director Hiroyuki Ikeda described the program and gave a report on its progress, and the three artists then screened and discussed the works they had created during their stay in Japan. In the second part of the event the three program advisors (Mitsuko Okamoto, Tatsutoshi Nomura, and Toku Furukawa) held a panel discussion in which they talked about the results and content of the program while sharing their thoughts and feelings about their experience advising the invited artists.

Animation Artists in Residence Tokyo 2015 – Application Guide >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014” >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2011-2012” >>
Report following the conclusion of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2010-2011” >>


International Invitation Program for Animation Artists
Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2014 Application Guide

This program’s application entry has closed on September 9th. The selected finalists will be announced in the beginning of November. Thank you for applying and we wish you all the best for your animation!

1. Aims of the project:

This project, organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka-cho / Government of Japan), is an artist in residence program which aims to provide three outstanding young animation artists from around the world with an opportunity to come to Tokyo and create new works while directly interacting with Japanese animation culture. In doing so, we aim to promote both the creation of excellent works of animation and a better understanding of Japanese culture. [Read more...]

Announcing the selection of the three artists chosen to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013,” a program that invites creators of media art from other countries to visit Japan.

With the application period having ended on September 10th, we are pleased to announce the selection of the three artists that have been invited to participate in “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013. [Read more...]

Information for prospective applicants

International Invitation Program for Animation Artists
“Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo 2012-2013”
Information for prospective applicants

This program’s application entry has closed on September 10th.
The selected finalists will be announced in the beginning of November.
Thank you for applying and we wish you all the best for your animation!

1. Aims of the project:

This project, organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunka-cho / Government of Japan), is an artist in residence program which aims to provide three outstanding young animation artists from around the world with an opportunity to come to Tokyo and create new works while directly interacting with Japanese animation culture. In doing so, we aim to promote both the creation of excellent works of animation and a better understanding of Japanese culture. [Read more...]

Update on the works created by the invited artists during their stay in Japan as part of “Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo” (AAIR) 2010-2011

The three artists who stayed in Japan from January to March of last year as part of this program have completed the works they began during their stay, and starting this spring these works have screened at film festivals around the world. As each of the artists’ previous works had received acclaim at animation film festivals overseas, expectations for these new works are high, and going forward there is sure to be a great deal of interest in their artistic development. [Read more...]

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. [Read more...]

The three artists have been selected to come to Japan!

We are pleased to announce the following three artists who will be invited to come and participate in the Animation Artist in Residence 2011-2012Tokyo. [Read more...]