Art Gene, Bath Street, Barrow-in-Furness,
Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK
Emiko Kato successfully applied to our Curatorial Residency Programme through open submission. The selection panel were struck by her work with artists in the regeneration of inner city areas in Tokyo which had some interesting parallels with Art Gene’s practice.
Shortly before her period in residence Stuart Bastik and Maddi Nicholson were to make a research visit, firstly to China and subsequently Japan to select an individual or company to undertake an Arts Council International Fellowship at Art Gene. This trip fortuitously coincided with Show Case an International artist-led organisations conference in partnership with Yokohama City Government as part of Yokohama’s Art Initiative City.
Kato as a co-Director of Art Autonomy Network which developed Show Case invited Nicholson and Bastik to make a presentation about Art Gene’s work. Through contacts initially made at the Show Case conference Nicholson and Bastik first met Osamu Ikeda the Director of BankArt1929 who was to introduce them to Mikan who were later offered and undertook the fellowship.
Emiko Kato, a curator and art writer spent a period of eight weeks at Art Gene on our Curatorial Residency Programme in September, October and November 2007.
During her residency she researched different aspects of society and the history and circumstances through which Barrow evolved. Kato regularly wrote about her daily life in Barrow, what she had both experienced and the emotions felt as a ‘foreign tourist’ in Cumbria, focusing specifically on Barrow. During her residency she looked at the regeneration of the area and the effect this was having on people’s lives. She found many complex interelated and internationally transferable areas of interest which emerged through personal experiences; meeting a wide variety of local people across Barrow and it’s Islands. Through visiting a number of other towns and cities during her stay, and through introductions made by Art Gene to other arts organisations she was able to further contextualise Art Gene’s work nationally and internationally through references to her own curatorial practice.
Emiko was able to assist us through joining the Art Gene Open Prize 2007 selection panelalong with artist/ curators Paul Moss and Miles Thurlow Directors of Workplace Gallery, Gateshead and artist co-founder Directors of Art Gene Stuart Bastik and Maddi Nicholson.
At the seminar for the opening of the Art Gene Open Prize 2007 Emiko made a presentation featuring recent projects she has been involved in curating in Tokyo. Entitled Art and Society, her presentation focused on how art and artists can become effective catalysts for change through working from within and as part of the communities in which they live and work.
Cumbria, LA14 5TY England, UK
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