Friday, January 27, 2012

「Ma: Space between here and there」展

Hi all, Amanda here.


2012 can't believe that we are here already. 2011 was a big year for our office with many events in all departments so I guess that's why the year flew!!


Now in Sydney it is Summer but there are alot of rain, storms and flooding in Queensland, people are having to be evacuated from their homes. Last year we had devastating floods at this time of the year too so we hope that they don't get any worse. Did you hear about these on the news?


Yesterday, 26th January saw us celebrate Australia Day. This day commutates the arrival of the First Fleetin Sydney in 1788.

1月26日は、1788年にシドニーに初の入植団が到着したことを記念する日「Australia Day」でした。

Australia, being a very multi-cultural country, people choose to celebrate this day is all kinds of ways, many have BBQs, go to the beach, play cricket, watch cricket on TV, enjoy the day off, watch fireworks in the city, have house parties, hang out with their friends and much more. These are the more traditional ways but I'm sure there are so many I've missed.



There are also citizenship ceremonies around Australia which is the final step to officially become an Australian citizen. Australia Day is the most popular day to do this, being all about Australia you can imagine why.

また、正式にオーストラリア国民になるための最終ステップとなるシチズンシップセレモニーが国中で行われます。このセレモニーは「Australia Day」によく行われます。オーストラリア人になるということを考えると、Australiaという言葉が使われている「Australia Day」に行われるのも納得ですよね~。

Our calendar kicked of with 'Facetnate!' which is a program which supports emerging artists in Australia. The first exhibition called 'Ma: Space between here and there' by Japanese artist Yuria Okamura based in Melbourne, explores the relationship between interior and exterior spaces, the ideas of perception and illusion, and the physical and abstract world.

2012年のイベントはオーストラリアの新進アーティストをサポートするプログラム「Facetnate!」からスタートしました。今年初の展覧会は、メルボルンを拠点として活動している日本人アーティストYuria Okamuraさんの「Ma: Space between here and there」展です。この展覧会は、内なるスペースと外なるスペースの関係、認識と幻影というアイデア、物理的な世界と抽象的な世界を探っていくというものです。

Here is one of her pieces



And one of her speaking on the opening night



Her artworks are very beautiful and really can't be truly appreciated unless you are up close and viewing the in the gallery. The detail in her work and attention to details is just amazing.


After Okamura's exhibition we have another emerging artists collaboration and many more events in store....


Make sure to come see for yourself on our site


Until next time!




Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  The Dolls of Japan Exhibition 「日本人形展」

Hello everyone! This is Jaa from Bangkok, Thailand. The weather in Bangkok is quite cool, but not cold; I guess we’ve never had really cold weather in Bangkok. Our cool weather is usually around 15-20 degrees Celsius and our hot weather in April is about 35-40 degrees!


Before I start I’d like to say that the previous blog by Yui about the project “Community x Graffiti @Ishinomaki” is really interesting! The Graffiti fishes are beautiful.

まず最初にyuiが書いてくれた“Community x Graffiti @Ishinomaki”プロジェクトについての感想をひとつ。とってもおもしろい!グラフィティの魚たちは本当にキレイですね~。

Trying to think what to share with you in this blog and looking back on the year that has just passed, I think for Thai people 2011 could be called the Year of Water. We had big flood in Bangkok which had not happened since 1995 and that one was less devastating than this year’s. Unfortunately, the whole country, was flooded, in almost every region. There was severe flooding in the North in September. Floods swept through the Northeast and the Central region, devastating cities like Nakhon Sawan, Ayutthaya, Pathumthani and later Bangkok in October. Many people have called this the worst flood in Thailand’s history, maybe that’s because it’s the worst flood in living memory. And just two weeks ago, the South was inundated with heavy rain, flooding cities like Nakhon Si Thammarat.

このブログで何を書いたらいいかなと思いながら昨年を振り返ってみると、2011年はタイ人にとっては「水の年」だったと言えるのではないでしょうか。バンコクでは1995年以来という大洪水が発生し、その被害は1995年の洪水よりも深刻でした。国全体が大洪水に見舞われ、ほぼ全域で被害が発生するというたいへんなことになりました。9月には北部で大規模洪水が発生し、Nakhon Sawan、Ayutthaya、Pathumthaniといったようなタイ北東部と中央部の都市を一掃し、その後10月にはバンコクで洪水が発生しました。多くの人が今回の大洪水はタイ史上最悪の洪水だと言っていますが、これはおそらく人々の記憶に残っている範囲で最悪の洪水だからではないでしょうか。そしてちょうど2週間前、Nakhon Si Thammaratなどのタイ南部の都市が大雨のため浸水しました。

However, despite the human tragedy, many interesting things happened during this crisis. For example, we found that there was huge number of people volunteered and help other people (even though their own house was flooded as well!). And many of the volunteers were young people.


During the floods, a website and organization called SiamArsa (can be translated as Thai volunteer), was set to assist in the coordination of volunteer work:

大洪水の間、SiamArsa(タイのボランティア)というWebサイトや団体がボランティア活動のとりまとめをするために立ち上げられました。 (in Thaiタイ語)

This website was designed to be a center for organizations that need volunteers and for people who would like to do volunteer jobs. Anyone interested can register on this website or search for posted volunteer jobs. During the flooding, jobs included packing sand bags, cleaning and repairing flooded schools, packing food and survival kits. The website also provided tips or useful information during the crisis, such as how to purify water, how to check electricity outlets before moving back in a house, how to clean flood-damaged houses after the flood, etc. One feature that was particularly popular was the use of amusing video clips about the situation. Although they are in Thai, anyone can understand them.


One more interesting and outstanding work was produced by a group of young volunteers - activists, film directors, graphic designers, university students, etc. They made short animations (each episode is around 10 minutes long), in order to explain the flooding situation to citizens. The team that created the clips said that there was a need for simple and clear as much of the official communication was too complicated for the general public to understand.


Their animation series, which featured a blue whale as the main character, the symbol of water, was hugely successful and popular, especially with young people. Thai PBS, a Thai public TV channel, supported them and broadcasted the animations.


You can watch their animations via Youtube at:


And these animations have English subtitles!


Back to our JF Bangkok office. Sadly, because of the floods, a lot of our activities were put on hold or postponed although there is one exhibition which continued regardless - The Dolls of Japan Exhibition.

バンコク日本文化センターに話を戻すと。。。残念なことに洪水の影響でたくさんのイベントが中断されたり、延期されたりしました。その中でひとつだけ続行した展覧会があります。それは「The Dolls of Japan Exhibition」です!

The exhibition opened in Bangkok in October and moved to Chiang Mai, a province in the North in November, when Bangkok was flooded and now the exhibition is being held in Nakhon Si Thammarat in the South.

この展覧会は10月にバンコクでスタートし、11月にはタイ北部のChiang Maiに巡回し、バンコクが洪水に見舞われたため、現在はタイ南部のNakhon Si Thammaratにて開催中です!




(Furoshiki workshop, part of the activities in this exhibition in Bangkok)


We held the doll exhibition in Bangkok at the Crystal Design Center from 12 to 23 October 2011.

この展覧会は、2011年10月12日から23日までバンコクのCrystal Design Centerにて開催されました。


(The Dolls of Japan exhibition at Chiang Mai University Art Center, 4-30 November 2011)

(2011年11月4日から30日までChiang Mai University Art Centerにて開催された展覧会の様子)




(Many people took photos of the doll exhibition)



(Workshop to make clay dolls supvervised by Ms. Toida)



(Workshop participants)


From Chiang Mai in the northern part, these lovely dolls travel to the south of Thailand to greet people in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The exhibition period is 9 December 2011 – 14 January 2012. And Nakhon Si Thammarat just got flood for 2 days during New Year!

かわいい人形たちが、タイ北部Chiang Maiからタイ南部Nakhon Si Thammaratに暮らす皆さんにごあいさつするために移動してきてくれました♪Nakhon Si Thammaratでは2011年12月9日から2012年1月14日まで開催されたのですが、当地は新年の2日間だけ浸水被害に遭いました!


(Opening ceremony)



(Staff of City Learning Park, our co-organizer and the venue of this exhibition)

(共催のCity Learning Parkのスタッフの皆さん)


(Students from local schools who came to the opening ceremony)





After closing the exhibition in Nakhon Si Thammarat, the exhibition will go to Phayao which is the last city to enjoy the exhibition before it travels to Africa.

For those of you that follow the events held by the Japan Foundation, we put more photographs of our activities on the JFBKK facebook page at:

Nakhon Si Thammaratで開催された後、今度はタイ国内での最後の開催地Phayaoへと巡回します。タイのあとはアフリカへと旅立つ予定です。


Byeeeee! Until we meet again.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

【レポート編】コミュニティ×グラフィティ@石巻 【Wrap-up Report】Community X Graffiti @Ishinomaki

【レポート編】Community x Graffiti @ 石巻

【Wrap-up Report】Community x Graffiti @Ishinomaki



Long time no posting!

yui from Tokyo!

みなさま 本年もどうぞよろしくお願いいたします。


Season’s greetings!

Wishing you all a good year filled with smile in 2012.


This is Kadomatsu placed in front of the Japan Foundation Headquarters!



Today’s story is……



I made an interim report on “Community x Graffiti @Ishinomaki” the other day. You are curious how things have gone with it since the last report, aren’t you? So now I’m making a wrap-up report. Here you are!



【Announcement】&【Interim Report】are available here↓↓


【実況編(Interim Report)】


The project was covered by the media, so some of you might have seen it!

読売オンライン(Yomiuri Online)

MSN産経ニュース(The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital)


Surprisingly, Brazilian newspaper as well!,grafite-brasileiro-revitaliza-comunidade-destruida-por-tsunami-no-japao,810096,0.htm


The project is also mentioned on the blog site by the head of Ishinomaki furusato-fukko-kyogikai that supported this project as a co-organizer.




When reported last time, goldfish had been painted at 3 residential complexes, and flowers had at 6 residential complexes, which was the halfway to the goal.

After that, Titi painted a big fish using the walls of two temporary houses at 4 residential complexes and a small fish on the wall of a house (daddy fish and his little kid!). The graffiti of cloud had been drawn at 5 residential complexes.

The works are here↓↓





The fish at 4 residential complexes especially caught the residents’ attention.

The question is…..


What kind of fish are they?


This became a hot issue among the residents. They discussed it every day.



Yes, here is Ishinomaki, a town of fishing harbors. This means a lot of people living here are engaged in the fisheries industry as for instance fishermen. Then it was natural for the residents to discuss what kind of fish had been drawn on the walls of their houses.


“They are trout!”


“I don’t think so. They are salmons as their lower jaws are sticking out.”


“You’re right. They are salmons.”



Like this ^・^

The majority judged they were salmons. The reason was “lower jaw”! ha ha!



Titi, the very artist who actually painted, said……


“The fish were drawn inspired by imagination, so it’s up to you to find out what kind of fish they are.”



That’s his answer.

The graffiti really stimulated the residents’ imagination!


What is more♪


A workshop was also held for the residents on December 10.




The residents tried to draw graffiti with color sprays usually used by Titi for his works at the workshop.

The process was to make patterns with sprays by using paper stencil. This makes it easy for beginners to make beautiful design patterns and express their own creativity with different arrangement and combination.


The residents enjoyed making their original graffiti works using a variety of paper stencils and colors!!







All the works produced at the workshop were given to the residents as gifts.

They brought the graffiti works back home as a memory of time spent with Titi.

I hope they have been brightening up the residents’ rooms if only a little!





photo:Kenichi Aikawa

We had a farewell party with the residents at night of December 10, the last day of the project.

Titi cried a little bit as the residents having gathered for the party were all compassionate and when he looked back on 10 days spent with them.

He looks cool with hip hop style, but actually he has a very warm heart!



It had been sooo cold for 10 days!

I even felt painful and Titi’s hands hurt because of the cold weather. Honestly, we had many difficulties during the project term.





However, the kindness of the residents overcame the difficulties.

Some visited the working site every day to cheer for us.

Some brought us hot drinks, sweets and snacks.

Some stopped by to see graffiti drawing and encouraged us with kind words and smiles.







We were supposed to visit Ishinomaki to activate and brighten up the residents’ community, but contrary to the expectation, we were encouraged and empowered by them.

On the first day, we came across a double rainbow, and at the last night, we experienced total lunar eclipse. What a miracle!

Thank you very much to the people of Ishinomaki Tomorrow Business Town for your support!!