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2018 Artists

Derek Gromadzki, Writer

elaine_buckholz2_sDerek Gromadzki is both a poet and a translator. But his artistic practice, rather than reflecting this dichotomy, assumes a more amorphous agenda that relies interchangeably upon poetry and translation. Elements of his translations become sources of innovation in his poetry just as stylistic problems worked out in his poems generate new possibilities for approaching the difficulties of translation. A network of several world languages woven across time by etymology undergirds his work. And this structure serves as the basis for the most distinctive features of Gromadzki’s writing: the rhythms and sounds he generates through a meticulous but dynamic approach to prosody. In Japan, Gromadzki plans to conduct research for his second book of poetry, Horology, which draws upon the history of mechanical timekeeping as well as different cultural conceptions of time in order to explore new possibilities for the experience of time in poetry. In order to unravel the particularities of time as it has been and is presently imagined in Japanese culture, he plans to visit several of Japanese watchmaker Seiko’s facilities, as well as interviewing local scientists and artists, including fellow writer Yoshimasu Gozo, and the researchers at the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Rachely Rotem & Phu Hoang, Architects

May - August 2018
jami-lin_sTogether, Phu Hoang and Rachely Rotem run MODU, an interdisciplinary architecture studio with inventive projects that often emphasize the weather’s role in shaping a dwelling’s formal and experiential particularities. Their proposals are usually driven by a desire to contest and dismantle the logic of modern architecture, especially in its costly attempts to negate weather. In addition to their busy international practice, Hoang & Rotem are also active in teaching and research at some of America’s most prestigious universities. The duo will spend their time in Japan researching the way in which the archipelago’s varied climate influences local architecture (both past and present) and the approach of the architects and builders behind it.

Laurel Nakanishi, Writer

April-August 2018
qvantu_sBorn and raised in Alewa, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Laurel Nakanishi is the author of the award-winning chapbook Mānoa|Makai, and her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous national magazines. Her work is grounded in the natural world and features myth, imagery, and storytelling that is often genre-bending. In addition to her literary work, Nakanishi is deeply committed to community projects. She is the founder and director of NicaArts in Nicaragua, and has served as the founding coordinator at O, Miami’s Sunroom community poetry program. During her residency, Nakanishi plans to revisit the henro pilgrimage route and write a lyric memoir of the experience. She will also interview pilgrimage scholars around the country with the aim of incorporating the voices of other pilgrims into her creative process. Coming from a Japanese-American family with a deep connection to Shingon Buddhism, Nakanishi believes the experience will reinforce her understanding of her culture and inform her teaching.

José Navarrete, Performer

August 2018 to January 2019
josenavarreteCROPPEDsm_sJosé Navarrete’s practice, which he began in his native México City, integrates choreography, dance and education by taking performance and dance beyond the stage and into the community. In Navarrete’s work, there is a carefully researched dialogue between transdisciplinary experimental performance and the traditional music, rituals and dances of cultures in which the artist has immersed himself for years. With Debby Kajiyama, he leads Naka Dance Theater, an outfit that creates interdisciplinary performance works using movement, theater, art installation, multimedia, and site-specific environments. Navarrete will spend his residency mainly in Iwate prefecture, where he will immerse himself in all aspects of the practice of Shishi-odori (Deer Dance), which he sees not only as an artistic expression, but also as a bonding element that gives the communities that keep it alive continuity and strength.

Jesse Schlesinger, Artist

September 2018 to January 2019
JesseSchlesingerCROPPEDsm-1_sJesse Schlesinger is a visual artist residing in San Francisco and Sausalito. He works in a variety of media, including sculpture, installation, drawing, and photography. As the son of a carpenter, Schlesinger is deeply connected to carpentry and architecture. In his sculptures and installations, Schlesinger works with a hand-crafted aesthetic utilizing foraged natural and urban materials and found objects. Both private and public, these works explore how we inhabit and contemplate space. Schlesinger's work is deeply influenced by the trans-Pacific dialogue existing between Japan and California for many decades. While in Japan, he will explore rural and urban settings in search of materials to utilize in artworks. He is eager to engage in dialogue with local artists and craftspeople, recognizing there is immense potential in these conversations.
For profiles and photos of previous artists, please click on the year201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022001200019991978-1998Artists' Profiles TOP JAPANESE  

2017 Artists

Elaine Buckholtz, Visual Artist

June-November, 2017
elaine_buckholz2_sElaine Buckholtz lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Her recent work utilizes video and light in relation to sculptural forms, digital prints, and preexisting sites in architecture and nature under the cover of darkness. Buckholtz has a background in visual and lighting design for the stage, and a significant aspect of her visual art has involved direct experiences and immersive environments for the viewer to engage in – the materials of her work have included light, vision, and perception in relation to objects as large as cathedrals and as small as a pair of glasses. In Japan she will be researching light art, architectural lighting and media facades, and related technological innovations.

Jami Nakamura Lin, Writer

March 29 - August 2, 2017
jami-lin_sJami Nakamura Lin is a Chicago-based writer whose work explores the complex intersections of cultural identity, religion, and mental illness, and the ways mythology reflects a society’s desires and fears. As a Japanese-American woman whose family was placed in incarceration camps during the 1940s, Lin is interested in how xenophobia and nationalism often stem from creating a myth of the Other. Her current novel, loosely influenced by Japanese folklore, focuses on oni (roughly translated, demons) both literally and as metaphor for outsider. In Japan, she will research and visit sites and shrines relevant to the country’s rich mythology, as well as study oral storytelling and folk Shinto.

Kimi Maeda, Theater Artist

July-December, 2017
kimi-maeda_sKimi Maeda is a Japanese-American theater artist based in Columbia, South Carolina who makes intimate, cross-disciplinary visual performances. Since 2001, Maeda has designed sets and costumes in numerous productions in the US and Europe. Of these, her solo performance ephemera is a collection of sand drawing and shadow puppet pieces that engages memory, home, and trans-cultural identity. In Japan, Maeda will spend her time in Hamada City in Shimane Prefecture, studying the masks, puppets, costumes, music, and rehearsal process of Iwami kagura, a traditional Japanese Shinto dance originating in Shimane. She will also collect audio and video interviews with local kagura artists in Hamada.

Quynh Vantu, Architect

December 2017- June 2018
qvantu_sQuynh Vantu is a licensed architect and artist based in Virginia. Her art practice considers a movement-based engagement with architecture, exploring our physical relationships and interactions with built environments and spatial surroundings. Drawing from her upbringing in the American South, Vantu’s work stems from influences of porch culture and “southern hospitality,” enacting social virtues and exchanges in the architectural interventions she creates. In Japan she will use the threshold as a methodological tool, to explore how this element is the most active space within architecture – and in effect becomes the physical manifestation of movement, a social condition that offers engagement with one another, and an implement to perform cultural ideals.

Vanessa Voskuil, Choreographer

April to July, 2017
vanessavoskuil2016_sVanessa Voskuil is a Minneapolis-based choreographer, director, performer, writer, designer, and teaching artist. Her works range from large community-inclusive performance works to ensemble and solo works for site-specific locations and theater settings, and are informed by the theater training methods of Yoshi Oida, as well as years of studying qigong and tai chi. Since 2008, she has also made a series of dance films. Following her formal study of noh theater in Osaka and Kyoto, Voskuil plans to develop a community of participants for a new work that would be directly influenced by this study of noh, and anticipates showing this work in Kyoto as well as Osaka.
For profiles and photos of previous artists, please click on the year201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022001200019991978-1998Artists' Profiles TOP JAPANESE