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2009 Artists


Craig Anthony Arnold, Creative Writing

March15 -, 09

Craig Anthony ArnoldCraig came to Japan to continue research and writing for his third book, a series of prose poems (lyric essays), entitled An Exchange of Fire. The prologue of this work, focusing on areas known for their active volcanoes, is set in Greece and Sicily, and he was piecing together material also gathered from trips to Mexico and other Latin American countries. His method was to take personal experiences of these volcanic areas as occasions to contemplate recurring cultural themes or motifs. Craig’s plan in Japan was to undertake pilgrimages along the back roads and visit several of Japan’s major volcanoes. Tragically, on April 27th when hiking the volcano on Kuchinoerabu Island, south of Kagoshima, he went missing. To date, neither he nor his remains has been discovered.
When applying for this fellowship, he wrote the following. “If my ongoing pilgrimage serves no other purpose, I at least hope to convey, however humbly, a sense of how cataclysm, natural and man-made, may color even our most intimate perceptions of the world.”
Our hearts go out to his family, friends, colleagues and all those who loved his poetry.

Patricia Chao, Fiction Writer

March 1 -August 1, 09

Patricia ChaoPatricia is currently working on her third novel, entitled New World, which is set half in São Paulo, Brazil and half in Japan. Research for the Brazilian portion is already underway, but the author feels the need to live in Japan for a while to research the Japanese section. As a half-Japanese, Patricia still has relatives in Japan, some of whom she will interview in order to develop certain characters in the novel. Her research here will focus on language study, learning various aspects of the Japanese culture and travelling around the country. She is especially interested in hot springs sites; a large portion of the novel will take place in a Japanese hot spring town.

Kevin James, Composer

July 21-December 22, 09

Kevin JamesKevin is currently engaged in the long term project of creating instrumental multimedia music works using field recordings of extinct and nearly extinct “isolate” languages from around the world as a source for the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic content of the music. Kevin’s reason for wanting to spend time in Japan is to specifically study and gather materials on the Ainu language and begin to create a multimedia work based on that language. He will work with local linguists as well as such institutions as the Ainu Museum, the Ainu Cultural Promotion Foundation, the Endangered Pacific Rim Project and the Ainu Culture Research Center. He will also search the libraries of various Japanese universities that house collections and recordings of the Ainu language.

Michele Kong, Visual arts

October 06, 2009-April 20, 2010

MicheleMichele’s simple yet evocative works create a luminous environment that elicits pause, contemplation and stillness as a respite from the frenetic pace of contemporary life. The Japanese visual arts, including the gardens and architecture, have always been an inspiration for Michele’s creativity. Her research in Japan will focus on the creation of a new series of public art projects. Through the visit to shrines, sanctuaries, temples and other sacred sites of Japan, she hopes to gain insight on how the various elements intended to evoke mindfulness can also be integrated into daily life. She plans to reside at the Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo and enter as much as possible into the artistic life of Tokyo.

Jane Rigler, Composer

November 04, 2009 -May 1, 2010

Jane RiglerDuring her residency, Jane proposes to work on new musical compositions involving eminent artists in several Japanese cities. These artists will include traditional and experimental musicians, dancers and composers. She will also investigate the influence of Buddhist aesthetic in architecture, poetry and various cultural practices. This project will expand and refine the influences already existing in her work. Specifically, she plans to research the traditional and non-traditional music repertory for shakuhachi and koto, study electronic improvisational music, work with butoh dancers and visit Buddhist temples and meditative centers.


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