2021 Artists

Robert Hutchison, Architect

March to June 2023

Robert Hutchison is a practitioner, researcher, and educator whose practice overlaps the fields of architecture and installation. Hutchison received a MArch degree from the University of Washington in 1996, and BS degrees in Engineering from Drexel University in 1990. Hutchison is principal of Seattle-based Robert Hutchison Architecture, and an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. Honors include the 2016 – 2017 Rome Prize in Architecture awarded by the American Academy in Rome, the 2010 Creative Artists Fellowship awarded by the Japan-US Friendship Commission, and a 2009 Emerging Voices award from the Architectural League of NY.

For his JUSFC Fellowship, in Fall 2021 Robert will visit the towns and villages along the coastal areas of the Tohoku and Kanto regions that were devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, where he will document the relationship between newly rebuilt communities and recent tsunami infrastructure. This research, which will include documentation using photography, drawing, and interviews with residents, will support his conceptual project ‘Dynamic Landscapes’, a series of architectural narratives and corresponding para-fictional proposals that investigate the relationship of infrastructure to coastal communities at risk to tsunamis and sea level rise.



Mark de Clive-Lowe, Composer/Musician

April to July 2023

Mark de Clive-Lowe

Composer, jazz musician, found-sound remixer and club music producer, Mark de Clive-Lowe is an internationally established musician with over 20 years of experience spanning multiple genres and continents. Half Japanese-half New Zealander and LA based since 2008, de Clive-Lowe has released over a dozen solo albums and hundreds of collaborations and remixes with musicians, DJs and artists around the world. De Clive-Lowe’s 2019 double album HERITAGE sees him doing a deep-dive into his Japanese roots, interpreting it through the lens of jazz and electronica. He is the Founding Artist in Residence for La Ceiba Festival, and an active curator, educator and speaker.

(the) avant-garde soulful Pianist/DJ/Producer delivers his lifetime of journeys to different musical ports in a concise package, seamlessly… transporting not just in genre but in emotion and spirit. – Huffington Post

De Clive-Lowe’s late father spent 20 years in Japan from 1953 to 1973, primarily in Hiroshima, Kyoto, and living in Kamakura while working in Tokyo. Before he passed away in 2011, he wrote his memoirs, writing in detail about his years in Japan. De Clive-Lowe will be using his father’s memoirs as his guide, visiting the places where he lived and experienced postwar Japan, reflecting on his father’s experiences, and integrating his own experiences in those places and how he relates as a son and being half-Japanese. From this immersion, he will compose a new body of work “In My Father’s Footsteps,” also collaborating with traditional Japanese musicians.



Dakota Gearheart, Video Artist

Travel postponed to 2023 (TBD)

Dakota Gearhart is an installation artist who combines meticulously edited video works with large-scale sculptural elements. Her practice as a whole concerns itself with the radical deconstruction of contemporary power structures according to a queer, ecofeminist worldview. Recent works have explored such topics as the commercial flower trade, gender bias in big tech, and coral reef tourism in her home state of Florida. She has exhibited widely in galleries and museums across the U.S. She is based in New York City.

In Japan, Dakota will expand on her animated video series Life Touching Life by researching and creating new episodes on intersections of Japanese culture and ecology. Particular subjects include the solitary lifestyle of the Goblin shark, the hotly debated sexual orientation of Macaques, salon techniques that offer organic snail facials, and more. She will be screening and presenting her work at multiple venues throughout Japan, including I-House.



Yona Harvey, Writer

Travel postponed to 2023 (TBD)

Yona Harvey is a writer and author of the poetry collections You Don’t Have To Go To Mars for Love (Four Way Books) and Hemming the Water (Four Way Books), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University. She contributed to Marvel’s World of Wakanda and co-authored with Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther and the Crew. She has also worked with teenagers writing about mental health issues in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction magazine. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she is an associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh Writing Program.

In Japan Harvey will study maps and create concrete and visual poems influenced by the “landscape poems” of poet, performer and Pittsburgh native Joel Dias-Porter. Writing comics has given Harvey more visual design insights as she explores this kind of poetry. Her poems also have an eye on the Pittsburgh Northside neighborhood where she lives. Some poems are like reportages or transcriptions, employing the looseness of notetaking or contour drawing. She is interested in the ways that women mark the landscape with their lineages, shaping the communities of the world, and in pushing the limits of how a poem might appear.



Lee Somers, Ceramic Artist

Travel postponed to 2023 (TBD)

Lee Somers (born 1977, USA) studied art at the Alfred University School of Art and Design (BFA 1999, MFA 2006). Somers spent several years assisting artist Wayne Higby in the studio and developing cultural exchange programs in China. Currently, Lee teaches art at the University of Montevallo in the state of Alabama, USA. His ceramic art contemplates the landscape as a coupling of natural and cultural forces. Collage is a key strategy to his work, layering disparate materials and references in compositions reflecting the experience of time and place. Somers exhibits his work nationally and internationally.

With Echizen as a base, Lee will tour all of the Japan Heritage: Six Ancient Kilns sites, and other ceramic handcraft and industry sites. He will gather materials, techniques and concepts during these site visits, broadening options for creative work while gaining deeper understanding of the local heritage, history and culture associated with the kilns. The end-goal of the residency is to produce a body of work reflective of the experience, synthesizing traditions with contemporary interpretations. He will also produce a monograph documenting the work and its influences, to be published within one year of the residency.



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