Meirin Artist-In-Residence outline

The Meirin district of Kurayoshi City, Tottori prefecture, is located on the west side of the old town of Kurayoshi.  Old town Kurayoshi is long and narrow from east to west.  It once flourished as a castle town and as a town around the local feudal lord’s residence (Jinyamachi).  The streets of eastern old town Kurayoshi are lined with old storehouses with white plastered walls and merchant houses which possess an extraordinary beauty due to the contrast between their red roof tiles, white plastered walls, and baseboards of black burnt cedar.  On the east side of old town, there are galleries and cafes remodeled from old storehouses and old houses.  The area is bustling with tourists.

The Meirin district, which is located on the west side of the old town, is a town of merchants and craftsmen.  It is why merchants’ houses along the main road, irrigation canals around the town, and farming equipment manufacturing blacksmiths still remain.  The way they remain seems to blend with the town.

Meirin AIR is a project where artists stay in the Meirin district for a fixed period of time, interact with the local residents, and create artwork through making use of local resources (AIR = Artist In Residence).  The unique features of Meirin AIR are that we provide opportunities for people of various generations and regions, who have various values, to interact with artists directly and to get involved in the project as staff members and as members of the audience.  For example, one can visit the sites of creation or even join in the process of creation.  Such unique opportunities are rare in Japan.

For the project, we coordinate various things so that the artists can have direct interaction with the local community, and we provide a place for them to do their practical activities and research within the district.  Also, we aim to build a new community centering around “Meirin AIR” and to play a role in “breathing new life” into the assets of the local district and the lives of the local people, which have both existed for long time and will continue to do so into the future, through the many experiences of the artists’ practical activities.

What's Meirin AIR 2012 ?
Two artists, one from inside and one from outside of Japan, are going to stay at the Meirin district in Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture. They will create artwork and hold art exhibitions. As was done in the past, the two artists will try to feel art in the living space of the local people and make opportunities for cross-cultural communication through the art. At the same time, we at Meirin AIR will make plans for the "Meirin Art School" to prepare for their work. We will have study meetings and workshops not only to support their work, but also to enjoy their art more. By having such opportunities, we will make a place for the local people and the artists to communicate and create new values.

1. Staying at Meirin and creating art work by two artists, one from inside and one from outside of Japan, (AIR) + Art Exhibition:
  Franck Bragigand Art Exhibition: August 25 (Sat.) – September 9 (Sun.), 2012
  Takehito Shiina Art Exhibition: September 29 (Sat.) – October 8 (Mon., a National Holiday), 2012

Franck Bragigand

Born in 1971 in Bettwiller (France). Currently lives in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Graduate of Ecole de Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) located in Besançon (France). Mr. Bragigand stayed at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam for two years. He is an artist whose concept is 'restoring daily life'. Through re-painting objects that are old or we don't use, Mr. Bragigand gives new attraction and value to such objects.

Takehito Shiina

Mr. Shiina, an artist, conducts projects focusing on the plastic side through the relationship between nature and human beings as well as ethnological subjects. Mr. Shiina has done such things as collecting eyewitness testimony and making the "Kappa Complex", which is an image of a Kappa (a mythical water-dwelling creature) from the 21 century, as well as planting plant seeds on his own body, observing the growth, and announcing the findings in “The Photosynthesizers Journal.”