TOKYO PAPER for Culture トーキョーペーパー フォー カルチャー





vol.014 / Special

Spotlight on the Tokyo Artpoint Project

Sowing the seeds of art and culture in your neighborhood

The Tokyo Artpoint Project organizes art projects all over the metropolis, connecting people, towns, and activities in Tokyo. Through initiatives co-sponsored by NPOs based in local communities, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and Arts Council Tokyo, it aims to ensure that art and culture take root in the daily life and communities of the metropolis, thereby adding to Tokyo’s allure. Thirteen projects – already underway – are being implemented this year. What are the potential fruits of art projects undertaken outside the confines of art museums and galleries, involving diverse people and activities? We talked to some of those involved in the Tokyo Artpoint Project as NPOs, artists, supporters, and program officers.

Akio HayashiMariko TomomasaYusuke YamagamiReina Ashibe

Nonprofit Organization

NPOs are the teams that plan and run art projects

Akio Hayashi

Developing mechanisms that will create new value for society

The Relight Project, of which I’m director is opening an adult education university called the Relight Committee this year. Its mission is to cultivate “social sculptors.” Our aim is to instill in each and every participant the ability to think for themselves by learning about art’s relationship to society and role therein, so that they go on to create new value in their respective fields (workplaces and homes). Artistic techniques and approaches are positioned as a tool for this, so the participants don’t need any knowledge of art.

We’re also organizing Relight Days, a once-a-year art event in which we light up Counter Void, a public artwork that was turned off after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. This initiative poses questions to society through the prism of art, using it as a device to prevent memories of the disaster fading.

About two years have passed since I began my activities in Tokyo. I feel that organizing art projects in a big city holds tremendous potential, but at the same time, I’ve come to see the difficulties involved as well. It’s harder to grasp the impact in terms of feedback than in a provincial city. We need to forge good partnerships with government and private sector companies, so that we can devise better approaches from the team-building stage.

Tokyo attracts an almost unlimited pool of talent and has many places for showcasing their output. That’s exactly why I think that creating opportunities for people to increase “cultural capital” in a variety of locations will make the whole of society happier. I plan to continue developing mechanisms for this.

  • Akio Hayashi

    Managing Director of NPO inVisible. Having previously served as director for the Beppu Contemporary Art Festival 2012 “Mixed Bathing World” and general director of the Tottori Geiju Festival, he is currently the director of the Relight Project, part of the Tokyo Artpoint Project.

Editing & Written by Playce
Translation: Office Miyazaki, Inc.