Winner Kyoto 2024

Winner Kyoto 2024
23 April, 2024 Ron Dirven

Open Call Artist-in-residence Villa Kamogawa

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan has been working with the Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto since 2019 to strengthen cultural exchange between this region of Japan and the EU. As part of the collaboration, the embassy and Villa Kamogawa have asked the Vincent van GoghHuis to organize an Open Call for an artist to come and work at Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto for three months from May to July 2024.

Villa Kamogawa has been offering artist-in-residence programs for German artists since 2011. From 2023 it will also be open to non-German participants and work together with the Dutch embassy. The residency is located in the center of the historic city of Kyoto by the River Kamo, the place along which the city developed and near the Imperial Palace. At this inspiring location, contacts can be made with the Japanese cultural scene and new artistic projects can be created. Artists respond with a contemporary vision of the history of the place, customs and crafts, in interaction with the local community.

This residency is offered as part of the International Cultural Policy in which Japan is a focus country. The Dutch embassy implements this policy in Japan with a focus on creating opportunities in Japan for artists from the Netherlands through artist in residencies.

Jury report

The Open Call was published at the end of March 2024, with a deadline until April 14. Despite the short notice until the start of the residency, 80 applications were received. The entries were diverse and of high level. From the applications, the jury has compiled a shortlist of 8 candidates: André Pielage, Anna Swagerman, Bas Ketelaars, Fenna Koot & Emmie Liebregts, Jonathan van Doornum, Martin & Inge Riebeek, Remy Neumann and Ruth van Beek. This list was discussed with Heidi Vogels (DutchCulture| Transartists) and Enzio Wetzel (artistic leader/director Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa Kyoto).

Based on these talks, the jury decided to offer the residency to:

Fenna Koot & Emmie Liebregts

How to be a resident, how to live a space?
People have always moved around the world. They often not only adopt the culture of their new
home, but in turn influence it with traditions of their own.

Convinced of the quality of their portfolio, with Fenna Koot (1996) focusing on the built environment and Emmie Liebregts (1996) on the performative, and in collaboration on research and registration of the physical and mental living environment, their proposal builds trust in a fascinating and successful residency. The focus on interaction with residents and the location were the deciding factor.

‘We are interested in how the local written and unwritten rules of manners, traditions, religion and myths are embedded in the living space of Kyoto. Due to the presence of the rich architectural and social history layers Kyoto has, this seems a very appropriate city in Japan to investigate this. During the residency at Villa Kamogawa we will take an active attitude to our new living environment.

Characteristic of our artistic research method is ‘doing’. Doing consists of getting to know, observing and interacting. Making is rather a way of reflection, as described earlier in the text. We are working toward a narrative form in which video observations mix with sculptures, creating a poetic world of experience that we can share with potential viewers.’

The jury considers the residency as an excellent opportunity for these talented Dutch artists to further develop and profile themselves in Japan.

Ron Dirven, director-curator Vincent van GoghHuis
Eva Geene, curator Van Gogh AiR