Organised by Keith Whittle and Japan Foundation, this talk explored how during the past decade, there has been a boom in contemporary art projects in various areas of Japan, often as a tool of town or city regeneration. What may be unique about these projects is that many are happening outside the situ of the museum and are being led by the communities where the projects take place. This new phenomenon has increasingly come to occupy an important position in Japan’s contemporary art scene and has created an opportunity to review the relationship between art and those who are involved in it.

For this event, Takashi Serizawa, the founder and Director of P3 art and environment, introduced some of the state of the art projects which have emerged in Japan since the 1990s, showcasing a few interesting examples in his brief presentation. Serizawa has been involved in numerous recent art projects, such as Beppu Contemporary Art Festival 2009; he was also one of the Curators of the International Triennale of Contemporary Art Yokohama 2005, and is the Director for the Asahi Art Festival. Serizawa’s presentation talk was followed by a discussion with Keith Whittle, International Projects, Central Saint Martins, and Andrea Schlieker, Director of exhibitions and displays at Tate Britain. Exploring the role and function of recent contemporary art projects, in particular, those rooted in communities, as opposed to conventional museum exhibitions, the talk and following discussion questioned if this style may pave a way forward for the presentation of contemporary art.

Special thanks to Takashi Serizawa, Andrea Schlieker and The Japan Foundation.