A project between D-Jung Space Thailand and Community Art network, which was is coordinated by Dr. Shin Nakagawa of Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University.
August 2016, the project staged the Bon Dance Festival at Totsukawa village, Nara prefecture in Japan. Youth representatives from four Thai provinces (Kanchanaburi, Uthaithani, Phetchaburi, and Pattalung) spent a week learning Japanese traditional culture, practiced and participated in the Obon Dance at Totsukawa and other villages nearby, organized a workshop on local Thai handicrafts and exchanged with Japanese student volunteers and villagers. The crafts from the workshop were installed together with the bamboo decoration for the Obon Dance.
Two artists from Chiangmai (Northern Thailand) and Surin (Northeastern Thailand) participated with Osaka youths in a workshop and joined the Tropical Music Festival for Children by Touch of Art and NPO Cobon in their performance at Totsukawa village. Their shows and activities include a dance by ethnic Lahu and Isan (Northeastern Thailand) folk music.
March 2017, four Japanese artists from Osaka came to Thailand to stage a workshop with Thai youths in two selected communities. Akihiro Nishimura, a musician and composer, and Nodoka Suzumura, a folktale writer and illustrator, create a workshop with Lahu youths at Kong Phakping village, Chiangdao district, Chiagmai province. Takashi Kojima, a musician and a coordinator of NPO Cobon, and Takuro Iwabuchi, an independent writer and artist, staged a month-long workshop ‘What’s Cool’ with the youths at Sam Phraeng community in Bangkok old town area.
The creative pieces of artwork and performance jointly created by Japanese and Thai artists. Thai artists and creative space activists have learned the ideas of modern arts that enliven communities into stories and performance while Japanese artists have found new challenge in employing artworks to link youth to community and in creating contemporary art with new meaning.
At the final seminar of the project, Japanese and Thai project collaborators summarized the contributions and new ideas in their collaboration. Both parties visualized a challenging goal in creating a network to further collaboration between Thailand and Japan in creative space and community art activities, with special focus on children and youth, in order to create a society that enhances quality of life for the people presently and in the future.
・Achievements/Evaluation : The project is well success in open up a new frontier for an exchange between Japan and Thailand on community art and creative space issues and work towards a healthy society. Bring out new ideas and experience for managing Japanese-Thai community art and creative space through sharing and cooperation during community art festival organized both in Thailand and Japan, Start build up a network for activists and organizations working on community art and creative space between Japan and Thailand to keep going and sustain. Promote the concept of community art and creative space, as a learning tool for developing a healthy society for all people at all ages.
The project got great support from communities like Totsukawa community in Japan, villagers in Chiang Mai and communities in old town of Bangkok. This create a network of art and creative space to work together in learning and sharing among Thailand and Japan. Also, the concept of community art and creative space has been presented to target groups and public.
・Future prospects and challenges : After the project, the partner organizations in Japan will proceed the grant to continue the next phase of Creative Space and Community Art collaboration project. This follow-up plan shows how the project could make a great network and sustainable impact for learning and collaboration of the issue.
・Comments on the Grant : The Japan Foundation support has been high important in implementing the project successful (i.e. financial support for transport, accommodation, translation, etc.) under objectives of Japan foundation and applicants. The support of Japan Foundation has started the collaboration in art and culture of countries in Asia. This will enable the future network of creative space and community art in Asia.