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Global Seminar

Since 1990, the contemporary art environment such as the system of art museums, international exhibitions, and galleries, as well as the relationship between world politics, economy, and the art market have rapidly become more complicated around the world. To that end, it is no longer possible to grasp the overall picture. In order to be a top-level artist within this context, it is necessary that students understand the complicated circumstances of contemporary art from a comprehensive and global perspective, while, at the same time, have a deep knowledge of their own cultural context. At the Graduate School “Global Seminar,” we aim to make the most of Kyoto as our location and this special intensive program in a small group, so that students can understand their position from historical and geographical perspectives and become cosmopolitans of a new generation who can speak, have discourse, express, and give presentations on an international stage. At the Global Seminar we are holding special classes with renown international and domestic guests such as artists who are already participating in top-level international exhibitions and whose work are collected by world famous museums, leading curators, among others.

Global Seminar Director

芸術研究科 教授 片岡 真実
Mami Kataoka

Mami Kataoka is Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and Artistic Director for the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2016-2018). She is also on the Board of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) since 2014.

What is special about the Global Seminar?

01 A program with small class sizes
In order to promote a special educational program with small class sizes, each year up to 5 students will be accepted.
02 Through research trips abroad, students can experience the mood around the world
We will carry out research trips to Kyoto, Tokyo, and abroad and visit renown museums, galleries, and artist studios to understand the mood of locations around the world.
03 An assemble of internationally active guests; strengthening of English skills
Approximately six times throughout the year, we will invite guests to give intensive lectures, mainly world-leading international and domestic artists and curators. Since these international lectures will be in English, we aim to strengthen language skills.
04 Focusing on the future, an emphasis on studying Asian art
Not only limited to Western and Japanese art, we also emphasize the study of art history, social history, and traditional culture, etc.. of the Asia-Pacific region
05 Fostering abilities to survive the age
In order to survive this post-internet age, we foster the abilities to collect information, carry out survey and research, compile knowledge and give presentation through common research and projects.
06 Make art works in the latest facilities
Art making can be carried out at Ultra Factory’s common studios where we offer a great art making environment and guidance with the latest facilities.

Lectures and discussions

Students join lecture by reading a large amount of materials such as criticism written by guest lecturers and documents on past exhibitions distributed before Saskia came to Japan. In the lecture, in addition to these materials, detailed commentary with images of exhibitions and works, her stories developed in various ways such as the theme of the exhibition and the attitude of the artists. In the discussion time, students also actively asked questions. For students who want to work on the international stage, the time to listen to guest lecturers who are involved with planning international exhibitions and the opportunity to express their own questions and opinions is very valuable. Also, because all classes are in English, students can improve their English language skills by being in an environment where English is necessary.

One-to-one Kyoto guiding between lecturer and students

There was a proposal from Saskia to meet each student, so time was set for her to talk to students about not just ways of thinking about art but also private matters. Students took her to the places where each student had an attachment to, such as the student’s studio, their favorite cafe, Tetsugaku no michi (the Philosopher's Path), shopping arcades around the Demachiyanagi, the theater Demachi-za, among others. They talked with each other while eating together etc… in a relaxed atmosphere. Although the students’ English is not so advanced, she patiently listened and the students could actively talk and they were able to enjoy communicating with each other. In this way, we plan to continue to connect students and lecturers, so that students can learn various things even outside of the classroom.

Exhibition making in 2 days

Three days before the last class, Saskia suddenly instructed students "I would like you to have an exhibition on the final day." Students prepared by giving a presentation with English on a theme they were interested in, but in addition to this they would have an exhibition. In the given two days, students had repeated discussions set the theme of "Transient Response" based on their current situation, worked on artwork, organized the venue and displays, and opened the exhibition without trouble on the final day. It was an important experience to practice how to distill your ideas in a short time and to attract people to the exhibition, which led Saskia to be satisfied with the exhibition and the works.

Guests for 2018

Saskia Bos

Curator, Art historian | Netherlands

Saskia Bos is an art historian, independent curator and critic based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She has worked as a curator and director at De Appel arts centre in Amsterdam and as Dean of the School of Art at Cooper Union, New York. Her many international projects brought her also to Japan from 1996 and she has invited a series of Japanese artists since. Japan has stayed on her mind in New York where she became Board member of Japan Society which she remains till the present.
Saskia Bos is also a Board member of CIMAM, the world-wide organization for museums of contemporary art, a member of SEC, the Société Européenne de la Culture and of AICA, the international art critics association.


Artist | Japan

Born in Kobe, 1969. Graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. After living in Berlin for 12 years, he has been based in Okinawa since 2016. He has traveled to many places around the world since the early 1990s and has made performances and installation works related to life of the local people, as well as their culture and way of communication. He has participated in group exhibitions at The Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000, 2014), Hayward Gallery, London (2001, 2008), as well as international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (2003, 2017), Bienal de São Paulo (2006), Havana Biennial (2015), among others. His recent main solo exhibitions include Shimabuku: Noto (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2013), Flying Me (Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, 2014), among others. He is planning to hold a solo exhibition at Contemporary Art Centre of Ivry – Credac as well as participate in Echigo-Tsumari Art Field in Niigata prefecture this year.

Heman Chong

Artist | Singapore

Heman Chong is an artist whose work is located at the intersection between image, performance, situations and writing. He has produced solo exhibitions at Art In General, NUS Museum, Vitamin Creative Space, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, P!, The Substation, Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, Art Sonje Center, South London Gallery, Rockbund Art Museum, 72-13, FOST, Calle Wright, Rossi & Rossi and Swiss Institute. He is the co-director and founder (with Renée Staal) of ‘The Library of Unread Books’ which has been installed in NTU Center for Contemporary Art in Singapore, The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) in Manila, Casco in Utrecht, and Kunstverein Milano in Milan. He is currently working on a novel ‘The Book of Drafts’ which will be published by Polyparenthesis in 2019.

Shreyas Karle

Artist, CONA Directpr | India

Shreyas Karle is the Co-Director of CONA Foundation- a non-profit space in North Bombay. He holds a degree in Fine Arts by the L.S. Raheja School of Art, Bandra, a post-graduation in Indian Aesthetics by the University of Mumbai, and a Masters in Visual Arts by the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. He has been the Director of Sandarbh, a site-specific residency program in rural part of North India. He was part of the Aichi Triennial, Rainbow Caravan (2016), was invited to participate in the New Museum Biennial, Surround Audience in New York (2015) and was part of the first edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennial in India (2012). He has a few solo shows to his credit including Unnecessary alcove at Project88, Bombay (2018).

Michael Joo

Artist | United States of America

Michael Joo is multi-media artist whose installations of sculpture, video and performative works have been exhibited worldwide. His artworks often draw directly from liminal spaces formed at the intersections of nature, culture, and spirituality to examine and address the modern human condition. Joo studied natural sciences in college, and received an MFA from Yale School of Art. His work has been exhibited at numerous institutions, including the Serpentine Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, MMCA Seoul, Walker Art Center, and Smithsonian Institution. He has exhibited in numerous international surveys including the 1997 Johannesberg Biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor. In 2001, Joo represented Korea at the Venice Biennale, and Bodhi Obfuscatus (Space Baby) won grand prize at the 2006 Gwangju Biennial together with artist Song Dong.  Recently, Joo’s work Salt Transfer Cycle was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s inaugural 2015 exhibition. Joo teaches at Columbia University School of the Arts, and the Yale School of Art. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Miwako Tezuka

Curator, Art historian | United States of America

Dr. Miwako Tezuka is Co-Director of PoNJA-GenKon (Post-Nineteen-forty-five Japanese Art Discussion Group), a global online network of scholars, curators, and artists. She is also Consulting Curator of the Reversible Destiny Foundation, a foundation established in New York by Arakawa and Madeline Gins. Formerly Director of the Gallery, Japan Society, New York (2012–15) and Curator of Contemporary Art, Asia Society, New York (2005–2012), she has curated numerous exhibitions, including: LOVE Long: Robert Indiana and Asia (2018); Garden of Unearthly Delights: Works by Ikeda, Tenmyouya & teamLab (2014); Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori (2013); and Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody’s Fool (2010), among many others. She is currently curating a major solo exhibition of artist-architect Maya Lin, Maya Lin: A River is a Drawing, for the Hudson River Museum, opening in October 2018.