ADC examines future measures to deepen interaction with Japanese art from traditional Japanese art to contemporary art and builds frameworks for cooperation and exchanges among scholars and artists that are beneficial to both the US and Japan.
(1) At a symposium entitled “Japanese Art in America：Building the Next Generation” and hosted jointly by the Japan Foundation and the Japan Society held in New York in March 2009, the importance of promoting artistic exchange between Japan and the US (particularly interaction with traditional Japanese art) was brought up. This was followed up with the forum “Performing Arts and Art: Toward Developing a Network between Japan and the US” in Tokyo in March 2010, hosted by the Japan Foundation with cooperation from the Agency for Cultural Affairs. This reaffirmed the need for a platform that would enable ongoing dialogue between experts from both countries.
(2) In the joint statement at CULCON XXIV, held in June 2010, CULCON proposed establishing a working group of experts to “examine future measures to deepen interaction with Japanese art from traditional Japanese art to contemporary art and builds frameworks for cooperation and exchanges among scholars and artists that are beneficial to both the US and Japan.” Accordingly, the Arts Dialogue Committee (ADC) was established.
ADC members agreed that the International Workshop on Japanese Art History for Graduate Students (JAWS), which is intended to cultivate the next generation of Japanese art professionals, is signficant for its achievements in forming an international network of young art scholars and creating career pathways for Japanese art experts, and decided to support its resumption.
In August 2012, the Tenth JAWS conference was held at Tokyo University of the Arts in Tokyo with funding from the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Kajima Foundation for the Arts. When a pamphlet on previous JAWS participants was created, we found that 90% of participants were working in the art world.
In March 2017, the 11th JAWS conference was held at Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with funding from the Japan-US Friendship Commission, Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Rockeffer Fund for East Asian Art, and the Kajima Foundation for the Arts.
The next JAWS conference is to be held in Japan in 2020.
ADC recommends making the existing programs a permanent part of the Japanese sections of US museums. At the same time, it promotes further application of and improvements to Japan’s new laws onJapan’s system for preserving art and cultural properties, which have created obstacles for the lending of such works to US museums.
The Guidelines on the Handling of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties was discussed by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and revised in January 2018.
ADC particularly values the joint planning of future exhibits and exchanges between US and Japanese scholars and academics that would lead to the application of a new collaborative model to that end, and recommends that a framework be established for a new curator exchange.
In 2014, the Tokyo National Museum established the “Curatorial Exchange Program for Japanese Arts Specialists Abroad Planning Committee,” and since then, has been held every year for Japanese art specialists
The Japan Foundation has held the Japan-US Curatorial Exchange Program every year since 2010.
ADC has pointed to the need to form a solid foundation for the cultivation of the next generation of Japanese art specialists in the US.
The Japan Foundation began the US and European Museum Infrastructure Support Program in 2016, which primarily covered the hiring of staff. Three US museums were given support. Since staff can be hired for a maximum of five years, there are no new applications during that period.
The JICC Seasonal Art Lecture Series from Emerging Cultures “Scholar Spotlight” held at the Japan Information & Culture Center of the Embassy of Japan not only provides the general public with opportunities, but also provides a forum for discussion on research into Japanese art by rising scholars in the art field.
ADC recommended the establishment of a bilingual digital clearinghouse for the US and Japan’s art archives to spur interaction and cooperation between Japanese researchers and US organizations.
With the support of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the International Network for Japanese Art (INJArt) was launched (currently at the beta test stage).
The ADC will develop programs and hold various events throughout the US ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. To this end, sponsors for large-scale exhibitions should be secured, innovative programs should be planned, and educational activities based on a calendar covering all of the events prepared.
With funding from the Japan-US Friendship Commission, the ADC “incubated” Arts Japan 2020, a new online celebration of Japan-related cultural programs across the US.
ADC recommended that it take the opportunity of the 25th General Conference of International Council of Museums (ICOM), to be held in 2019, to discuss becoming an affiliated organization of ICOM after ADC is disbanded.
It was proposed that the ADC organize the session on Japanese art as the Open Session organized and run by the host country at the ICOM’s General Conference held in Kyoto.