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Artist residency at Kyoto Art Center

29 March 2023

In autumn 2022, OCA introduced a pilot artist residency in cooperation with Kyoto Art Center and ANEWAL Gallery in Japan. This was the first time OCA offered a residency programme in Japan. We are  pleased to announce that the cooperation will continue in 2023 with a two months residency starting from 1st October. Application deadline 1st May 2023.
Learn more here.

The pilot residency programme in 2022 was a success. It was a natural progression for both OCA and Kyoto Art Center to continue this collaboration, and we are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity for Norwegian and Norway based artists again in 2023. Through existing and new programmes like this, OCA aims to develop valuable opportunities for artists to undertake research and develop their practice.

Ruben Steinum, Director, OCA

Inaugural artist for OCA’s Kyoto residency

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Previous artist in resident, Agata Magdalena Sulikowska, looking at the remain fragment of a bomb from 1945 at Yamanaka oil store. Photo Anewal Gallery.


Agata Sulikowska interviewing Ms. Miyajima. Photo Anewal Gallery.

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Agata Sulikowska in conversation with one of the visitors at her exhibition. Photo Anewal Gallery.

Tromsø based painter Agata Magdalena Sulikowska was the first OCA funded artists selected by Kyoto Art Center and ANEWAL Gallery and undertook a residency from December 2022 until January 2023.

“I was very pleased to be invited for this residency. In 2016 I was in Japan on a cycling tour for two months, experiencing life and a different culture from what I know from Norway and Poland. During the residency I tried to be flexible and conform to the Japanese culture and life philosophy and to understand the aesthetics of Japanese art.”

Sulikowska participated in a course on Japanese traditional painting organised by Kyoto Art Center and run by a local Japanese artist Mrs. Makiko Berry:

“I learned to use natural colours and materials that are ecologically friendly. Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) has evolved over one thousand years, however the technique of mixing natural pigments with animal glue, which is central to the tradition, has remained unchanged. I learned that the colours that could not be found in mineral pigments were derived from natural vegetable dyes. Nihonga have been executed since old times on materials like rock surface, earthen walls, wood, linen, silk, and paper on where it is possible to stabilize pigments by using animal glue, which was new to me. I made several large-scale drawings on Japanese paper with “sumi” ink which also was a new experience for me.

Kyoto Art Center and ANEWAL Gallery has a broad network of collaborators, and helps the residents with organising meetings with academics, scientists, artists, curators, other art organisations and journalists based on the residents interest. Sulikowska developed a project during her stay in Kyoto on the air raid damage and experiences of Nishijin area at the time of World War II:

“I went to look at old archival documentation in local libraries and engravings of old Japanese masters in museums related to similar events. ANEWAL Gallery put me in contact with elderly people who I met and talked with through a translator about their experience. I made large scale drawings on Japanese paper to create public awareness about how Kyoto suffered from the air raids.

Being in Japan gave me another way of thinking about beauty. It is recognized in subtle, often overlooked details and places that encompass vast emptiness. The residency gave me many new artistic ideas and it helped me open for collaborations with people from different fields and disciplines, such as journalism, philosophy, human history, and literature.”

Sulikowska’s artworks were shown publicly at the temporary studio curated by ANEWAL Gallery in the multi-unit apartments (Horikawa-Danchi) between the 27th and 29th January, 2023.

Header image: Agata Sulikowska in her exhibition listening to her sound installation. Photo Anewal Gallery

Kyoto Art Center also participates in KYOTO EXPERIMENT (Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival), which takes place every autumn in several theaters in Kyoto. The festival features a number of experimental performances by international artists. In 2023, this festival will run from 30th September to 22nd October.


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Are you curious about East-Asian art, culture, and society? Would you like to extend your artistic practice through an up to two-month artist residency in Japan?


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