Kamiyama Artist in Residence (KAIR)
The Kamiyama Artist in Residence (KAIR) Program is an independent project organized by volunteers who share the desire to develop art and culture in the town of Kamiyama. The program was established in 1999 to provide selected artists with the opportunity to experience Japanese small-town life while working together with local people on artistic projects. Every year for two months from September to November, three to five artists are invited to Kamiyama. Participating artists also hold an exhibition in the end of their stay, workshops at local schools, participate in cultural events, and hold open studio days.
Every year, applications are accepted in winter. The thing that makes KAIR stand out from other artist in residence programs is the fact that it is handmade by the local people. There are several organizations in Japan which hold artist in residence programs, but the interaction and spirit of mutual cooperation between artists and locals is what makes the KAIR program special. We really enjoy being a part of the creative process.
Kamiyama was once a place where ningyo joruri (Japanese traditional puppetry) flourished. A staggering 1,459 fusuma-e (illustrated stage background panels) that were created from the late Edo period up until the Taisho period (the mid-1800s to the early 1900s) remain in Kamiyama today. These panels were made by artists who stayed in the homes of local aristocrats while they worked with the assistance of local people. In other words, in one sense, an artist in residence program has been going on in Kamiyama since the mid-1800s.
For more information of KAIR experience;