Tokyo Contemporary Art Award





In addition to participating in the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), I conducted study and research on the symbiosis between humans and animals, as well as life design in Australia. Based on research with one eye on welfare, I conducted some experimental activities.

  • “Ultra Unreal” installation view at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2022 Photo: Alex DAVIES

    I participated in the exhibition “Ultra Unreal” where I set up the installation of “Slaughterhouse” and “Pootopia,” and performed as part of the opening program for three days.
  • “Ultra Unreal” installation view at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2022 Photo: Anna KUČERA

  • “Ultra Unreal” installation view and the artist at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2022 Photo: Anna KUČERA

  • I accompanied Dr. Ben Moore, a biologist and Associate Professor at Western Sydney University, on a tracking survey of wild koalas. During the survey, I interviewed him, focusing on plant-animal interactions and how the ecosystem has changed due to climate and landscape changes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • I interviewed Mr. Justin Shoulder, a participating artist in the exhibition “Ultra Unreal” and a member of Club Ate, after snorkeling with him at Bronte Beach.
    We exchanged views on the recent forced social disconnection and the worsening climate crisis, centered on the activities to revitalize the queer communities in the Asia-pacific region, including Australia and the Philippines.

My primary objective in this research was to participate in the exhibitions and visit animal shelters. Unfortunately, I failed to achieve this because most of the facilities were not open to visitors due to the fact that they were busy dealing with the spread of COVID-19. However, I was given the opportunity to accompany a researcher on a wild koala tracking survey, and was able to hear valuable stories about recent environmental issues that could be learned through the survey. Sydney has been facing extreme weather conditions since the pandemic, and it rained continuously during my stay. Infrastructure in the country is not as well developed as in Japan, which is a disaster-prone country, so the damage in Australia may be more severe. Perhaps because of this, I saw many exhibits on the theme of the environment and nature.

Germany, Kosovo (Prishtina), Italy, Poland, France2022.9.16- 10.8 / 11.4- 12.1

Going across various parts of Europe, I visited several international exhibitions and special exhibitions. I saw many exhibitions with an awareness of de-eurocentrism, but the one that particularly struck me with its sense of presence was the Manifesto 14 event held in Prishtina, the capital city of Kosovo, which is not an EU member.

  • View of Prishtina, the city serving as the venue of for the Manifesto 14 event.

  • View of an exhibition at the Manifesto 14, Prishtina, Kosovo 2022.
    I was accompanied on my visit to Manifesto 14 by Tsuda Michiko, who was also in Europe.

United Kingdom (Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford and London)2022.10.8- 11.4

I participated in the Fierce Festival 2022 that was held in the UK city of Birmingham, conducting exhibitions and performances, talk sessions and workshops. I was also able to intermingle with many people through watching the performances of other artists invited to the festival and taking part in workshops.

  • “Fierce Festival 2022” installation view and the artist, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK, 2022

  • “Pigpen” performance at 7SVN, Birmingham, UK, 2022

  • Group shot during a workshop held at “Fierce Festival 2022,” Birmingham, UK

The overwhelming majority of exhibits I saw during my time in Europe were post-human and non-human themed exhibits that were deeply connected to my own creative work. At the Fierce Festival 2022 in particular, I was able to feel at first-hand the objects and performances that cast the spotlight on the festival’s theme of the relationships between humankind and animals, and I gained a huge amount from these encounters. Staying overseas for an extended period was a novel experience for me and I frequently found myself confused by linguistic and cultural differences. But I looked at that difficult situation from a perspective of having become an animal myself, and was able to enjoy the fact of being helped by people while sensing the pleasure of sharing something with others. I am currently at work on the creation of new works based on these experiences.

Text, Photo: Saeborg
Edited by Tokyo Arts and Space