I visited the town of Kamiyama, Tokushima-prefecture. Here three selected artists who applied for this project stay in this town for two months as “artists in residence” to create modern arts every year since 2000.
Photo&Text by tamachangg
Compared to other modern art and local regeneration collaborations such as Echigo-Tumari Art Triennial in Niigata and Setouchi Art Festival in Kagawa, you may feel confused to see this place if you come here alone without any guide.
There is no prominent museum. No well-known artist is creating works here.
“We do homespun things smart.”
Mr. Ominami, president of Kamiyama Green Valley, states firmly that “Art is just a tool for local regeneration”. Many people discuss modern art in various ways, but as a matter of fact, that is not the point.
The true meaning lies when local ladies start talking about life surrounded by the art, or young people start visiting the town from big cities regardless of the artists are unknown or well-known.
Mr. Ominami went abroad to Stanford University in 1979, the year I was born. Then, he went back to Kamiyama. His experience seeing Kamiyama from an outside perspective is powerfully packed into his statement, “We do homespun things smart”.
Kamiyama is not a sight-seeing place so it is most advisable to check scheduled timings with the 'In Kamiyama' website before going. You will feel at home just like visiting a friend’s or relative's place.
In Kamiyama (NPO Green Valley)
132 Nakatsu Jinryou-aza kamiyama-cho Myouzaigun, Tokushima, Japan