【活動レポート】広報補佐アルバイト Naomi Stock（2019年4月-7月）
For one semester from April to July, I had the privilege of working at the Keio University Art Center at Keio Mita Campus. The Keio University Art Center (KUAC) is a research center attached to the university that focuses on culture and arts within contemporary society, both archiving and exhibiting artwork and cultural artifacts from Japan and around the world. Through this outreach, KUAC’s objective is to spotlight art and artists with their exhibition space, as well as highlight projects and events within and outside the community. For example, in early May, the Mori Art Museum held Roppongi Art Night, which was an event that featured up and coming contemporary artists from various countries around the world. KUAC held a collaboratory talk with Roppongi Art Night that openly discussed archival work in the museum and contemporary art field. My time working at KUAC was brief, but I learned about the extensive effort and media investment that is administered in a university art center such as this one.
At the start of my period at KUAC, the art exhibitions Ana Mendieta and Printing Machine were on display. Both exhibitions involved photographical works that spanned across KUAC’s art spaces. Under the instruction and guidance of graduate student and employee of KUAC Namiki Serizawa, I began by creating a social media planning document that would categorize and organize posts to be uploaded on KUAC’s instagram page. This involved a schedule of events and exhibitions to highlight, as well as general posts that detailed past art installations and publications involved with KUAC. The primary goal of this planning document was to ensure that information concerning KUAC reach the public, and also that it entices interest and public attention in art events. The exhibition of Ana Mendieta’s work was the centerpiece from April to May, so highlighting this was important — the posts centered around the exhibition recount interesting facts about the artist and her work. I took pictures for the posts, as well as used photos from KUAC’s accessible database. I approached the Printing Machine exhibition similarly by featuring contexts for the photographs in order to put them on an accessible platform for our followers. In addition, as the exhibition turned over to the new archived feature Bookworms/Bookfiends, we began feeding information about it prior to and following its opening on June 3rd. By highlighting present and upcoming exhibitions for KUAC, I was able to adapt to social media’s demand and anticipate posts for the future. Not only was I given the opportunity to document current exhibitions, I also was able to reimagine past KUAC exhibitions. By briefly remembering the art that was featured from previous years, we hope to open them to a wide audience in a way they had not been before.
Working offsite, I very much enjoyed the KUAC event I had the opportunity of attending. As mentioned previously, KUAC collaborated with the Mori Art Museum for Roppongi Art Night: I listened to the brief but informative talk, and reflected a report in English and Japanese. The Mori Museum is making strides to develop their archival database for Roppongi Art Night, an event that takes place annually, so being able to hear and interpret that discussion provided me with insight on art-business strategy.
Finally, on top of maintaining the social media planning document, I watched several documentaries featured by KUAC and made brief reports for them in English. The three-part documentary series was titled “Minato-e” and were each a different reflection of cultural landmarks within the city. For example, the first documentary featured Toraya, a company that is renowned for its Japanese confectionary since 1711. I watched the short film and reflected on its history and archive, summarizing what the company does and how it is relevant to this day. Each of the three films were about 40 minutes in length, which I reflected on in concise paragraphs. Interpreting these Japanese films from my perspective was both insightful and enjoyable: I was able to learn about niche perspectives on cultural and contemporary areas within Tokyo.
Ultimately, KUAC provided me with knowledge and passion for Japanese contemporary art. I hope to take the skills I learned in translation, interpretation and digital management and further my pursuits and capabilities within the art working world.