Nobuyuki Fujiwara ［Professor / Course Leader］
What does GAP (Global Art Practice) stand for. The word ‘global’ not only means ‘worldwide’ or ‘universal’ in a geographical sense, but also ‘comprehensive’ or ‘encompassing’, and these are the meanings which I value when thinking about the word ‘global’. GAP course is a place where students establish their own worlds with their various perspectives, values and methodologies. The word ‘practice’ can be defined as ‘to openly approach society with individual perspective and standpoint, and to build up experience to engage with the society’. Now, what would ‘art’ then mean?
Yusaku Imamura ［Professor］
The world today is ever more borderless with the advancement of transportation and increased communication speed; politics, economics and environmental issues are all intertwined in a global chain. In such a diversified, complicated and globalized world where events around the world are linked together, what does art or artist mean? What kind of place is the environment in which artists learn?
GAP is tackling that very question. How can we look at the globalized world and untangle the interwoven threads to understand the world at its essence, and create new ways of expression without falling into clichés? At GAP we value the learning of ‘multiple perspectives’. As well as thinking with the minds, we also value ‘thinking through hands’. GAP encourages students to confront big issues, experiment and stand up to various challenges. The Global Art Joint Project, a collaboration with world-renowned educational institutions, and Social Practice Seminar given by world-class artists, will provide an outstanding learning experience. I look forward to our alumni realizing their artistic endeavors on a global stage.
Shinji Ohmaki ［Professor］
Being international means being objective. GAP is a place to think about how we can perceive Japan, Asia, the earth and the world we live in, together with students from our partner schools overseas. GAP is a place where students can actively get involved to discover and act on their own initiative.
※ Prof.Ohmaki is planning to serve as a faculty advisor in the Sculpture major starting in the 2019 academic year.
Mina Lee ［Associate Professor］
GAP is a place to challenge how to survive in the globalized society through a medium of creation, together with students with different experiences and backgrounds from around the world. There is no quick harvest in arts and culture. Art is poor in economic efficiency and takes time and effort, but there is something that never ceases to fascinate us. This is apparent from art always been close to us since ancient times when human beings lived in caves. No matter how society and forms of art change, human beings will never let go of art.
However, the change in society we are experiencing today is nothing like what humanity has ever experienced before. When we used to view people with different nationalities or being multi-lingual as international, individual identity seemed to largely belong to one culture and the difference between the society the person belongs to, or that person, and oneself was quite clear. In this globalized society, it is not unusual that a person possesses multiple cultural backgrounds; the country you were born in, your nationality, and the country you received education in and the country you are working in, your mother tongue and your native tongue, or the language you speak with your partner at home and the language you speak outside of home could all be different. People’s backgrounds are becoming more broad, intertwined and multilayered, so that you cannot simply imagine the person’s cultural background just by learning where they are from. Such individuals have to establish relationships in society beyond borders and languages. There is no shortcut for co-existence. Tough negotiations will be required more than ever.
The intrinsic quality of art is its ability to incorporate complicated and multi-layered elements. Various profound stimulations provided in the two year GAP program will offer an opportunity for students to further understand the essence of art and nurture artists who can survive the tough negotiations in the contemporary world.
Taro Shinoda ［Associate Professor］
I would like students to focus on broadening their perspectives during their time at GAP. Keep experimenting and don’t try to finish your work. There will be plenty of time to finish your work after graduation.
I admired Mahatma Gandhi when I was in my twenties. I was so devoted to his ideology that I travelled around India with a backpack to see the India he had created. I feel that those experiences still have a significant influence on me and I would like to share Gandhi’s words which influenced me in an unmeasurable way.
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
Natsumi Araki ［Associate Professor］
What is most important in a globalized society is to imagine being in other people’s positions. It is difficult to ‘understand’ others. However, it is necessary to make efforts to realize the lack of knowledge and difference between ourselves and others, recognize various senses of values and empathize with people who live in distant places and different times. As a means to achieve this, the potential of art is unfathomable. Through art, I encountered worlds and people that I would not have otherwise. I am hoping that the gathering and exchanging of students with different backgrounds in one place to practice art will create new energy.
What I expect from the Global Art Practice course is for students and faculty members, with different backgrounds, to actively share information and experiences, and for students to open themselves up to something they are not yet familiar with through collaborations with teams overseas.
By being open to the world, you may be able to find inspirations, not only from landscapes you see for the first time, but also from your immediate surroundings —I hope that we can create such a resourceful place together.