Tokyo: DesignFesta when I was in Japan in 2003. It shocked me that there was such a lot of talent in this enormous warehouse thing - and how cheaply people sold their work and skills - I had a small (A6) portrait sketched by a lovely artist called YUMI, it cost me 100 yen which was 50p at the time. DesignFesta also run a gallery in Harajuku, where artists can hire space for the day - current price is from 525 yen (about £5 in today's money) for one piece - and walls are split up like the image below - so there is no telling what your work will be exhibited with.
I met a very interesting artist, Keijiro Suzuki at an opening at Galaxy Gallery in Osaka on Friday night. I felt that of all the artists, his ethos and approach to practice was most akin to mine, so no surprises that he didn't study in Japan. We had a long talk and it is even harder for an artist to practice here if there work is like his. He creates situations as art practice.
Also, on my second day here I happened across an ikebana demonstration in Takashimaya, Osaka. I was struck by how beautiful the displays were, but in particular the arrangements which surprised me, were the ones using more natural looking plants (weeds), of which there were only a few. It got me thinking about the story that Michael told me. We were at work, but we had gone onto the street, because the Olympic Torch was due in the city that day, and to celebrate a parade was planned, so we went out at lunch time to have a look. The parade passed, and we noticed a man who didn't look quite right, moving along the street with the other parade goers. He looked quite drunk, and was wrapped in a tattered looking St. George Flag. Michael told me that he saw him a few days later again, but this time by the site of the old ABC Cinema, next to the gallery - the site that we have been looking at and making work about for some time.
Click here for details of how to apply. There is funding available from Anglo-Daiwa, and the new arts council international funding stream looks promising, if you are also making international connections alongside the residency. Jamie can put people in touch with Osaka based galleries that could lead to an exhibition: for example Galaxy Gallery, Soho Gallery and Tsukiyo to Syonen (I met the Directors from each and they are great - and all of these spaces will hire their gallery out.)