1_AIR Exchange Program
While continuing to offer spaces and opportunities to artists who wish to stay, produce and present in Japan, Youkobo has expanded the scope of its activities to include various collaborations with international AIR in order to create opportunities for the dispatch of Japan-based artists who wish to develop their activities overseas. While it would be ideal to be able achieve a mutual balance between the number of artists accepted to the Youkobo AIR program and the numbers of participants in these exchanges, the procurement of funding for such exchanges poses a considerable challenge. To date, we have endeavored to dispatch artists to art and culture events taking place in European Capitals of Culture (ECoC), and likewise invite artists to participate in domestic events. The dispatch and exchange of artists that have been achieved take various forms, developing out of exchanges with newly-established AIR in designated ECoC cities, with AIR that former Youkobo residence artists have made connections with in their home countries following their return, or realized through information-sharing between members of AIR networks, for example.
1-1 Reciprocal Artist Exchange Program
Developing out of face-to-face exchanges between individual AIR institutions, Youkobo has begun a series of new artist exchange programs (artist exchanges with microresidencies) that are not limited to big cities but also actively include AIR activities recently seen in ECoC cities that are undergoing post-war reconstruction. Various examples can be given, each taking shape out of different circumstances but often developing naturally out of an artist's experience of staying and producing at Youkobo that grows into a continued reciprocal exchange with a partner institution.
Y-AIR, Finland Japan AIR Exchange Program（Ii, Finland）For details, see Y-AIR
OPEN A.i.R.（Czech Republic）⇔Youkobo Art Space
KAIR（Košice, Slovakia）⇔ Youkobo Art Space
1-2 Artist Dispatch Program
The experiences of the Youkobo co-director, who had previously created opportunities for artists to join an international sculpture symposium in which she had also participated while at the same time promoting similar opportunities in Japan to artists overseas, formed the starting point for this program. Providing support to the creative activities of artists while at the same time leading to new ideas brought about through the artists' experiences of staying and producing work in a new environment, the outcomes of artist dispatches can be regarded as positive experiences for artists that connect with the creation of a society more open to diversity. From art and culture events taking place at specific sites and for limited periods (triennales, biennales, sculpture symposiums, etc.) to special exchange programs organized by ECoC designated cities, Youkobo accepts a broad range of requests for the dispatch of Japanese artists who are given such opportunities through existing artist networks and public open calls. In addition, Youkobo is also actively working to discover and recommend artists who are autonomously developing their creative practice.
2012. Natsumi Sakamoto：Art Work Shop 07（Hualien/Taiwan）
（with other 11 Japanese artists including Ay-O and 8 Lithuanian Artists）：Lithuanian Exchange Exhibition
M.K.Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania.
2009. 07-08 Chihiro Kabata, Yuuri Kabata：Beijing Studio Center (Beijing/China）