Research Artist Residency 2015: Saya Kubota

The first research residency at the Art School has been offered to Saya Kubota, a doctoral candidate in Painting at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts. Working in her own designated attic studio on site, her placement runs from April to September 2015.

The research position was born of an initiative formed during the Tokyo residency of artists Dunhill and O’Brien (Mark Dunhill and the Art School’s Principal, Tamiko O’Brien) in July 2014. As well as working on their own research project – including an exhibition of work produced during the residency, titled Sorry no, Yes and… – Dunhill and O’Brien Research Residency delivered a one-week workshop to PhD and Masters students at Tokyo University of the Arts. This gave rise to discussions with the Faculty about the potential for exchanges and collaborations with the Art School.

Saya’s research residency marks the first development of that relationship. Her artwork combines a precise approach to making with an interest in authenticity, fakery and context. Incorporating images and shapes based on everyday sights with memories or words born of her encounters with others, she references the passing of time. For Missing Post Office, a site-specific installation and performance made during her Awashima Island residency in 2013, she renovated the island’s abandoned post office, creating uniforms for the retired postmaster and herself as postmistress. All post that is addressed to ‘somebody somewhere sometime’ will be delivered to this installation, which was exhibited as part of the Setouchi Triennale in 2013. A book has recently been published by Shogakukan on the project. Most recently Saya won the Terrada Art Award 2014, exhibited at T-Gallery on Tennoz Island, Japan, and developed a series of works in collaboration with SWAROVSKI GEMS (TM) incorporating marcasite and ancient pottery.


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