Journey to Japan 2015


Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the United Kingdom to Japan


In June 2015 the Crossway Foundation and Art Jameel launched a competition to find talented young creatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and the United Kingdom to win the creative journey of a lifetime to Japan. The eight winners travelled to Japan from 15-30 November 2015 to collaborate with local arts and social organisations in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Naoshima under the mentorship of the project’s Artistic Lead, Kuwaiti visual artist Monira Al Qadiri.

 

The journey began in Tokyo where the team got to know each other; sampled all kinds of weird and wonderful food; visited Takashi Murakami‘s exhibition at the Mori Art Museum; met emerging Japanese artists at Tokyo Wonder Site; trained in the art of Butoh (a form of Japanese dance theatre); and had a studio visit with artist collective Chim↑Pom, which ended in a purikura photo booth.

 

After their arrival in Tokyo the team moved on to Kyoto where they experienced life in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese guest house); learnt how to prepare matcha green tea in a tea ceremony; made sculptures out of everyday objects purchased from the 100 yen shop with sculptor Teppei Kaneuji; practised zen meditation in Taizo-in Temple; and spent a sunny afternoon exploring the many temples and shrines dotted around the mountains of Arashiyama.

 

The team then travelled to Hiroshima, a city that was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. There they worked with internationally renowned artist Masao Okabe tracing trees that had been affected by the atomic bomb using the technique of ‘frottage’. The group was subsequently given the task of putting up a temporary exhibition at Gallery G in Hiroshima with the works made during the workshop.

 

The team’s last stop was Naoshima, Inujima and Teshima, a collection of islands located in the Seto Inland Sea known for their world-class contemporary art and architecture.

 

For the final part of their journey, the team returned to Tokyo, where they learnt the art of bonsai in a bonsai-making workshop and spent a day at the Ikejiri Institute of Design reviewing their two weeks in Japan and the work they had created as a result.

 

All films from the Journey to Japan are available by clicking here and a selection of photographs is available by clicking here.


"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to represent my home country and join the Crossway Foundation and Art Jameel on one of their prestigious journeys.

From the moment we arrived in Japan, we all stepped outside our comfort zones and participated in things we would never have done otherwise. We were pushed to believe that we shouldn't be afraid to experiment and the journey therefore allowed us to bridge physical and mental barriers."

Nour Flayhan, Journey to Japan Participant, Illustrator & Visual Artist, Kuwait

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the United Kingdom to Japan



In June 2015 the Crossway Foundation and Art Jameel launched a competition to find talented young creatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and the United Kingdom to win the creative journey of a lifetime to Japan. The eight winners travelled to Japan from 15-30 November 2015 to collaborate with local arts and social organisations in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Naoshima under the mentorship of the project’s Artistic Lead, Kuwaiti visual artist Monira Al Qadiri.

 

The journey began in Tokyo where the team got to know each other; sampled all kinds of weird and wonderful food; visited Takashi Murakami‘s exhibition at the Mori Art Museum; met emerging Japanese artists at Tokyo Wonder Site; trained in the art of Butoh (a form of Japanese dance theatre); and had a studio visit with artist collective Chim↑Pom, which ended in a purikura photo booth.

 

After their arrival in Tokyo the team moved on to Kyoto where they experienced life in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese guest house); learnt how to prepare matcha green tea in a tea ceremony; made sculptures out of everyday objects purchased from the 100 yen shop with sculptor Teppei Kaneuji; practised zen meditation in Taizo-in Temple; and spent a sunny afternoon exploring the many temples and shrines dotted around the mountains of Arashiyama.

 

The team then travelled to Hiroshima, a city that was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. There they worked with internationally renowned artist Masao Okabe tracing trees that had been affected by the atomic bomb using the technique of ‘frottage’. The group was subsequently given the task of putting up a temporary exhibition at Gallery G in Hiroshima with the works made during the workshop.

 

The team’s last stop was Naoshima, Inujima and Teshima, a collection of islands located in the Seto Inland Sea known for their world-class contemporary art and architecture.

 

For the final part of their journey, the team returned to Tokyo, where they learnt the art of bonsai in a bonsai-making workshop and spent a day at the Ikejiri Institute of Design reviewing their two weeks in Japan and the work they had created as a result.

 

All films from the Journey to Japan are available by clicking here and a selection of photographs is available by clicking here.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to represent my home country and join the Crossway Foundation and Art Jameel on one of their prestigious journeys.

From the moment we arrived in Japan, we all stepped outside our comfort zones and participated in things we would never have done otherwise. We were pushed to believe that we shouldn't be afraid to experiment and the journey therefore allowed us to bridge physical and mental barriers."

Nour Flayhan, Journey to Japan Participant, Illustrator & Visual Artist, Kuwait


The Team

Gaby Sahhar

Hugh Guthrie

Mohammad Alfaraj

Mohammed Al Kindi

Mohamed Rowaizak

Najd Al Taher

Nour Flayhan

Sarah Abuabdallah

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