Application Guideline 公募情報

ACAC International Open Call: Artist in Residence Full Support Program 2021 : Invisible Connections Application Guidelines

[ 1 ] Program Overview

Since its founding in December 2001, the Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (ACAC) has welcomed a diverse range of artists to create and present their works through its flagship Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program. The center aims to be an inspirational space for all involved, emphasizing interaction between domestic and international artists, local residents, and students. This open call program fully supports artists, curators, researchers, and others involved in cultural, creative, and artistic endeavors, including exhibitions, performances, workshops, talks, and other activities that utilize the ACAC’s unique environment. From planning and research to setup and presentation, the program provides assistance every step of the way, culminating in a catalog record of activities. The length of stay is optional, from a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of about three months.
Due to the threat of COVID-19, we expect that creators based overseas will find it difficult to travel to Aomori. Domestic travel also requires more caution than usual. But time itself marches on, and so do we. The ACAC seeks ways to continue to promote creative expression amid the pandemic, making full use of the Internet and other means to harness the creativity and imagination for things that would otherwise go unnoticed from where we live. We will also leverage our experiences conducting remote projects, which included talks and exhibitions during last year’s AIR program, and take advantage of the network that the ACAC has developed over the past 20 years. Join us to think about how we can connect here and now—despite the barriers to understanding and difficulties due to communicating remotely—and how we can use our resourcefulness to ride this out together.

I think that the best way to gain knowledge is through gaining experience and through connections. -Vangelis (1979)

[ 2 ] Number of Participants

Residents of Japan able to stay and work at the ACAC: 2–3 people
Non-Japanese nationals living outside of Japan who will participate remotely: 1 person

*Two additional participants will be recommended by artist-in-residence host institutions outside of Japan. (If the artists are unable to travel, they may participate remotely or postpone their participation.)

[ 3 ] Program Schedule

Residence Period: The period of stay at the ACAC must be chosen from the following terms between September 2 (Thu) and December 8 (Wed), 2021. You must select at least one and up to seven terms.

1.September 2 (Thu)―September 15 (Wed)
2.September 16 (Thu)―September 29 (Wed)
3.September 30 (Thu)―October 13 (Wed)
4.October 14 (Thu)―October 27 Wed)
5.October 28 (Thu)―November 10 (Wed)
6.November 11 (Thu)―November 24 (Wed)
7.November 25 (Thu)―December 8 (Wed)

Application Period:
February 15 (Mon)―March 21 (Sun), 2021, 17:00 JST (GMT +9:00)

Selection Schedule:
March 21 (Sun) ——- Application Deadline
Early April ————– First Screening
April 12 (Mon) — Notification sent to successful candidates of the first screening
May 14 (Fri) ———— Deadline for submission of documents for the second screening
Late May —————- Second Screening
Late June —————- Invitations Sent

[ 4 ] How to Apply
First Screening: Online Application
Please submit the online application by the following deadline.

Artist in Residence Participants

Remote Participants

Application Deadline: March 21 (Sun), 2021 17:00 JST

Second Screening: Document Screening
Successful candidates of the first screening will be notified on April 12 (Mon). Documents for the second screening must arrive no later than May 14 (Fri) and must be submitted by mail for applicants residing in Japan or by email for applicants residing outside of Japan.

[ 5 ] Screening and Notification

Based on submitted materials, artists will be selected by the ACAC curatorial team and guest judge Ms.TANAKA Miyuki.
The applicants will be informed of the final decision by email at the end of June 2021.

[ 6 ] Guest Judge

Born in 1980 in Osaka. Curator / Producer / Curator at Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery / part-time lecturer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. After working at art centers and other institutions, she started working on projects that defy categorization under the theme of “disability is a perspective that redefines the world.” Through projects dealing with expressions that have yet to be valued, she rethinks the way we view and perceive expressions together with people with disabilities and viewers. Recent projects include the exhibitions The Great Ordinary (NO-MA, 2017) and Dance Work in Progress with Creative Audio Descriptions (KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre, 2017–2019), the film NIGHT CRUISING (2019), and Audio Game Center (2017–present). She will be an exhibition director of the exhibition Rules? at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. 

[ 7 ] Application Requirements

Artist in Residence & Remote Participation

a) Individuals or groups engaged in artistic pursuits, including curators, researchers, artists, or otherwise. (Hereafter referred to as “the artist” regardless of background or genre.)
b) The artist should understand the purpose of his or her visit to the ACAC and be able to stay or participate during the period for which they are invited.
c) Artists who choose not to exhibit will instead participate in exchange programs, including artist talks, lectures, performances, workshops, and school visits.
d) The artist should be able to explain their artwork and give lectures or workshops in English or Japanese as part of the exchange program.
e) The artist should be in good health.
f) The artist should be able to speak and understand basic English daily conversation.

Artist in Residence

g) The artist should be independent and capable of working and living on their own.
h) The artist is responsible for all setup and breakdown of exhibitions and events.
i) The artist should be able to lead a community life with other artists on the program.

Remote Participation

j) The artist will work with the ACAC in the setup and breakdown of exhibits and events.

[ 8 ] When Holding an Exhibition

Venue: Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (ACAC) and vicinity
*Following consultation with ACAC curators, exhibitions may be organized as group exhibitions.
*The nature of the work required for the exhibition, and the location of the exhibition, will be decided after due consultation between the ACAC and the artists.
*In the event of remote participation, transportation of works will be decided after due consultation between the ACAC and the artist. (The ACAC will pay for expenses up to a certain amount.)

[ 9 ] Obligations of the Organizer and the Artist

The Organizer and the Artist have the following obligations to each other throughout the duration of the program and enter into a contract on the basis of this. In principle, it is a precondition that all successful applicants come alone to Aomori. Artists can apply as a group or unit. In this case, the organizer considers 1 artist’s group or unit as 1 artist and provides expenses only for 1 artist’s expense.
If successful applicants wish to be accompanied by family members or an assistant, it is necessary to consult with the ACAC beforehand. Should the ACAC approve the Artist’s request, the accompanying individuals may stay at the ACAC’s facilities. In this case, the artist is financially responsible for paying both the travel fare and the accommodation fee (2,040 JPY per night) for the accompanying individual.
Each amount of money noted in this guideline includes tax.

Subject Nature of Obligation
Travel to Aomori
Travel expenses
THE ORGANIZER will pay the following travel expenses according to the Aomori Public University’s regulations:

< domestic resident >
A railway fare to Aomori (one time round trip) from the train station nearest to the Artist’s residence.

*The ORGANIZER provides travel expenses after the ARTIST’s arrival.

  • For domestic travel, up to 70,000 JPY.
  • The residence means the place for tax payment.
  • Expenses for the transportation of goods or materials must be paid by the Artist.

Gallery Usage & Events

Activities During the residency, THE ARTIST agrees to certain activities, including organizing an exhibition or exchange program, in addition to conducting activities such as research and production in the pursuit of artistic expression.

Artist in Residence Production Expenses

THE ORGANIZER will provide 40,000 JPY per term for production expenses deemed necessary by the ORGANIZER (including costs for materials, research, transportation, display, removal of the exhibition, etc.).

Remote Participation Production Expenses

The ORGANIZER will provide 75,000 JPY for production expenses deemed necessary by the ORGANIZER (including costs for materials, research, transportation, display, removal of the exhibition, etc.).
Exhibition-related Event Expenses If an ARTIST holding an exhibition also organizes a separate exchange program, THE ORGANIZER will provide 50,000 yen for exhibition-related event expenses.


THE ORGANIZER will provide the artists with a studio in the Creative Hall and display space in the Exhibition Hall at the ACAC. (during the program period only)
THE ARTIST must share the studio with other artists.

Care of Studio

THE ORGANIZER will regularly sweep the studio, but THE ARTIST should keep their own studio clean. When THE ARTIST leaves the ACAC, THE ARTIST should return the studio to its original condition.

Artist Production at the ACAC


–The location of each exhibition and the final contents of the work proposal must be decided after due consultation between the ACAC (curators) and THE ARTIST.
–Exhibitions consisting solely of past works are not permitted.
–For artist in residence productions: In principle, THE ARTIST should exhibit his or her work by him or herself and care and maintain his or her own work by him or herself during the exhibition.
–For remote participation: Set up, care, and maintenance of works will be done by ACAC staff after due consultation between the ACAC and the artist.
–THE ORGANIZER should prepare any materials necessary for presentation (panels, explanatory captions, etc.) of the artwork for the audience. Decisions on any such materials shall be made after due consultation between THE ARTIST and THE ACAC.
–In order to use the gallery without partitions, for group exhibitions, it is necessary to discuss and coordinate the installation of temporary walls and the use of headphones when a work incorporates light or sound.

Handling of the Works after the Exhibition

–For artist in residence productions: The works must be temporary. THE ARTIST should be able to dismantle his or her works by him or herself after the exhibition. Should the artist wish to take that work produced during the residency back home, THE ARTIST must pack his or her work alone and pay any expenses involved in packing and shipping.
–For remote participation: Transportation of works will be decided after due consultation between THE ACAC and THE ARTIST. (The ACAC will pay for expenses up to a certain amount.)

Exchange Program

If THE ARTIST does not hold an exhibition, they must be sure to hold one of the following exchange programs.
–School visit
THE ORGANIZER will pay the cost for any materials used in such exchange programs after due consultation between THE ARTIST and THE ACAC.

About Living at the ACAC
Living Expenses
THE ORGANIZER will provide living costs according to the Aomori public university’s regulations for THE ARTIST. (upper limit is 70 days’ worth) The full amount of living expenses is 303,160 JPY. For one term: 59,400 JPY

However, the living allowance will not be paid in the following cases:
— When THE ARTIST goes outside Aomori for personal travel.
— In cases of late arrival to and/or early departure from the ACAC.

Accommodation THE ORGANIZER will provide the artist with residential facilities at the ACAC during the program period (a private single room / 19.44㎡).
THE ARTIST must share bathroom and kitchen facilities. The facilities are self-catering.
THE ARTIST must keep his or her private room and the bathroom and kitchen facilities clean. When THE ARTIST leaves the ACAC, THE ARTIST must return the residential facilities to their original condition.

Internet THE ARTIST can use wireless internet in our facilities.

Insurance THE ARTIST is covered by injury insurance and sickness insurance for the duration of the residency. Any past illnesses, chronic diseases, or dental treatments are not covered. THE ARTIST is free to enter private health insurance policies.
Works presented at exhibitions and exchange programs are not covered by insurance.

Cooperation with
Record of Activities,
and About Copyright THE ORGANIZER will take pictures of works produced and will film the production process in order to have a record of all activities undertaken during the period of residency. THE ARTIST should cooperate with the recording of these archives.
THE ARTIST retains copyright of his or her work. However, THE ORGANIZER reserves the right to record (photo, film, etc.) these works, and the copyright of these archival recordings is owned by the ACAC. The ACAC also retains the right to use any such records for publicity purposes. Any parties who have received the proper permission from THE ORGANIZER may use these records at no cost.

About the Program Catalogue THE ORGANIZER will produce a Program Catalog and present 20 copies of the catalog to THE ARTIST.

Cooperation with
Public Relations THE ARTIST should cooperate with public relations as much as possible. However, it is possible to refuse when there is fear of an invasion of the artist’s privacy and/or interference with the artist’s work. In such cases, please consult with THE ORGANIZER.

Assistance for
Activities Aside from ACAC staff members, the ACAC has an independent volunteer organization that supports the resident artists in the fields of creative assistance, translation, and general living needs. The nature of the support available will be decided after discussions with participating artists, volunteers, and the organizer during the orientation period.

About tax Please be aware that for those participating from countries without tax treaties with Japan and countries with tax treaties but for which taxes are not exempt, an income tax of approximately 20% (20.42% in 2020) will be withheld from the stipend provided. This includes both production and living stipends. (Please contact your local embassy, consulate, or other appropriate organization for more details.)
In addition, if you reside in a country that has tax treaties with Japan, documents certifying your residence will be required.

About COVID-19 Depending on the situation of the COVID-19, the program content may change. In that case, please note that the handling will be decided in consultation with THE ARTISTS and THE ORGANIZER.

[ 10 ] Address & Inquiry

For particulars or requests about the materials please inquire at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre by e-mail. *Please note that we are unable to respond by telephone.

atten: AIR 2021
Aomori Contemporary Art Centre
152-6 Yamazaki, Goshizawa, Aomori, 030-0134 JAPAN

  • Open call 2021 application guideline
  • Applicationform
  • [Remote] applicationform
  • Exhibition hall floor plan