Beliz Brother, Mei-ling Hom, and Kim Yasuda
      Celebrating the
U.S. - Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship Program

 

 

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                                     Since 1979, nearly one hundred leading contemporary and traditional artists from the United States have been awarded the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship, which supports six-month residencies in Japan. The fellowship, administered by the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), is girded by a simple, yet innovative philosophy: investment in living artists leads to greater opportunities for mutual engagement and understanding. The artists go as seekers, as cultural visionaries, and as living liaisons to the traditional and contemporary cultural life of Japan.

Cultural understanding is at the heart of this program, but its expression in the work of each artist is unique. Media, visual, aural, performance-based, and literary artists are self-directed during their residencies, with no fixed requirements. They are free to live anywhere in the country to pursue activities of greatest relevance to their creative process. One of the most significant legacies of the program is the establishment of long-term institutional and personal relationships that extend beyond the artists' residencies.

To celebrate this national investment in contemporary artists, the Japanese American National Museum highlights the art of three recent fellows: Beliz Brother (1998), Mei-ling Hom (1996), and Kim Yasuda (2000). While all three artists work in sculptural-installation form, the impact of the Japan residencies on their art differs, as the viewer will see. Japanese Americans have long served as an unofficial "bridge" between the United States and Japan. Likewise, the Creative Artists Exchange Fellows provide another link through the lens of contemporary artistic practice.

Made possible with the support of the JUSFC.


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