Routes/Roots: TOKAS Project Vol. 4

Aug 21, 2021 at 11:00am ~ Oct 03, 2021 at 9:00pm

In 2011, TOKAS launched the Exchange Residency Program in which creators are dispatched to Berlin and invited to Tokyo, the two having a Friendship Cities relationship. Participants from Japan are offered the opportunity to stay and work at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin. This exhibition presents works by artists based in Berlin, to commemorate both 10 years of exchange between TOKAS and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and 160 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Japan.

This program aims to encourage thought about a variety of subjects from multicultural perspectives. For 2021, the year celebrating 160 years of Japan-Germany exchange, the group exhibition consists mainly of work by creators sent to Berlin on the exchange residency program.

Compared to other major cities of the world, Berlin’s social structure makes it easy for artists to live and for creative communities to form, and creators from all over the world have gathered to live and work in the city. Sugito Yoshie, Takeda Tatsuma, and Yoshida Shingo, whose works are featured in this exhibition, have also lived in Berlin for several years and have been producing works with multifaceted perspectives on Europe’s unique history and diversity while adapting to a different linguistic and cultural environment. They participated in TOKAS’s residency program for Japanese artists in Germany, exhibited their works at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and each of them deepened their knowledge and insight through activities and interactions that leverage the networks they have cultivated thus far. As it happens, this year all three artists have elected to leave Berlin temporarily, for different reasons, and have begun living and working in new places that are also removed from their places of origin.

This exhibition features works with themes related to legends, traditions, and cultures that draw the artists’ interest. Also, video works capturing Japan from distinctive perspectives, by past participants in the Tokyo TOKAS Residency, Martin Ebner, Joachim Fleischer and Stefanie Gaus, who are currently based in Germany, will be screened.

When people relocate, we plan routes to reach our destinations, put down roots, and leave vestiges of ourselves there. Then, we plan routes to our next destinations and take flight once more. The works in this exhibition reveal something like layers of soil formed through slow accumulation over the course of long journeys, and the cultural fruits that grow up from this soil.

*As of March 2021, TOKAS has concluded our activities at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien for the time being, but moving forward, we intend to continue the exchange program between Germany and Japan.



Start: Aug 21st 2021 at 11:00am

End: Oct 3rd 2021 at 9:00pm