Microresidence Network

Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio International Open Call 2021, swimming in AIR (remote online residency) Sapporo / Japan

Period of activity
Augst 31 (Tue), 2021 to October 29 (Fri), 2021
Duration of residency
60 days
Date for applying
April 29 (Thu) to June 25 (Fri), 2021
Disciplines and media
visual arts
Type of organisation
Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio
Number of artists resident at one time
2 (people or groups)
Brief description of residency program
"swimming in AIR" is a remote online residency program. It does not offer accommodations nor studios. In stead, budgets for living, activity, production, and online coaching and coordinating for the selected artists are provided.

2021, swimming in AIR (remote online residency)

We can’t move from our habitual place again this year but we can release a kite to the sky and let it fly.

“The name of the thing is octopus and the squid in my hometown”

This is a haiku composed in Tokyo(Edo) in 1675 by a poet from Kyoto, Shintoku Ito. The kite-flying, which was called “squid climbing” in Kyoto, was written in response to being called “octopus” in Edo and it points out that the name of the thing was changed in another land. The Shogunate banned kite-flying naming it “squid climbing”, and to circumvent this ban the common people who loved flying kites nicknamed it “octopus” instead of “squid”. I thought this haiku describes the spirit of those common people, their irony, wit and sense of seeking fun. The generations that came after them were probably equally enigmatic, and that goes for the present generation too.

I see them as kindred spirits to the artists who do not give up the movement (= transformation). Although we are in the midst of a pandemic that has entered its second year, a kite may still fly gently through turbulent winds blown by the complicated history of the multiple ethnic groups that originated in Sapporo/Hokkaido. With skillful hands lifting and balancing in AIR, (“Artist in Residence” and “air of the atmosphere”) a kite can soar and I’m excited to see it. It is joyful and it can heal the fatigue that everyone has accumulated during the pandemic. We may face another constraint but we can cope through creativity, that’s the real pleasure of managing AIR. It might remind us of people going out with their kites ready for take-off and then a scene unfolds where the kites fill up the sky. These are sketches from my imagination that can be reflected in possible works from artists, project proposals and the direction of the program coordination. In any situation, AIR is a platform of creative activities and keeps a hold on the liberty to soar.


*City of Sapporo had announced since 2020 summer that Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio can not accept any artists who are based in the abroad until in which time Japanese government will allow any international tourists to enter Japan, so that International Open Call AIR Program has tried a remote online residency in 2021as well as 2020-2021 winter so far.

*the research required to prepare the “activity plan” is to have been done by applicants.



Number of artists: 2 (people or groups)

artists who are mainly in visual arts field


︎ Program schedule

1) Application period: April 29 (Thu) to June 25 (Fri), 2021

2) Announcement of the selected artist: July 11 (Sun)

* It will be selected by SAPPORO TENJINYAMA ART STUDIOS Open Call Selection Committee.

3) AIR program period: 60 days / Augst 31 (Tue), 2021 to October 29  (Fri), 2021

4) AIR end result presentation (planned period): October 16 (Sat) to 24 (Sun), 2021

*Depending on the content of the artwork/project, the most suitable format will be chosen for presenting the final result and this presentation is organized in SAPPORO TENJINYAMA ART STUDIO or in an online format. When the exhibition format is chosen, it is possible to extend the presentation period.


︎ Eligibility

Applicants must:

1)Have a nationality other than Japanese and live in a country other than Japan. (Foreign artists living in Japan and Japanese artists living overseas are not eligible.)

2) Be able to communicate in either English or Japanese with a staff, colleague artists and the local community.

3) Be able to concentrate on their research and the program activities for the full period of 60 days.

4) Be able to understand and follow the aim of the International open call program and proceed with their autonomous activities during their stay.

5) The copyright of the work plan and project produced during the residence belongs to the artist.

The participating artistʼs previous material (portfolio collection of works etc.) profile and submitted pictures will be open to the public as project archives and can be used for Studio and City of Sapporo publicity in the media printed matter and the website. The record of the residence program such as pictures and videos can be used for publicity as well.

6) Preferably not have previously participated in an AIR program in Japan.

7) There are no restrictions on age or gender. When applicants are students, postgraduate level is required.



︎ Contents to be submitted

* Please submit through an online application form.

1) Personal information.

2) Artistic activities. (cv, portfolio and website URL)

3) Proposal plan of your research, art work and project theme where Hokkaido and Sapporo are the landing points/temporary destinations of your movement.

・Proposal outline and motivation to participate in the program

・Methods to record/share the activity

・Form, direction and image of the end result



︎Provided for the artists

1 ) Letter of invitation from SAPPORO TENJINYAMA ART STUDIO

2 ) Coordination including interpretation and translation during the program period

3 ) 300,000 yen budget for 60 days living and activity

4 ) 100,000 yen budget for a part of the production

5 ) Presentation at the end result budget, up to 100,000 yen

6 ) Interactive coaching from the selection committee

7 ) Technical assistant for realizing artworks/projects

8 ) Specialized advice to manage own physical and mental health and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus infection


︎ Place of activity:

The base city of artist’s activities, the country of artist’s residence within the permitted range of movement

Some virtual places in Sapporo City and Hokkaido (art spaces, AIR and an artist’s studio ) at  the remote online residency


︎ Requirements:

Selected artists must:

1)Be able to cooperate for the program and public relation of AIR during the invited period.

2)Be able to cooperate for the research archive during the period.

3)Be able to participate in events in the local communities such as exchange programs and artist talks.

4)Present their result in some kind of format, for instance as an exhibition, by the end of the program.

5 )  Be aware of health and mental condition of yourself against COVID-19.


︎ Note:

1) Any expenses exceeding the support must be covered by the artist.

2) Artists from countries which have not concluded a tax treaty or a country with which Japan has concluded the tax treaty but where income is taxable may be liable for income tax on the sum provided to support their activities and transportation.

3) It is possible to apply as a group, however the amount of support is only provided for a single artist.


Application outline


How to apply:

Please complete the following online application forms. You will be asked to upload the data (personal ID, portfolio, etc) there.

After sending the online application form, applicants will receive an automatic response indicating reception of the online forms. If you do not receive it, please contact us.

Online form:  https://www.secure-cloud.jp/sf/1619769849SVGwtNEP


Important point:

・ Applications which arrive after the deadline will not be accepted.

・ Any application materials which are damaged or illegible are not subject to be considered in some cases.

・ Submitted data will not be returned.

・ Deadline for application: June 25 (Fri), 2021, closed at 23:59 Japan standard time


Selection and Selection Committees.

SAPPORO TENJINYAMA ART STUDIO Open Call Selection Committee select the artists based on the application forms and the portfolios submitted. During the selection, interviews may be conducted online.

All applicants will be notified of the decision by July 11 (Sun), 2021.


The selection committee

The selection committee consisting of internationally recognized artists, some art space and AIR in Hokkaido and the director of SAPPORO TENJINYAMA ART STUDIO, will carefully evaluate applicants and select the artists.



Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio International Open Call AIR Program

TEL: 011-820-2140 (Thu~Sun)10:00-20:00 (Japan standard time)