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Calling for Overseas Artists to Dive into Tokyo! Apply to Create an Artist-in-Residence Project with Tokyo Biennale 2020!!

Tokyo Biennale 2020 project, “Social Dive”, starts its open call for overseas artists to join in AIR projects!
As an artist-in-residence program, participants will be offered accommodation in Tokyo during their project period.
By staying and creating at the heart of Tokyo, this program offers artists the once in a lifetime chance to present their resulting work as part of the Tokyo Biennale 2020.
Please find program details outlined below.
We look forward to receiving your applications!


Tokyo Biennale 2020 “Social Dive”
Dive into Tokyo, Engage with the People!
Open Call for Artist-in-Residence Projects

Application Guideline [September 2019]
General Non-Profit Incorporated Organization Tokyo Biennale Executive Office

“Social Dive” involves artists diving into the different areas of Tokyo as part of an art project aimed at discovering both the unique traditions, as well as new values held by the people who live there. The project calls for artists whose practice deals with socially engaged art through a wide spectrum of ideas and methods of expression or action; whether it be fine art, design, performance, media art, film, architecture, academic research, social action, economic-related – all fields are welcome.
Especially concerning overseas applicants, we wish to support projects that capture through a unique lens the beauty of Japanese traditions or the diversity existing in its contemporary culture; as well as the creation of artworks that shed light on a universality existing on earth through the connections made between Tokyo localities and outside cultures.


“Go Beyond! Dive in! Tokyo Biennale!”
What are we afraid of? What are we holding on to?
Change won’t wait for us. We have only now to go beyond. Things only keep changing, so we must always go beyond. Go beyond memories, history, politics, school, rules, design, architecture, dance, fashion, games, the media, yourself, and of course, art!
Whatever awaits you in the unknown future, dive in like it’s your own life. Now is not the time to be fickle. Diving in also means acceptance. Dive before looking, have the courage to take it all in. Dive into kindness, fun, the future, education, local organizations, businesses, others’ perspectives, power, truth, gaps and crevices, the public – dive into the city!
In order to make Tokyo’s social ecosystem change on its own, we must go beyond world views in each respective field. We must dive into new areas never before seen. The term “urban development” cannot exist without ties to history and culture. Using our social capital cultivated since the Edo period, it is essential that we make a shift change towards a society that builds and accumulates culture. The Tokyo Biennale is made to serve this exact role, to create a new frame that opens up the city of Tokyo.
Go beyond the narrow individualism of “me”, and dive into the unknown world of “us”!

Masato Nakamura (Tokyo Biennale 2020 General Director)

Application Deadline

December 15 (Sun) 24:00, 2019

Application Conditions

– Capability to directly face the “Social Dive” theme, and connect deeply with the city of Tokyo itself, its diverse communities, or the intangible cultural values of Japan.
– All forms of expression are accepted. Any field is welcome as long as the project deals with social engagement through a wide spectrum of ideas and methods of expression or action. This includes those such as fine art, design, performance, media art, film, architecture, academic research, social action, and economic-related.
– Must be able to actually participate as an invited artist and carry out the preparation and development of the exhibition following the notice of their selection.
– Must be able to stay and produce work between June to Early July 2020 in order to present works for the opening of the Tokyo Biennale (planned for July 10, 2020).

Support Offered

– Travel expenses (within limit)
– Accommodation
– Coordination of venue for presentation
– Support fee for project development
– Interpretation and translation support

Venue Information

Historical buildings, public spaces, idle spaces, commercial facilities, and any other locations found by the participant themselves, which are in the Northeastern area of Tokyo’s city center (areas include: Chiyoda City, Taito City, Bunkyo City, and Chuo City).

Submission Materials

– A plan of the artwork or art project that you propose (2 pages, A3 size 297 x 420 mm, horizontal format)
– A self-introduction statement that includes details of past works (1 page, A3 size)
– Current CV that includes education and career, exhibitions/projects, and residency experience
– Portfolio
– Website URL (if you have one)
*All documents will only be accepted in English or Japanese

How to Apply

Please send an e-mail to [contact(at)socialdive(dot)jp] together with the submission materials outlined above.
*The maximum total file size for the above data is 2MB.
*When emailing, please change (at) to (@) and (dot) to (.)
*Mac Pages format not accepted.

Selection Results

To be announced on December 23 (Sun), 2019

Selection Committee

Masato Nakamura (Tokyo Biennale 2020 General Director, Artist, Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Painting)
Kazuko Koike (Tokyo Biennale 2020 General Director, Creative Director, Director of Towada Art Center, Professor Emeritus at Musashino Art University)
Kiyoshi Kusumi (Director of “Social Dive,” Art editor/critic, Associate Professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University)
Tomoko Yabumae(Curator of The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo)