On Kyushu, the second largest island of Japan, the Netherlands and Japan first met in the seventeenth century. Besides economic and political interests, which sometime collided with one another, a mutual creative curiosity arose and still exists today. In 2016 and 2017, we celebrate it with the cultural collaboration programme Holland-Kyushu.
In 1600 the Dutch set their first foot on Japanese soil. It was on the shores of Kyushu, the second largest island of Japan, the Dutch and Japanese people first made contact. Four hundred years later we can safely say that this moment marked the beginning of a successful exchange of inspiration and innovation.
Holland and Japan share a long history. Kyushu plays a key role in the century long interaction between two cultures. The island was the starting point of a cultural and economic expedition that lasts until today.
In 2016 and 2017 we celebrate the historic and special ties through the cultural cooperation programme Holland & Kyushu. The initiators of this program are DutchCulture, the strategic advice agency for international cultural cooperation, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo and the consulate-general in Osaka.
With the programme Holland-Kyushu we aim to strengthen and highlight the cultural, economic and creative ties between the Netherlands and Kyushu. Holland and Kyushu have a lot to offer each other. Because of the long shared history we look forward to seize more opportunities for the future, and we are still curious about each other. That is why we try to discover creative initiatives and innovative ideas getting shape in new or already existing Dutch-Japanese cooperation.
Numerous cultural activities and projects will take place in both the Netherlands and Kyushu. One of those projects is Arita/ 2016, commemorating the four hundred year old Arita porcelain industry. From the 17th century on, Dutch traders have been exporting Arita porcelain around the world. Also Arita porcelain inspired the Dutch to start their own porcelain industry. The concept of Arita/2016 is to bring together international, innovative designers with the traditional, renowned Kyushu porcelain industry. The project resulted in publications, products and exhibitions. It is an inspiring cross-over of the past, present and future with cultural traditions and craftsmanship.
During the programme Holland-Kyushu, varioius cultural projects will take place in 2016 en 2017. Artists, cultural organisations, entrepreneurs and innovators in Japan and in the Netherlands are joining to create a sustainable relationship between the Netherlands en Kyushu. Follow us on this website and via the DutchCulture newsletters for information about different projects and for the latest developments.
The Japan festival in Amstelveen, on the 8th of October, will be the stage of a very special international collaboration between two bakeries: Tsuruya from Saga, Japan, and Lanskroon from the center of Amsterdam. Together they will turn to an age old exchange of a recipe between the Netherlands and Japan which was the foundation of a very popular treat, similar to the Dutch ‘eierkoek’, still made today in the bakery of Tsuruya: The “marubouro”. A long time ago, the Tsuruya bakery family picked up this recipe from the Dutch traders at Dejima. This was in the 17th century when the Netherlands was the only nation Japan was in trade […]
Dutch resident pianist/artist Tomoko Mukaiyama plays at a century old factory called Sugi Kouba in Ukiha, south Japan on 20th October. Mukaiyama will guide the audience on a journey into their inner worlds with the mesmerising melody of Simion Ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato. Part of the proceedings will go towards recovery efforts for the area around Ukiha, that was affected by heavy rain and floods last July. For more information: Facebook event page (Japanese)
The Creative residency program in Arita, a town in the Saga prefecture rich with ceramic heritage, is a result of the 2016/Arita project. For this project the Netherlands and Saga have been working together closely since 2013, with the generous support of he Mondriaan Fund and the Creative Industries Fund of the Netherlands. Saga Prefecture has since welcomed international artists and designers in the town of Arita, offering them the freedom to explore and push their creative capabilities within this area full of century old knowledge and skills. Through this program Saga wishes to create a platform that acts as a focal point around which international creative talent will gather. […]
We are pleased to announce the performance Watching and being watched by Hannie van den Bergh and Jan van den Berg on June 24 (Sat) and 25 (Sun), as a result of their artist in residency at Studio Kura. For this special occasion the noh performer Toshikazu Marumachi (from Hiroshima) will perform with them.
What can be the role of arts and design in this era of big changes in both society and science? How can we use traditional techniques to develop state of the art scientific research and bottom up initiatives? Studio HB is a design and research lab, working in the field for many years. Senri Nojima, artist and professor at the Kumamoto University, invited Hannie van den Bergh from Studio HB to talk about her working method and give the students of the University the opportunity to discuss about a broader approach to the role of arts and design.
In 2016, it will be four hundred years ago that an exceptional type of white clay was discovered in the mountains around the city of Arita. That clay became the raw material for the famous Arita porcelain. The porcelain acquired world fame when Dutch merchants began exporting it from their trading post on Dejima during course of the 17th century. The refined pottery, or ‘Imari porcelain’, as it is known in Europe, was of an extremely high quality and very much in demand. Moreover, it inspired the Dutch to develop a tradition of porcelain all their own.
Deshima, or ‘Dejima’ in modern Japanese, was a fan-shaped little island lying in the harbour of Nagasaki. Not much bigger than De Dam, Amsterdam’s central square, Deshima functioned as the Dutch trading post in Japan from 1641 to 1859. The Dutch lived there under strict prohibitions. Only very rarely were they allowed to leave the island, such as for instance travelling to Edo (now Tokyo) once a year for an audience with the shogun.
MONO JAPAN is a fair and a cultural event with inspiring lectures and workshops, in one welcoming businesses and general audience alike. MONO JAPAN offers a stage to acclaimed masters of traditional practices and the new generation of ambitious and enthusiastic creators.
400 years after the first Dutch traders went to the Far East, The Global Tradewind Organisation is preparing a voyage around the globe, from Europe to Asia. Goods such as wine, olive oil, coffee, and cacao which are produced in a fair and sustainable way will be in 2017 carried across the seas by wind power only.
Indigo: Sharing blue is an artistic research on indigo. Indigo Dyeing is the shared heritage of Japan and the Netherlands that reached its peak during the Golden Age. By researching the past between these two countries, Crafts Council Nederland brings the traditions of indigo back to life.
Two designer/artist teams from the Netherlands, paired with three sweets pastry shops in Hirado as well as with makers for the plates and tea bowls under the directions of the curator Chitose Ochi, introduce a new collection which is related to the Hirado’s sweets culture. The result will be presented during a Dutch Tea Ceremony in Hirado and Tokyo, and in Europe.
Opening Traditions is a project of three designers with different backgrounds, who have studied together at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In collaboration with the shop Unagi no Nedoko and a traditional Japanese ikat weaving company in Yame, Fukuoka, they design a new ikat fabric which will be presented at the Dutch Design Week 2016.
In 2016, Dutch and Japanese crafts experts are holding two meetings in Kyushu. The participants exchange knowledge and expertise and seek future collaborative partners in the areas of traditional skills, innovation, mutual social concerns and entrepreneurship.
OTANI NIEUWENHUIZE is a collaboration project of the Japanese photographer Shinji Otani and the Dutch photographer Johan Nieuwenhuize. Two photographers with different cultural backgrounds, who not only recognise differences in their concepts and fascinations but also a similar state of mind in each other’s work, visit the most touristic places in the Nederlands and in Kyushu.
For two centuries, Deshima was the one and only door between Japan and the Western world. What does Deshima mean for the modern Japanese – living in a still relatively isolated country, and for the Dutch – half a globe away? Could Deshima develop into the bearer of new meaning and importance for both Japan and the Netherlands? Perhaps even as a powerful symbol of the importance of growing cooperation in this world, by nations opening their doors?
The Dutch Trading Post Heritage Network, initiated in Hirado, is an international network of institutions in the public and private sector that work with VOC heritage. A number of cities in (South) East Asia cooperate, does research and promotes exchanges on a cultural, economic, educational and personal level. The annual network conference for 2017 is planned to be held in Nagasaki.
Friends of MacDonald • The Dutch Connection —a Cultural Public Benefit Organisation— tries to advance insight in relations between Asia, Europe and North America. Its major activity is to grant the Ranald MacDonald Prize to a young writer or artist whose work sheds new light on those relations. The prize amounts to 5000 Euros and will be announced every October 11.
The Mondriaan Fund and the Creatieve Industries Fund NL offer together residency in the Saga region in Japan. The reason for this residency is to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Japanese Arita porcelain in 2016. There are two residency periods of three months during which an artist and a designer work together with a ‘pottery’ in the Arita region.
Regout in Japan is a cooperation between Nagasaki and Maastricht that aims to start a long-term partnership to confirm the historical relation between Nagasaki, more precisely Dejima, and Maastricht. For that purpose, Centre Céramique in Maastricht will bring a loan of Maastricht ceramics, moulds and copper plates to the Dejima Restoration Office in Nagasaki where the objects will get a special place in the new presentation of Dejima in 2017. Centre Céramique owns the most important ceramic collections of the Netherlands.
The Japanese island Amami has a centries-old tradition of kimono making. This tradition has declined in demand, and there is a great risk that this craft will dissapear in the future. The photobook “Motsure Hotsure Tsumugu” shows the traditional way of producing kimonos on the Amami island and the beauty of the products. The book also shows a series of almost meditative portrets of how the kimonos are worn.
Kaikin is a contemporary play loosely based on a historical incident of a woman arriving in Japan, persuading the authorities to let her stay with her husband. The Japanese characters are affected by this in various ways, and the journey that follows confronts us with our feeling of belonging, pushing boundaries and how we’re inevitably governed by love. ‘Kaikin’ – at times surreal – also includes a modern folktale and the introduction of mythical creatures.
A jazz concert by the famous quintet AMSTERDAM JAZZ CONNECTION will be organised in a 500 year-old historical temple in Ukiha City, Fukuoka. Enjoy an early autumn evening with a combination of exquisite local cuisine and top notch music.
400 years ago, in 1609, the first Dutch Trading Post in Japan was set up in Hirado and it fulfilled an important role in the international relations between Japan and the western world. In September 2016 the exhibition “Holland at Home in Hirado” will be held in the reconstructed Hirado Dutch Trading Post with many items that represent various stories of the many personal connections between the people of Hirado and the Netherlands. It shows that the exchanges between Hirado and the Netherlands are still very much alive today.
In cooperation with DutchCulture, Scholten & Baijings welcomes a closed group of experts and creators to a series of lectures in the Arita House Amsterdam in 2016. These three lectures will be held in the context of the programme Holland-Kyushu and 2016/ project with relevant themes for the Holland-Kyushu relation such as craft, cultural heritage en revitalisation of rural areas (area development and community building).
Deshima Revived, the radio project about the restauration of de historical Dutch trading post Deshima, made the cover of the Dutch TV/radio guide magazine VPRO Gids! Along with a special article spread over 5 pages. (December 7, 2016)
The newsletter #57 from the Creative Industries Fund NL with the theme ‘internationalisation’ features Arita 2016/ en the programme Holland-Kyushu. (September 29, 2016)
A nice comprehensive article “Made in Japan” featuring Arita 2016/ project in Form magazine nummer 267.