Noilly Prattle: Arte Ocupa in Okayama

Monday, October 12, 2015

Arte Ocupa in Okayama

Photo by Suisse-Marocain
the Fuyori school
interior stairway of  the Fuyori school
     Okayama Prefecture sponsors an “Art Bridge” project designed to try and revitalize a depopulating countryside. This year they invited and sponsored artists from Japan and abroad to come and set up an artists-in-residence program in a very rural mountain town in central Okayama Prefecture for about a month. They chose an old school building in Fuyori, Okayama, no longer in use, as an atelier (studio/workshop) where the artists were free to work on their own projects.

59 rue de Rivoli, Paris
       “Arte Ocupa” is a movement, as far as I can tell, that encourages the use of “squats” where artists can live and work free of rent. Squats are abandoned buildings that would otherwise become dilapidated and decay from disuse if they were not razed or occupied. We visited one such squat last summer while in Paris on rue de Rivoli in the Marais area not far from the Place de la Bastille on the recommendation of a friend who had squatted there some ten years ago and is now living in Okayama.

"For Me, squatting is a different way of living! - not a big deal!"
banner hanging on the outside of the school
       Some of the artists associated with the Arte Ocupa movement from Paris and other countries were invited to join the Art Bridge project here in Okayama. We visited the old school last weekend. Quite a variety of work was on display from painting to sculpture, some of it a bit iconoclastic. Here, in no special order, are a few photos of my impressions. 

portraits of some of the artists in residence  

painted red jacket by Suisse Marocain - modeled by me
the sculptor from Brazil

corrugated cardboard sculpture 

wood sculpture on marble base -
same Brazilian artist

Winter in Japan - by Suisse Marocain

large banner by Radek

computer animated projection  - I call it "Reading"

reminds me of the old Edo Period area of Kurashiki City where I used to live
silk screen 

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