Finding Art in the Local Community
For foreigners in Japan, it can be challenging to connect with the local society. Like people in any other society, the majority of Japanese have a routine to their life. And for many foreigner 20- and 30-somethings, it can be hard to understand the salaryman and joshikai culture well enough to want to fit in. Fortunately, there is a group of people in nearly any culture who tend to be more outgoing and approachable than the mainstream: the art community.
Unless you know where to look, however, it can be challenging to find the art community, especially if you don’t speak the local language. While they’re outgoing and friendly, very few artists combine their evident skill in their media of choice with self-marketing ability. Just as it is difficult for us foreigners to reach out to local artists, they find it equally difficult to reach out to the local, international community.
Enter Artoner: The Artist’s Partner
Shortly after moving to Shiga Prefecture, Sawa stumbled on the Artoner website. By artists, for artists, Artoner aims to help artists within the prefecture reach out to a wider audience. With Artoner’s help- through its events, radio shows, and website publicity- Shiga artists can focus on their work and get publicity and community building assistance through the group activities. Artoner is led by a savvy group of design specialists, writers, and website creators.
The group’s goal is to facilitate understanding of different cultures and ideas through the universal language of art. They are very excited to bring in some international participants in their activities to increase the flow of ideas- and that’s where TranSenz comes in. Art enables people of different backgrounds to communicate, despite language and cultural differences, but it doesn’t necessarily get you found in Google search. At TranSenz, we love what Artoner is doing, and hope to support it in our own modest way by helping form that first, internet driven communication link: English web presence.
Internationalizing Shiga’s Art Audience
Over the next couple of months, TranSenz and Artoner will work together to create an English version of several of their pages, introducing the group’s activities, the artists, and their events. While Kyoto gets a lot more attention from international art seekers, we aim to excite the Kinki-area expat community in the creative ventures taking place in Shiga- a very short trip out of the city.
If you are one of our bilingual readers, we encourage you to head over to Artoner’s website, now. You can also follow them on facebook. If you’re visiting us in English, only, then you’ll have to be a little patient. As we work together to roll out Artoner’s English pages, we’ll be posting updates here, as well. In the mean time, we invite you to follow TranSenz on facebook to stay current on all our newest blogs and business offers.