On the launch of the ICA Kyoto website

Asada Akira, Director, ICA Kyoto

Director, ICA KyotoAsada Akira

Critic; Director, ICA Kyoto

How exactly should one go about heading out into the world from Japan, getting an art education, and forging a career on the art scene? Doubtless there are plenty of students and up-and-coming artists who possess the ambition, but have no idea of the specifics involved in bringing it to fruition.

A similar problem is faced by students studying art, young artists, and researchers in other parts of the world, who learn of the Japanese art scene and hope to gain access to the artists working there.

In today’s world of global art creation, criticism and research, the Institute of Contemporary Arts Kyoto—ICA Kyoto—at Kyoto University of the Arts was established in 2020 to serve as a platform for promoting such interchange in practical ways, including networking with similar centers in Japan and elsewhere.

This will take the international art education and artist exchanges based on the Global Seminar already running in the Graduate School of Kyoto University of the Arts, to another level.

Yet above and beyond its capacity as a straightforward information center, ICA Kyoto also needs to function as a research hub. At Kyoto University of the Arts, as well as running various research projects, the Research Center for Comparative Art Studies, now the Graduate School Academic Research Center (ARC) has been sharing the fruits of its research with the wider community through its public lectures, and serving as a source of arts and culture news and criticism with a Kyoto focus, via the Realkyoto website launched in conjunction with the office of Ozaki Tetsuya.

ICA Kyoto was established for the purpose of bringing all these functions together to engage in multidimensional activities with both extensional breadth, and intensional depth.

Unfortunately, the launch of ICA Kyoto has come at a difficult moment for international movement, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For those of us who believe in the importance of not only exchanging information online, but gaining full, immersive experience in other cultures, these can only be described as challenging times. But we cannot just wait for the situation to take a turn for the better. The Graduate School’s Global Seminar, and the public Global Art Talks now to be run as an ICA Kyoto program, are already being delivered in a face-to-face format with the addition of a remote online element. And having launched the ICA Kyoto website, incorporating Realkyoto, we are now taking steps to prepare for when we will be able to engage in our full range of activities, including international symposia and exhibitions.

Our hope is to gain the attention and active participation of all those who wish to access and think deeply about specific realities of the global art scene that are neither mere journalistic information, nor academic discussion.


ICA Kyoto

Asada Akira (Critic / Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts)
Deputy Director
Nakayama Kazuya (Artist / Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts)
Advisory Board Chair
Kataoka Mami (Curator / Director, Mori Art Museum / Visiting Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts)
Realkyoto Forum Editor-in-Chief
Ozaki Tetsuya (Journalist, Art Producer / Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts)
Residencies Coordinator
Ishii Jun’ichiro (Artist)
Program Director
Osaka Koichiro (Curator / Associate Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts)
Program Officer
Emilie TSURU-DEVAUX (Art historian / Associate Professor, Kyoto University of the Arts)


Art Director
Mimasu Yusuke (President, ym design)
Sekiya Shoko (ym design)
Assistant Designer
Okada Maya
Web Director
Nakamoto Masaki (President, Unglobal Studio Kyoto)
Web Developer
Kiriya Norichika (FLAM)
English Translation
Pamela Miki Associates
As of January 2021