An Artist Residence Program in Support of inscription of Aso as World Heritage site.

The Artist in Aso Application Period is Now Closed!

Due not later than : July, 23, 2019

1. Background to implement this program

Aso is located in Kumamoto Prefecture, in the center of Kyushu, Japan. It is about 2 hours’ flight from Tokyo. 50,000 people live within one of the world's largest calderas, where there are 5 Aso mountains, including the active volcano called “Nakadake”. Ancient cultural records of Aso Shrine date back to 282 B.C.

This premier tourist area has cultural significance and unique animals and plants which draw over 1.7 million visitors annually.In 2013,

Aso was evaluated for the unique farming mode of its largest grasslands in Japan and the scenic beauty of the grasslands and farming areas and FAO (Food and Agricultural of the United Nations) designated Aso as GIAHS, (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage). Also, Aso was designated as a Global Geopark in 2014.

Therefore, it has become important to promote positive perceptions of the beauty of Aso to the wider world.

2. Purpose of this program

The purpose of this program is to offer a creative environment for overseas artists in Aso district. Artists will create artworks featuring Aso and are expected to promote appeals and information of Aso worldwide through their artworks.

Also, it is expected that local people/communities will feel many benefits from connecting with new inspirations and perceptions inspired by your artistic creations.

3. Participating organizers

“Artists in Aso” Executive Committee (hereafter, referred to as Executive Committee)
Affiliated organization: Kumamoto Prefecture, Aso-City,
Minamioguni-machi, Oguni-machi, Ubuyama-mura, Takamori-machi.,Minamiaso-mura.

4. Residential term

September 24(Tuesday)-November 7 (Thursday), 2019 (45days)
*Artists must arrive at their residences by September 24(Tuesday) and must stay until November, 7 (Thursday)
* Residences and expenses will be provided only for this period.
It is possible to stay before or after this period, however, all expenses will be self-paying. Also, assistants for artists will be supporting only through this period.

5. Participants for this residence program.

4 people
Detailed Breakdown
One person each..
Aso-City, Minamioguni-machi, Ubuyama-mura, Minamiaso-mura

6. Municipal theme for artworks and art field

Artists are required to stay in Aso region for 45 days to create and artworks. Also, through their exhibition or artistic activities, artists are expected to actively promote attractiveness or information of Aso to the world not only for the residential period but also after they go back to their countries.


The theme will be ‘Aso grassland landscape’ or ‘coexistence with volcanoes’. The content of artwork will be working and living scenes of people in Aso City.

Field of art:
Photographs, images or paintings.

2. Minamioguni-machi

Theme of artworks:
The theme will be ‘Aso grassland landscape’ or ‘coexistence with volcanoes’.

Field of art:
Photographs or images.

3. Ubuyama-mura

Theme of artworks:
The theme will be the Grand Landscape of Ubuyama-mura or the Bountiful Nature of Ubuyama-mura focusing on the grasslands, pastures, and landscapes overlooking Mt. Aso(Ogi Tanada, Higotai Camping Park, Farm Village Ubuyama)

Field of art:
Visual art (photographs or video).

4. Minamiaso-mura

Theme of artworks:
The Grasslands of Aso or Living Together with the Volcano

Field of art:

7. Activity contents

  1. Artists are requested to stay in the designated residences as mentioned above【4】in Aso. Artworks should be developed in the designated ateliers and areas.
  1. During the residency period, artists are required to complete at least one artwork (movable) and submit to the AIA Executive Committee. Also, artworks to exhibit for the exhibition should be completed by October 25, Friday, 2019. Finished works are supposed to be left at the municipality you stayed at. If you wish to take your artwork home with you, please discuss this with your municipality.
  1. Artists are requested to participate in the following programs conducted by the organizers. The schedule might be changed depending on circumstances.
  • Courtesy visit to the Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture (late in September ~early in October).
  • Events to promote this project conducted in outside of Aso district (in the middle of October).
  •  Exhibition. (late in October ~early in November). Artworks created in Aso district will be exhibited.
  • Workshops for local elementary, junior high and high schools.(The period depends on each municipality).
  • Visit from organizer’s record keeper (when appropriate, during this residence program).
  • Media coverage (when appropriate, during this residence program).
  • Open atelier (when appropriate, during this residence program).
4.Promotional campaign for artworks

During your residence, please post at least once a week to social media and promote your activities both within and outside Japan.

Within the year following the residency, artists are requested to do promotional activity outside of Japan as follows.

  • Please give an exhibition or give a live performance, lecture or workshop (or related activity) about your artwork in Aso region and broadly transmit attractiveness of Aso.
  • Please publicize your artist’s stay and artwork in articles through media such as newspaper, magazine or website

Please inform to Executive Committee with document attached after you have done PR activities as listed above by March 19, 2020

8. Choices of residences

Please write where you prefer to stay on the application by carefully reading inherent conditions of those 4 places listed below 9 and residences and ateliers listed below conditions of 10.
Artists will stay in one place in preferred locations.
In principle, artists will not be located in unwished place.
*Please note that the conditions of the residences may vary according to each district.

9. Qualifying applicants

Applicants need to fulfil the following:
General Conditions

  1. Japanese citizens will not be accepted.
  1. Artists, who have experience either in performing their artworks or through exhibitions and who are able to send recommendations from more than 2 experts in the art field.
  1. Applicants need to be over 18 years old and no high school students will be accepted.

University /college students will need approval from their universities/colleges.

  1. Artists need to be able to stay in the designated residences.
  1. Artists can only stay alone. (We can only provide a space for a single person).
  1. Artists need to be able to use either basic communication levels of English.
  1. Artists need to be in good health.
  1. Artists need to be able to participate in events scheduled by the Executive Committee.
  1. Understanding the purpose of this project, artists need to keep good relationships with other artists and local people and constructively participate in cultural exchange projects.

10. Contents of residential stay

  1. Transportation costs

Costs for a round-trip from the artist’s nearest airport to Aso-Kumamoto

Airport. Basically, please arrive at and leave from Aso-Kumamoto airport. (in principle the international or domestic flights will be economy class).

Any transportation taken from Aso- Kumamoto Airport to the artist’s residence is included in the transportation cost support provided by the organizers,

Total transportation support is up to a maximum of JPY 180,000 per artist.

*A copy of airplane tickets and receipts will be necessary for repayment.

*About visa

If visa is necessary for immigration, the applicant will need to prepare this by him or herself. Please confirm with the overseas agencies of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.

*It takes about 2 weeks to reimburse the cost for transportation after arrival.

  1. Residence and atelier

Municipal designated residences and ateliers are freely provided for creation of artworks (utility costs are covered by the program).

Refer to details of each residence as below.
*Please refer below to select where you wish to stay.
Number Place to stay Residence’s information Atelier’s information

*Please refer below to select where you wish to stay.


Place to stay

Residence’s information

Atelier’s information



Type: Independent housing

Size: 3 LDK

( 6 tatamis ・4.5 tatamis ・4.5 tatamis, LDK 10 tatamis) 

Equipment: kitchen, toilet, refrigerator, washing machine TV, microwave, internet connection (wi-fi), shower (no bathtub)

Type: the same as left.



Type: Independent housing

Size: 8 tatamis×2rooms

(about 26㎡)

Equipment: TV, toilet,

internet connection 

washing machine, 

kitchen equipment,


Type: A cabin within the grounds of a residence.

Size: 8 tatamis (about 13㎡)


internet connection



Type: Local lodge 

Size: an independent

housing (double-story)

Equipment: TV, bath, toilet, washing machine, kitchenette, etc.

internet connection

Type: the same as left.



Type: One room in independent housing

Size: 8 tatamis’ room : about 13㎡


Shared public space (kitchen, bathroom, etc.), internet available

Type: the same as left.

  1. Daily expenses

Each artist receives JPY 2,800 per day, to help cover the artist’s personal costs and food expenses.  This is calculated according to the number of days the artist is actually in residence.  Some, but not all residences will be provided with meals, however the artists have to pay an adequate amount to the providers. Artists are not required to report their accounts.

Artists will be paid in cash at the end of the month. However, it will not be paid just after their arrival, so please bring some amount for living (approximately JPY 28,000.),

  1. Costs for art activities (materials etc.)

Costs necessary for creation of artworks such as materials, equipment or facility will be supplied.

However, PC, Cameras, tools which cost more than JPY 20,000 will not be applicable.  Total activities support is up to a maximum of JPY 230,000 per artist. Any cost above this will be covered by the artist.

Artists need to make their cost estimate in advance. Estimated material costs will be paid at the start of the program.  After the residency, the difference will be adjusted by receipts of actual costs.

※Please bring your own PC, cameras, or other electronic appliances.

Please do not expect financial compensation for activities/materials other than those designated above by the committee.

※ Cost for art activities can only be used during the period of residency program. Please note that it cannot be used after the program.

  1. Accident insurance

The organizers will join an accident insurance and health care plan that covers the participants. Should an artist fall sick or be injured, hospital visits are covered by the organizers.

If however, insurance payment is received, it will be paid to the organizers. *Health care for pre-existing disorders, chronic illness and dental care and others are not included in this plan.

 *To join the insurance plan, successful applicants need to send a PDF file of a copy of passport and airplane tickets in advance.

If you choose to enter a danger zone, it is at your own risk and any injuries will not be covered by insurance.

11. How to apply

1. Applications

  1. Application form: Fill in the application form on this site and write proposal letter (attach plans of proposed artwork, if possible, specifying materials and the number of people needed for production).
    *Please do not forget to write where you want to stay on the application form.
    *Limiting the number of words as written on your application should be strictly followed. Any excess cannot be screened.
  2. Resume: work experience including exhibitions, projects, scholarships, publications, etc. / records of artworks, award received.
    For identification at selection, please attach a clear headshot photo.
  3. Photos of artworks: attach JPEG images of past artworks to designated
    places in the application form. (up to 4 images. Please be careful, if more are attached, any excess cannot be screened.)
    If the artwork is a video, please attach its URL.
  4.  Please write the explanation(title, materials, exhibition place)of the artwork in the designated place on the application form.

2. Application period

June 24-July 23, 2019

3. How to apply

Only by e-mail.
* e-mail size, within 4MB including attached images.

4. Submit application to

Mail to :
Kumamoto Prefectural Government, Culture plan, world heritage promotion section, Artist In Aso Executive Committee.
18-1, 6-Chome, Suizenji, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture

5. Where to contact

Mail to :

6. Note for application

  1. Download Application forms from “Artists in Aso” Executive Committee
    Application Form 【PDF】
    Application Form【WORD】
  2. If there is a problem with your application files, we will contact you but
    it will not be accepted unless every form is enclosed.
  3.  Submitted data will not be returned.
  4.  If selected, the headshot photo and data of artworks might be used for publication.]

12. Selection and notice

Selection will be made through the review of submitted documents by the selection committee.
The result of the selection will be notified by e-mail at the beginning of August.2019 on the “Artists in Aso” Executive Committee homepage.
Please note that we will not answer questions about selection or results until publication.

13. Property rights, copyrights

  1. Artist retains copyright of artwork created during the residential stay.
  2. The ownership of any artwork created during the residential stay, in principle, belongs to the organizers. Organizers and anyone who have gained permission from the organizers can freely use the artworks (including records of their artworks like photos, videos etc.) upon their completion.
    The preservation conditions of the artwork will be decided by individual consultation between each artist and the organizers (“Artists in Aso”Executive Committee).
    If the artwork is difficult or impossible to preserve,the conditions above will change.
  3. Organizers have the copyright on photos and videos that they have recorded and the rights to use them to advertise. Organizers and anyone who has gained permission from the organizers can freely use their material.

14. Consideration

* This program does not include curators and artists are required to complete artworks by themselves.
* The staff who will assist artists in their staying areas are not art professionals. The staff will mainly support artists’ daily life but cannot be expected to help in the creation of artworks.
*There may be occasions when atelier and materials for artworks may not be enough for creating professional artworks.
* Artists should take care not to intentionally damage facilities, such as, their designated residence and atelier.
* In Aso region, there may be some no entry areas or unpassable roads due to the damage caused by the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016 so please follow the organizers' instructions during the period.
* Even if you have an international driver's license, you cannot use a rental car during your stay.