British Council: Ise City, Japan Residency Call Out

The British Council is launching an open call seeking five UK-based artists working in any art form, to travel to Japan for an artistic research residency as part of the “UK in Japan 2019-20”. The residency will take place over a period of two weeks in October 2019 in Ise City, the home of Ise Shrine, one of the most important and prestigious Shinto Shrines in Japan.

During the two-week research residency, five UK artists will take part in a programme which includes: visits to hidden parts of Ise Shrine which are not generally opened to the public; travel to other cultural heritage sites and meetings with Japanese Shinto priests, craft makers, local residents as well as Japanese contemporary artists. The full schedule will be set in advance of the visit and the selected artists will have the opportunity to input into the programme.

Artists selected for the residency will be asked to document their experience to share upon their return to the UK. This sharing could be presented in any format such as a talk, film screening, blog, podcast, video diary, photo essay, etc. and a full briefing will be provided in advance of the trip.

No studio facilities are available in Ise City and we do not expect artists to create new work while on this residency. We are interested in hearing about existing partnerships or organisational links that might be drawn upon when developing new work inspired by the visit, and will provide support where possible. We hope that selected artists are inspired by the visit, learning from each other’s experiences andperspectives with a view to exploring future collaboration.

The residency has been developed by the British Council in collaboration with Ise City and will coincide with an exciting year of UK-Japan exchange titled “UK in Japan 2019-20” jointly organised by the British Council and British Embassy Tokyo. While Japan will attract the global attention with these key moments, the residency will provide the UK artists a unique experience to encounter the beauty of Japanese culture and its tradition, explore its relevance to the 21st century and build new cultural relationships with Japan.


5 UK artists, working in any art form or medium


Applicants should:

Be individual artists and/or creative practitioners, based in the UK. This includes, for example; visual artists, producers, curators, writers, musicians, composers, designers, editors and choreographers.

Have substantial professional experience.

Be established in their field of practice and be able to demonstrate a specific interest in engaging with Japanese culture and artists


14 days including travel from 5 – 18 October 2019:

5 Oct: depart the UK
6 Oct: arrival in Ise City
7-17 Oct: Programme in Ise City
18 Oct: Departure for the UK


The selected artists will make visits to hidden parts of Ise Shrine which are not generally opened to the public, travel to other cultural heritage sites and meet Japanese Shinto priests, craft makers, local residents as well as Japanese contemporary artists. Kanname-sai, one of the most important annual rituals will be held on 15 and 16 Oct at Ise Shrine and the selected artists will be invited to observe Kanname-sai.


The research residency will consist of:

- International transportation (premium economy flights between UK and Japan) and local transportation in the UK and Japan;
- Visa;
- Travel insurance;
- Two weeks accommodation in Ise City in a western-style hotel with 2-4 nights at a Japanese style ryokan;
- Subsistence for two week’s residency (meals);
- Honorarium of £2000 for the duration of the residency;
- A programme of visits and meetings in Ise City (organised by the British Council with the support by the Ise City);
- English – Japanese translation;
- Advice and support from the British Council; .

We will also cover access costs and support with any access requirements.

The artists will be expected to:

- Be able to travel to Ise City, Japan for a period of two weeks between 5 – 18 October 2019; commit time before the project for preparation and research, including briefing/prep sessions with British Council and local stake holders (via Skype or video conference);

- Take part in a panel discussion discussing their experiences on return to the UK (dates TBC)

- Document their experience and keep a travelogue, to be published on the British Council website.

- Participate in media interviews; participate in the documentation, wrap-up and evaluation of the programme;


Submissions are accepted via email only and must be sent in a single .zip archive folder no larger than 5MB in total. Please format all written material as a PDF document.

Completed applications should be sent to and by 4pm (GMT) on 7 May 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 31 May 2019.

The following materials should be included in your application:

1. Statement:
Please outline your interest in this research residency, including what you can you bring to the residency and what might you get out of it? Discuss how this visit is situated in relation to your current practice and the broader context of your work, research, interests and existing working relationships (e.g. institutions/organisations). Outline how you might present your learning back to audiences and partners in the UK.
Maximum 800 words.

2. Curriculum Vitae:
Describe your background to a maximum length of two pages. Please include all relevant contact information and a personal website, if applicable.

3. Supporting Material:
You may submit up to five pieces of additional support material, such as digital images, videos, or audio clips or links to video and audio work hosted online. The panel will review up to a maximum of five minutes of time-based work.

We aim to create a diverse group of artists on this residency and welcome applications from all. If you wish to discuss any access requirements or apply in an alternative format please or call 0131 524 5759.


Projects will be shortlisted by the British Council project team and the final selection will be made by a panel of arts industry judges:


The selected artists are expected to agree to any reasonable requests for press or media, and to discuss media coverage with the British Council. Press information will be agreed upon and released by the British Council.

For more information download this pdf -

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