Mami Kataoka image ©Akinori Ito
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Our focus on 14 July is the arts world in Japan and the UK, when Japan Society Chairman, Bill Emmott, will be joined by Mami Kataoka, Director of Mori Art Museum, and Rebecca Salter, President of the Royal Academy of Arts.
In Japan, museums and galleries have gradually been re-opening since 25 May when the state of emergency was lifted and, in the UK, many of us are eagerly anticipating being able to start to visit in person again once restrictions have eased on 4 July. But as these institutions prepare themselves to welcome visitors once more, how have national governments in Japan and the UK responded to pleas for financial investment to build a new sustainable model?
And how will the pandemic affect our experience and relationship with these institutions? Will social distancing and use of PPE render them sterile and remote, or will lessons learned during lockdown create new opportunities to engage with local communities and potential collaborators worldwide? Is there still a future for the blockbuster exhibition at a time of greatly reduced visitor numbers? How are the institutions and the artists who work with them responding to these uncertain times?
Mami Kataoka is director of Mori Art Museum and the first non-European President of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art). Prior to taking up her appointment as Director in January 2020, she had served as MAM’s Chief Curator since 2003, in which capacity she staged exhibitions with artists including Lee Bul, Ai Weiwei, Makoto Aida, NS Harsha, and Chiharu Shiota. International roles have included co–artistic director of the Gwangju Biennale (2012) and artistic director of the Biennale of Sydney (2018). She was International Curator at the Hayward Gallery, London (2007-2009), dividing her time between London and Tokyo as she curated the exhibition “Laughing in a Foreign Language” (2008).
Rebecca Salter PRA is the 27th President – and the first female President – of the Royal Academy of Arts, elected in December 2019. In December 2017, she was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy, the artist responsible for the Academy’s prestigious art school. She began her studies at Bristol Polytechnic, before postgraduate research at Kyoto City University of Arts. She lived in Kyoto for 6 years and studied traditional Japanese woodblock printing with Professor Kurosaki Akira. She is a practising artist and was elected a Royal Academician in 2014.
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