Creative Residency Arita (CRA) is an international artist-in-residence programme organised by Arita Town and Saga Prefecture. With ceramic production as the focal point, the programme offers support for creators from various backgrounds in order to engage in creative activities whilst being presented with the opportunity to interact with local residents and paired with highly¬ skilled potters and craftsmen to collaborate artistically together.
In 2013, a Creative Industries Agreement was signed between the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tokyo and Saga Prefecture, which was the catalyst for the highly-acclaimed 2016/ project that was launched for the 400th anniversary of Arita ware in 2016. Co-Creative Directors Teruhiro Yanagihara and Scholten & Baijings brought together 16 international design studios to collaborate with local potteries and trading companies for a fresh re-imagining of Arita-ware and the launch of an extensive new range of products.
With the 2016/ project ethos serving as its genesis, the CRA programme was launched in 2016 with the support of the Mondriaan Fund and the Creative Industries Fund of the Netherlands and has hosted over 20 participants.
The programme offers the opportunity to create exquisite art pieces or design products born from the meeting of the technical excellence of Arita craftsmen and the diverse approaches of the participating creators.
In Arita, programme participants can explore and experiment with their creative projects supported by highly-skilled craftsmen and the knowledge of researchers specialising in all manner of ceramic production during their 3-month residency. We provide an environment for our residents in which they can experience daily life with the townspeople, gradually becoming familiar with their craftsmanship as well as the history, local culture and environment; all of which will help them experience the Arita approach and sensibility towards ceramic production. We feel this will be of enormous benefit to our residents both on a human level but also in regards to the quality of the project undertaken during the programme. Simultaneously, for local residents this is a chance to break down any preconceived ideas they may have about how Arita-ware should or has been produced, instead giving rise to more progressive endeavours and exchanges that will invigorate the region’s creativity.
In recent years, Arita’s ceramics industry has sadly been in slow decline, therefore we hope to create a platform in Saga that will release the true potential and valued judgement of the craftsmen and distributors to explore their own characteristics in greater depth and pro-actively shape the region’s future prosperity.
It is Saga’s and Arita’s hope that Arita will not only be known as an industrial town, but also as a creative melting pot where traditional techniques meet cutting-edge technology and where creators are supported by both crafts and knowledge in an environment that only Arita can provide. Through the creation of such a creative platform, it is the aim for Arita to adopt a confident new position as a source of radical new art and innovative products to which creatives from the global world of art and design will flock to.
Saga Potters Association
- Company/Facility: Jyusha
- Representative: Gen Harada (Director)
The association has offered support in coordinating the potteries which boast the necessary skills and technology to fully realise the projects devised by the Arita-bound artists.
Technical Support: Advice
- Company/Facility: Saga Ceramic Technology Research Center
- Supervisor: Kiyoshi Soejima
At the Saga Ceramic Technology Research Centre, which serves as the institutional facility for residence activities, we hope to create works using an array of the latest machines and technology available, while providing support through our technical guidance. We hope that the artists, potters and researchers can all share those moments as we work towards the same goal, creating an ideal environment in which the artists can realise the artistry they dream of achieving. I hope that they continue to challenge us here in Arita to master ambitious projects which have eluded others elsewhere.