Artist in Residence KOBE

Open Calls

All Rights Reserved Artist in Residence KOBE 2023 HAAYMM 2023



About AiRK

Artist in
Residence KOBE

In efforts to further promote Kobe as a cultural port for artists and creators, “Artist in Residence KOBE” was established and began its operations in April 2022, in the charming district of Kitano in Kobe’s Chuo-ward. The facility will accommodate artists and creators from both Japan and abroad, The facility is located


What’s an Artist in Residence?

An artist-in-residence (AIR) is when an artist or creator stays in a certain place for a duration of time to produce work or conduct research activities in a new environment. Myriad AIR programs exist across Japan and abroad and may be organized and managed by the government, private companies, NPOs, museums, etc. AIR programs may have several purposes and benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Supporting and nurturing artists and creators
  • Promoting international exchanges by attracting people from around the globe
  • Connecting artists, creators and local residents with the goal of regional revitalization
  • Enhancing culture

AIRs create new environments for exchanges in a given region


The Kobe City Vision

In 2021, Kobe City announced its visions for the culture and arts, as part of its medium to long term city goals. The vision includes the following:

  • 1. Nurture next-generation leaders by creating more opportunities for children to be exposed to authentic culture and arts.
  • 2. Create stable creative environments where young artists and creators can devote themselves to their activities and ultimately attract those artists to settle in Kobe.
  • 3. Support the activities of young artists and creators who promote Kobe’s culture and arts to the world.

Kobe City’s goals for the culture and arts overlaps with our activities and goals in launching our own AIR. Whether you look within or outside Japan, you will notice there are no cookie-cutter ways or templates to establish AIRs. Each individual AIR is unique, built and shaped by the region and the culture they are rooted in. Kobe’s AIR will have its unique challenges and obstacles and we hope to gradually create a flow of activities and example-setting events, creating a facility special to Kobe.


Residence Programs in Kobe City

In addition to museums, there are several culture and arts facilities and groups in Kobe such as theKobe Art Village Center(KAVC)KIITO Design and Creative Center KobeNPO DANCE BOXThe Conference on Art and Art Projects(C.A.P.),and a diversity of art galleries. Among them, there is a facility conducting a residence program in which artists from both Japan and abroad are invited to create work. The residence program is based on the concept of rediscovering and reinterpreting Kobe from an artist's point of view, and translating it into tangible work. In order to do so, various artists and creators are invited to ateliers and studios in exchange to showcase their work.

Currently, participating artists and creators must arrange their own temporary abodes. While each facility and program provide places for showcasing, activities, and events, there are no or sufficient accommodation facilities for the artists and creators to temporarily reside at. Ideally, participants would stay together in shared spaces (for example, a house with a shared living room) which would allow and encourage dialogue and collaboration. This, however, is difficult to realize when lodging in individual rooms in hotels. Budget restraints and the financial burdens for extended lodging is also an issue.

We believe that the role of Artist in Residence KOBE is not limited to benefiting the visiting artists and creators themselves, but also for those neighboring culture and arts facilities and programs inviting or sponsoring those visiting artists to make possible their activities and events. This collaboration will propel culture and arts activities in Kobe and contribute to Kobe City’s goal in the culture and arts. Artist in Residence KOBE will also play a role in connecting the city and its local people with the visiting artists and creators. This will allow for a deeper and more meaningful time for the artists and creators, as well as learning opportunities and exposure for locals.

Operations of Artist in Residence KOBE


Why Kitano?

Kobe’s Kitano district is a historic tourist destination known for its 19th century foreign settlements. Step aside in to the backstreets, and you will find that behind the tourist attractions are residential. Many properties have been owned for generations by citizens from all over the world, and this is one of the reasons you will find not only Japanese shrines and temples, but also Islamic mosques, Jewish synagogues, Indian Jain temples, Chinese Guan Ti Mausoleums, and several Christian churches in close proximity to one another.

Kitano has always been an inviting neighborhood for guests and is perfect for artists and creators from around the globe to come together.

The Artist in Residence KOBE facility is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a 3 story apartment. There is one house on each floor, and each comprises of a large bathroom with a toilet, high ceilings, furniture made and remained from the 1950s, a large kitchen and a room originally for maids. It was built spacious compared to traditional Japanese homes, to comfortably accommodate foreigners settlers. Nearby is The Kobe Club, a foreigner’s club. Back in the day, local members would walk from home to the club’s pool in nothing but their swimwear! With its location on a hill, the house offers breathtaking scenery of the city to the south and east, as well as a mountain view of Mt. Rokko to the north.



Program in Kobe


by AiRK

Partnership Program in Kobe & Program by AiRK

AiRK will conduct two main activities. One is through the “Partnership Programm in Kobe” to partner with various cultural and arts facilities and organizations in Kobe to accept and accommodate a greater number of artists and creators from Japan and abroad. Second is AiRK’s independent program, “Programme by AiRK”, to invite artists and creators from both Japan and abroad, as well as to launch activities such as workshops and events. Through these activities, AiRK will connect invited artists and creators with locals with the aim to further revitalize Kobe’s culture.


Program in Kobe


by AiRK




Artist in Residence KOBE has been supported by a great community of people and is operated together as a partnership. Current partners comprise of “Corporate Partners” by companies and organizations, “Partnerships in Kobe” by culture and arts facilities in Kobe, and “Personal Partners” by individuals.



"Special Corporate Partner" is a system to collaborate with companies and organizations supporting the AIR program and purpose. AiRK will initiate activities to create new connections and opportunities between corporations and artists.

  • partner A

  • partner R

  • partner K



"Corporate Partners" are small and medium-sized companies that are willing to join AiRK and support us in realizing a "META PERSPECTIVE".
Payment is on an annual basis, starting at a minimum of 50,000 yen per year (please feel free to set the amount above 50,000 yen). We accept payment by invoice transfer or credit card after individual communication by e-mail.


  • Your name will be listed on our website. (if you wish)
  • AiRK logo on your company's website.
  • Participation in the annual cultural facility activity debriefing session
  • Invitation as a VIP to the opening reception of "Program by AiRK"
Become A Partner




"Partnership in Kobe” is a collaborative partnership between AiRK and those culture and art facilities in Kobe conducting residence programs, inviting artists and creators from Japan and abroad to Kobe in exchange for exhibitions, producing work and performances. AiRK will support such facilities by accommodating artists and creators, as well as collaborate on certain projects.



“Personal Partners” are individuals supporting Kobe’s culture development in partnership with AiRK. While AIR may not be something one can easily understand or see, this is a way for individuals to have a connection to the residing artists and creators and what they create and give back to Kobe.

AiRK strives to create a rich cycle and connection between those individuals who have even the slightest interest in AiRK’s activities. We invite anyone who feels our goals resonates with to become a “Personal Partner”.

Partner benefits

  • As a partner, your name will appear on our website. (Only for those who opt)
  • Partners receive digital “Personal Partner” newsletters. (Only for those who opt・Irregular schedule)
  • Partners receive a10% discount (excluding some products) on original AiRK goods
Become A Partner

Validity: During subscription
Price: 500 yen per month, per unit (consumption tax included)
* You can apply for any number of units
* Benefits are the same regardless of the number of units subscribed for
* Refunds will not be available, once paid

PERSONAL PARTNER2024 May / In no particular order

Akiko in JKT Ayako.M 久保和也 朋子 宮﨑智子 Kazuhito Izeki 大竹江理子 うちほうめぐっぺ 渡辺雅美 en 沼尻謙次 LANDERBLUE atelier profumo Kentaro Sugawa 星野良介 しんころ のろちか

Crowdfunded (ABC order) by

Honorary Consulate of Israel in Kobe KK Haramado Kumi Nakamura Kumiko Hikino Makoto Ozone・Misuzu Kanno Mariko Taguchi Masaki Tani Miki Yamada NPO Manabito SABAKU Taeko Emori Taisei Iwasaki Unyoku Mori

Open Call

Dear applicants of the Artist in Residence KOBE (AiRK) residence program, please read the information below carefully:

*Please be sure to complete both "Application Form" and "Send Required Documents to gmail”. If you send only one of them, your application will not be accepted.

*The following conditions below are not required for artist residencies through cooperating institutions such as Partnership in Kobe.

Qualification Requirements

  • Length of Residence: Individuals and groups that can stay and work at Artist in Residence KOBE (AiRK) for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months.
  • Capacity: The maximum number of residents per application is limited to 2 persons.
  • Language: Ability to communicate in Japanese or English (If interpretation in another language other than is required, interpreter fee(s) will be borne by the applicant.)
  • Expenses: Ability to cover own airfare, transportation expenses, living expenses, and other costs and expenses related to the final work.
  • Insurance: Able to personally enroll in health insurance and accident insurance. AiRK is not responsible for enrolling an artist(s) in insurance(s), etc.
  • Other: Able to comply with the residence and Artist in Residence KOBE (AiRK) production terms.


  • 4 weeks 100,000yen for one person (one bedroom with shared bath and kitchen).
  • For artists staying more than four weeks, we will charge 25,000yen for additional one week for additional expenses.
  • The artist will occupy one bedroom with a shared bathroom and kitchen in our two bedroom apartment. If you have an additional person staying in the same room, you will be charged an additional 30,000yen per month.
  • Please note that utility costs are covered with the above expenses but food, transportation, coordination, and art material are not included in the expenses.

Conditions for During and After Residence

  • During the residency, carry out exchange activities with locals through a “local exchange program” (see application form).
  • Post credits (as “Artist in Residence KOBE (AiRK)”) and display the AiRK logo on any promotional material announcing planned or completed production, work and/or activities.
  • Cooperation for the use of photos, videos, and information related to publicity and PR of AiRK. (Copyright for production, work and/or activities during the residence belongs and remains with the artist.)

Application Process

  • 1. After completing and submitting this application form, please be sure to attach all required material (※details below) in 1 email to the following e-mail address:
  • 2. There is no deadline. The AiRK office will review and return to successful applicants within 2 months of the application submission.
  • 3. Successful applicants will receive an acceptance notification via e-mail. No notification or emails will be sent for unsuccessful applications.
  • 4. If a signature by AiRK, as your residence is required, please send AiRK the digital document(s) via e-mail.
  • 5. AiRK staff and the applicant will begin coordinating the residency schedule, and the residency program will be established.
  • Apply Form

Required Material

  • Profile Photo
  • Resume/CV (5 pages or less)
  • Sample work: Please attach about 10 images or videos with captions (title, date, medium, dimensions/time of each work), and a description of the work.
  • Scanned copy of work reviews (if available): no more than 10 pages
  • Scanned copy of work catalog (if available): only the work list page
  • Please note that if AiRK is unable to confirm the above, applications will not go through, and the applicant will not be able to participate in the AiRK Residence Program. If you experience any technical difficulties or have any questions regarding the application or residence program, please contact us below.


Artist in Residence KOBE (AiRK)
Management:HAAYMM Group E Mail