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Japan Artist-In-Residence Programs

What is an Artist-In-Residence (AIR) Program?

“Artist in Residence (AIR)” is a program to support the creative activities of artists in Japan and overseas by providing opportunities for them to stay and work outside their countries or regions for a certain period of time. With growing interest in AIR in Japan in the early 1990s, an increasing number of local governments and art-related NPOs have been working on AIR programs.

Which fields are covered or supported by AIR Programs?

Artist in Residence (AIR) provides residency programs to creators in various fields including music, drama, art, architecture, literature and design. Furthermore, there are AIR programs not only for artists but also for researchers. Programs in the website AIR_J are classified into visual / fine art, performing art, applied art / craft, film and others.

What are the qualifications for an AIR Program?

To participate in an AIR program, you are required to submit an application form for each program or make a presentation. The application procedures are different depending on which application system the program employs: the open application system or the recommendation system. For qualifications, in many programs applicants may be required to have graduated from a university or graduate school. There are also programs to support emerging artists, career improvement and activities while on sabbatical leave to meet the diverse needs of various artists. Since some of these programs have age limits, you need to confirm before applying.

In Japan, many AIR programs are operated by local governments. Some of these programs require artists to open their studios to the public or to hold workshops for local citizens during the period of residency.

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Name of Program: Varies.
Country: Japan
Program Type: Local government or organisation sponsorship
Program Duration: Varies; one month to three years
Program Start Date: Varies.
Program End Date: Varies.
Placement: Municipalities in Japan


Program dates may be subject to change.

Program costs and funding varies among organisations. 

​Language requirements varies.

What kind of support can I receive during the residency?

The support provided by organizers differ greatly, depending on the program. Therefore, you need to compare the support to be provided with your requirements. Some programs provide the following support:

  • Financial assistance (subsidies for transport, creative activities, accommodation, etc. or remuneration)

  • “Hardware” support (production studio, exhibition space, accommodation, etc.)

  • “Software” support that mainly includes physical support (technical staff, assistants, volunteer staff etc.)

What language level is needed?

In all programs, you might need to be able to speak the local language, at the daily conversation level at a minimum. Some residency programs require artists to provide workshops and lectures in the language of the country where the residence is located. In such case, you will need to speak the language at a sufficient level to meet such requirements. But most cases in Japan, curators and coordinators who can speak English will support artists.


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