Saison AIR Partnership 2022
Footscray Community Arts Exchange Project

Japanese Residency
Residency Period: August 28–September 10, 2022 (Japan)
Residency Venues: Morishita Studio (3-5-6 Morishita, Taito-ku, Tokyo), Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio (1-80, 2-17 Hiragishi, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo)
Participating Artists and Arts Managers: Uncle Larry Walsh, Dan Mitchell

The participants stayed in Tokyo and Hokkaido with the aim of creating opportunities for new dialogue and points of contact between Japanese and Australian indigenous culture and arts activities. They visited Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park, Tobiu Art Festival, Sapporo Piri Kakotan (Sapporo Ainu Culture Promotion Center), Kayano Shigeru Nibutani Ainu Museum, Nibutani Ainu Culture Museum, and more, and met with peers and people carrying on the traditions of Ainu singing, dance, and crafts.

Uncle Larry Walsh
Uncle Larry Walsh is a local Aboriginal cultural leader and one of the only senior Elders in Melbourne who focuses specifically on storytelling. Seeing the younger generation as the torchbearers of the future, he actively pursues youth work. He takes inspiration from the local Aboriginal community and his own Kulin ancestry in his efforts to pass on those ancient oral traditions. Walsh regards oral traditions and stories as important expressions and aspects of Aboriginal culture, and strives to show that Aboriginal people live both in the modern world while remaining intimately connected to their past.

Dan Mitchell
Dan Mitchell has both Whadjuk Noongar Aboriginal Australian and European heritage. Drawn to the tension, dysfunction, and contradictions inherent in Australian culture, he is primarily interested in shared narratives, experiences, and the transition from displacement to feelings of connection with a place. Through his pursuit of these interests, he hopes to further his understanding of identities shared through art, ritual, and story. Mitchell started working at Footscray Community Arts in 2019 and currently oversees its Indigenous Cultural Program.

Australian Residency
Residency Period: February 27–March 14, 2023 (Australia)
Residency Venues: Footscray Community Arts (Melbourne), POWERHOUSE-GALANG (Sydney)
Participating Artists and Arts Managers: Mayunkiki, Kanoko Tamura

The participants stayed in Sydney and Melbourne with the aim of generating opportunities for new dialogue and points of contact between Japanese and Australian indigenous culture and arts activities. In addition to Footscray Community Arts and POWERHOUSE-GALANG, the participants visited the National Gallery of Victoria, Bunjilaka Aboliginal Culture Center, and Brunswick Music Festival, meeting local Aboriginal artists, members of the community, and peers.

Born in 1982 in Hokkaido, where she remains based, Mayunkiki is a member of the traditional Ainu vocal groups MAREWREW and apetunpe. She has also worked as a solo artist since 2021. In addition to the music scene, Mayunkiki appears in art festivals in Japan and overseas. She is an Ainu language instructor and was part of the “band” (curatorial team) at Sapporo International Art Festival 2017, and then Ainu culture coordinator at the 2020 festival. Since 2018, she has conducted research on sinuye (traditional Ainu tattooing), based on her interest in her own roots and sense of aesthetic. She explores and expresses the status of Ainu today from a highly personal perspective. In 2020, Mayunkiki took part in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN. That same year, she held “SINUYE: A Photographic Exhibition of Tattoos for Ainu Women” with the photographer Hiroshi Ikeda in the town of Shiraoi, Hokkaido, followed by the exhibitions “Sinrit: In Search of Female Ainu Roots” (CAI01, Sapporo) in 2021 and “Siknure – Let me live” (Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK) in 2022.

Kanoko Tamura
The head of Art Translators Collective, Kanoko Tamura is a leading figure in Japanese-English interpretation and translation as well as communication design. Searching for translation possibilities from the perspective of a mediator positioned in between people, culture, and language, she advocates creative approaches to dialogue in response to the respective context and content. As a part-time instructor at the Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts’ Global Art Practice course, she teaches English and communication skills for artists. At Sapporo International Art Festival 2020, she served as communication design director, mediating between the exhibitions and audiences. Tamura is also part of the nonprofit Arts Commons Tokyo.


The Saison Foundation extends its sincere gratitude to the following Legal Entity Support members and for their generous contributions (as of March 2023/in alphabetical order):