I visited Tokyo University of the Arts between 26.5-1.7.2017. I chose chosen this particular date because we were invited to be part of the project Zureta. Zureta means misprint in Japanese. This whole project was created by Michael W. Schneider, the Associate Professor of Printmaking Faculty of Fine Arts at the Tokyo University of the Arts. His goal was to make a platform to exchange printmaker’s experiences from all around the world. He succeeded to make a connection with several partners from Europe, US, Africa, Asia, Australia and our Department of Printmaking is one of them. The reason why I write as much about this project is that my pedagogical work at the Tokyo University is also binded with this project.
The Zureta project was compiled from the student exhibition which became a touring exhibition, symposium and workshop. Together with Michael Schneider we decided that the best opportunity to have the foreign pedagogic influence for his students is the time when they are immersed in the international atmosphere of Zureta Symposium. So, me and my colleagues from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna had our presentations and workshops two days after the symposium.
For the purposes of my workshop was essential to be also part of the theoretical part of the project. Then I could also talk with students about their conclusions or ideas based on the symposium.
I didn’t travel alone to Tokyo as I had a travelling companion in one of our students Pavol Truben. He was selected to represent our school with his drawings on the exhibition.
We arrived in Tokyo on May 26th, the first day of the symposium. We were warmly welcomed and we joined the group of other foreign pedagogues to discuss the topic and extend our international cooperation.
The second day of our stay we spent mainly on the symposium but also on the students of the printmaking department exhibition opening where we spoke with one of our student about her experience from Tokyo. She was really excited to try their typical graphical technique –Japanese woodcut. We also spoke with their students who are coming next semester to our department and give him a chance to ask some detailed questions about our equipment and possibilities.
The next day was concentrated on conclusions and ideas achieved during the symposium and later that day the Sayonara party was arranged for most of the participants. Luckily not for us and we had the chance to see a little bit more of Tokyo the next day.
The fifth day was the day of workshops. We spent the whole day in printmaking workshops and trying to adapt the theoretical part to practical results. Because the whole project was concentrated on misprint or error in printmaking each one of us prepared a situation where making mistakes is inevitable.
My goal was to use an unpredictable graphic technique using xerox transfer and teach how to rebuild or recreate possible errors created during the process of making a matrix or print. At first I showed them some examples in my presentation where this technique was used for different outcomes. Then I continued with a demonstration and discussion about concrete ideas combined with practical help with individual projects. The students were excited and cooperative and they achieved some impressive results.
After this working day we spent another day at Tokyo University of Art to document the Zureta exhibition and the city of Tokyo to absorb all those extraordinary aspects of this amazing city.
The next –very last day was basically only about our flight home.