We now live in a world of constant documentation. The carefully arranged plates of food to the deliberately curated moments are captured as a slice of life proof of our experiences. It seems that when something is not preserved digitally, it becomes lost forever.
However, some things are harder to preserve. Individual names, invisible connections, personal reflections tend to slip away with the passing of time. This is how the author and former Senior Cultural Officer of the Australian Embassy, Sachiko Tamai, felt she and Emiko Namikawa were closing the VACB Tokyo Studio.
For three decades, in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Tokyo served as the host city for more than 100 Australian artists. Tamai and Namikawa served as the studio's managers and consultants working with visiting Australian artists. While most of the artwork will live on as time capsules of that time, there are many individual artists' stories and connections that need to be preserved.
Reflections: Australian Artists Living in Tokyo is a collection of essays and interviews to preserve a vital time for artists who had experienced staying in Japan. Written by artists, curators, and organizers, Reflections: Australian Artists Living in Tokyo chronicles the history of more than three decades of art exchanges between Australia and Japan.
For three decades, Australian painters, photographers, sculptors, 3D artists, and multi-media artists have enriched themselves and Australia's art culture while working in Australia Council's Artist-in-Residence Studio in Tokyo. Their deep personal connection with traditional and contemporary Tokyo and Japan has contributed much to Australia's visual and performing arts until the present and well into the future. This is a collection of their stories, insights, and reflections.
Sachiko Tamai was born in Tokyo. She has worked as an announcer and translator for the Japanese Section of Radio Australia (Melbourne) and has freelanced for the Australian Tourist Commission and Australian Meat Board, among others. She was previously the senior cultural officer of the Australian Embassy, Tokyo. Now retired, she serves as a volunteer art coordinator. She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1999 for developing cultural links between Australia and Japan.