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Minatomachi Art Table, Nagoya (MAT, Nagoya) is an art program based in the area around the Port of Nagoya. The Japanese word Minatomachi means “port town,” and the Port of Nagoya area has been the site of a wide range of contemporary art endeavors going back to the 1980s. This area actively welcomes people who engage in creative activities, and by providing spaces for artistic production and action, we aim to give back to the community in the form of innovative ideas.
Mission Statement
Preparing a Table, Laying a Table
The English word “table” can mean not only the physical piece of furniture, but also the food placed on the table to be eaten; a group of people at a table; the act of placing something on a table; or a forum for discussion. Just as the word “table” has a wide range of meanings, MAT, Nagoya seeks to act as a medium for diverse meanings and original modes of expression here in the Port of Nagoya area.
Exploring in the Community, Accepting into the Community
The intrinsic purpose of art itself is not to transform communities. The essence of art lies in addressing the topic at hand from a unique vantage point, without being constrained by existing value systems, and unceasingly exploring new meanings and reasons for being. Artists who visit and engage with this community are sure to open our eyes to new vistas we were unable to see before, and, at times, to problems and challenges that the community faces.
It is expected that accepting into our midst both art itself, and the realizations and inspirations that art and artists bring, will further expand the diversity of the community that has long been open to outsiders and different value systems. MAT, Nagoya seeks to enrich this vital community further through art and the creative viewpoints that go with it.
1) Welcoming creative human resources to Minatomachi
– Fostering an environment for creators in fields such as art, music, design, and architecture to stay in the community and produce work
– Responding to inquiries about the activities of artists or art-related personnel
2) Offering venues for art to take shape
– Exhibitions, projects, etc. based around the Minatomachi Potluck Building
– Building a network between Nagoya and other urban areas through partnerships with art spaces in Japan and overseas
– Art-related coordination, including visits to Nagoya area artists’ studios and research assistance, etc.
3) Connecting the area’s past with the present, and building a foundation for exploring the future
– Holding lecture programs as forums for sharing issues and ideas
– Implementing projects that capitalize on community assets such as unused buildings
– Archiving innovative ideas that arise from the MAT, Nagoya program
Joint Committee of Port Town
The committee consists of local residents and administration was established in 2006, aiming at community development of the port town district in Nagoya. The committee has been providing a wide range of programs including disaster prevention, childcare, and artistic attempts to draw visitors for rediscovering the district with a creative perspective.