Master’s Degree → Experimental Workshop → 2021/22 Experimental Workshop (EWS) with specially appointed professor Chiharu Shiota

2021/22 Experimental Workshop (EWS) with specially appointed professor Chiharu Shiota



Specially appointed professor Chiharu Shiota

The most recent Experimental Workshop with Berlin-based international artist Shiota Chiharu took place from March 18 to 30, 2022.
Over the course of the workshop, graduate students from various departments of the university had the unique opportunity to focus intently on their practices in consultation with Prof. Shiota. Through a combination of special lectures, one-to-one consultations, and dedicated studio time, each student worked towards presenting new works developed under this year’s theme of “Perceiving Boundaries”.

2022/3/21, Special Online Lecture with novelist and poet Yoko Tawada.
Clockwise: Yoko Tawada, Prof. Chiharu Shiota, University President Akira Tatehata, Prof. Akihiro Kubota

Prof. Chiharu Shiota. Special Online Lecture, 2021/9/13

The workshop began with an online orientation and introduction before Prof. Shiota made her way to Japan. On arrival in Japan, the workshop kicked off with a special lecture from acclaimed author Yoko Tawada. During this lecture, not only did students have the opportunity to listen to the thoughts of the professors, but Tawada also spoke to each of the workshop participants directly about their perceptions of and responses to the workshop theme. The dynamic discussion set a strong foundation for the exchanges to come throughout the remaining 10 days of the workshop.

The workshop was held in the Workshop Room, the Art-Théque Studio Gallery and in the Graduate School Lecture Room.

Art-Théque 3rd Floor Studio Gallery

Workshop Room

The workshop participants got together to decide how to use the available space, organizing a shared workspace and individual studio spaces for those that needed it. It became clear that while the majority of students would focus on their individual practices, they also wanted to create a workspace that would allow them to talk and share ideas easily.

Workshop Room communal workspace

On Prof. Shiota’s first day with the students on campus, everyone met in the workshop room to discuss the overall theme and to reflect on the contents of Yoko Tawada’s special lecture. The discussion developed easily and the workshop participants were inspired to start creating immediately.

First in-person meeting of the workshop

Students got straight to work, trying out materials and exploring ideas.

Working in the workshop room


Working in the Art-Théque 3rd Floor Studio Gallery

The workshop participants took full advantage of the space available, using this opportunity to push their practices to new levels. The methods differed for each student. Whether it was choosing a new medium, venturing into a new discipline of the arts, or through a dramatic change in scale, all of the participants pushed their own boundaries under the guidance of Prof. Shiota.


Consultation and preparation for installation of work-in-progress for the 2-day public critique session that took place at the end of the 10-day intensive workshop

Individual guidance formed the backbone of the workshop. Each of the workshop participants spoke at length with Prof. Shiota for an hour or longer, digging deep into the themes of their work, their motivation, and seeking out the right path to pursue throughout this workshop and beyond.

One-to-one consultations with Prof. Shiota

The intensive workshop culminated in a 2-day critique session.

Performances by participating students during the public critique session

Spreading the critique over two days gave plenty of time for discussion of each participant’s works. Not only did the workshop participants receive comments and questions from Prof. Shiota and other faculty, but every student took the opportunity to respond to every other student’s work. This created a positive culture of peer-to-peer feedback for the exchange of ideas and criticism.


During the workshop, we also had the opportunity to see Prof. Shiota’s working process as she used this platform of the Experimental Workshop to test out new ideas for her own work. In addition to showing how she develops her installation art practice, she also chose to participate as a presenter in the critique session. This created a wonderful opportunity for an open and insightful discussion on her thinking as an artist.

Prof. Shiota prepared some new work to present at the critique.

By the end of the final day of the workshop there was a warm atmosphere of camaraderie. The lasting sentiment was that this workshop was just the beginning, not the end, and we look forward to seeing the works of the participating students develop over the coming years.

Student participants and faculty of the 2021-22 intensive workshop by Chiharu Shiota

■ Contact:
Tama Art University Graduate School of Art and Design
Experimental Workshop Graduate Project