A Visit by Chancellor Walter Massey from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago


On May 22, 2017, President Sawa received a visit by Dr. Walter Massey of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), who formerly served as President and now sits as Chancellor of the school.

SAIC is one of the partner institutions of the Global Art Practice (GAP) program. Launched in 2016 at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, the program offers the Global Art Curriculum in concert with some of the world’s leading art institutions. Last year, students from GAP and SAIC collaborated in carrying out research and producing artworks to exhibit their outcomes at SAIC’s galleries. Chancellor Massey and President Sawa both appreciated the partnership between the two institutions and confirmed their intention to continue with the collaborative art practice.

During the meeting, President Sawa referred to the successful fundraising campaign for the celebration of SAIC’s 150th Anniversary. He learned about the campaign in December 2016 when he visited SAIC as part of his trip to Chicago to attend the Midwest Clinic’s annual conference, one of the largest instrument music education conference in the world. He said that TUA should learn from SAIC’s experience, as TUA itself will hold an event this year to celebrate its 130th anniversary. President Sawa and Chancellor Massey then actively exchanged information and opinions on university management, including fundraising efforts at both institutions, while touching on cultural and institutional differences between Japan and the United States.

When Chancellor Massey asked about circumstances surrounding student enrollment in art schools in Japan, President Sawa replied that Japanese art schools in general had been seeing a decline in applicants, noting the fall in the number of children and the shrinking job market as contributing factors. He went on to say that, amidst such circumstances, TUA had implemented the Early Childhood Education program for school age children across Japan who aspire to be professional musicians in the future. Prof. Hibino, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, who was also present at the meeting, added that the university had just started a new undertaking where art education and welfare were combined together to encourage social participation by the elderly and people with disabilities through collaboration with artists.

Following the meeting in the President’s office, Chancellor Massey was invited to see a special exhibition called “Study of Babel” at the Arts & Science LAB., which was realized with the support of Museum Boijmans, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, The Asahi Shimbun Company, Netherlands Institute for Conservation Art and Science (NICAS), Delft University of Technology, and Audio Visual Communications Ltd. It is an affiliated project of the exhibition that is currently on display at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, The Collection of Museum Oijmans Van Beuningen Brugel’s “The Tower of Babel” and the Great 16th Century Masters, for which TUA’s COI Site provided special support.

Chancellor Massey seemed highly impressed by TUA’s multifaceted approach to staging exhibitions in new, innovative ways by reproducing art as “cloned” cultural property using high-definition digital data, where an artwork is sometimes enlarged, animated, 3D-modelled, or combined with music.

TUA will continue to promote a variety of education programs and research projects with global perspectives by collaborating with its partners around the world.