Five Continent Arts Summit 2018


On January 8 and 9, 2018, Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai) held Five Continent Arts Summit as the highlight of the project to celebrate its 130th anniversary, which was also part of Top Global University Project. This summit was realized with the cooperation of Japan University Consortium for Arts, and support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nikkei Inc.

Tokyo Geidai has had conducted various exchange programs through two-party partnership agreements with universities primarily in Asia and Northern Europe that are specialized in either fine arts, music, or film and new media. In the increasingly globalized world, however, such two-party relationships should evolve toward a strong consortium of multiple universities, while seeking the use of the arts in combination with other fields. Under these circumstances, the art summit aimed to understand the current situations surrounding art universities with different historical, cultural, and geographical backgrounds, discuss and share the views of the arts and the art education in the 21th century, and promote further globalization.

The arts summit was attended by the guests representing seven universities on the five continents; The University of Southern California and Columbia University from North America, The University of Chile from South America, The Berlin University of the Arts and The Lomonosov Moscow State University from Eurasia, The University of Melbourne from Oceania, and Helwan University from Africa. In addition, As many as 400 people, consisting of high school and university students, admin. and faculty staff, local government workers, corporate workers, and citizens, attended the presentations by each university and the symposium.

The symposium opened with a welcome performance of traditional Japanese instruments followed by a remark by President Sawa. With Vice President Matsushita as the moderator, a panel discussion with the following two themes took place; Vision of Art Universities and Education in the New Information Era: Roles to Play and Talent to Nurture, Promotion of Arts and Culture, and Innovation through Constructing an International network between Universities. They specifically talked about the importance of the arts and the role of the artists in the 21st century, the establishment of a global platform, and the construction of the infrastructures to educate globally competitive artists and the qualities required for them, as well as the coexistence of the arts and technology.

Furthermore, active discussions were triggered by questions from the audience including how art universities should collaborate with the business sector. The symposium successfully concluded with a call by President Sawa for another meeting in the future.

(Photo © SHINDO, Ayane)

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