Japan-China-Korea Forum on Culture and Arts Education 2017


On November 3, 2017, the Japan-China-Korea Forum on Culture and Arts Education 2017 was held in Kyoto, Japan. This forum aims to promote further understanding between the three countries through culture and arts education. This year, it focused on joint production projects undertaken by the three countries in the field of arts and culture education.

In one of the sessions, Tokyo University of the Arts, Communication University of China, and Korea National University of Arts presented their Co-work program. This joint project produces short animation films made in teams consisting of students of all three schools. The students and faculty gather in one country for a period of 2 weeks and spend approximately 10 days to complete the films. It began in 2010 in Korea and has been held each year since, the venue rotating from one school to the next.

At the forum, short animation films made in Co-work 2017 were screened and participants spoke of their experience. Usually, student films are made individually in a very different style than in this program where communication within a group is essential. Not having a common language posed difficulties in completing this task, however, the differences in cultural background and individual skills elevated the motivation to understand each other and consequently led to an overall advancement of technique and mutual respect.

Faculty from all three countries involved in this project attended the forum as well and offered the main effects of Co-work and its future outlook. One professor mentioned how a program like Co-work was optimum in grasping the animation situation of other countries and their standing in the worldwide animation culture. Professor Mitsuko Okamoto from the Department of Animation at Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media and also one of the founders of this program shared how Co-work is effective in improving the teaching and critiquing methods of the faculty and how the international network among students can contribute to their future endeavors.

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