Introduction to Ongoing AIR

Ongoing AIR is a residency program launched by Art Center Ongoing in April, 2013. Domestic / overseas artists and curators are all welcome to join the 2-month residency program where the Art Center offers an accommodation and an exhibition opportunity at Art Center Ongoing.
For the second year of Ongoing AIR, we newly established Ongoing AIR AWARD to maximize the possibility to meet up artists from all over the world. Please see What is Ongoing AIR AWARD? to find out more about its benefits.

Why Choose Ongoing?

The greatest attraction of Art Center Ongoing is its large artists network. Since its establishment in 2008, Ongoing has grown to be one of the most successful Tokyo art spots where active on-going artists in their 20s and 30s always get together and exchange their views seeking for new expressions of art. Hanging out with Ongoing artists with beer on a hand is a greatest way to learn what's going on in young artists' minds in Tokyo now.
The location is another attraction of Ongoing AIR. The Ongoing gallery and our accommodation are both located in Kichijoji, one of the most popular cities in Tokyo. Because of its deep culture and rich nature, many artists, writers and various genres of creators are attracted to this area. Taking a walk in a beautiful park, Inokashira-koen, 5 minute away from Kichijoji station is always refreshing and inspiring.
Easy access to the heart of Tokyo is another good point of Kichijoji. It only takes 20 minutes to Shibuya and Shinjuku by train.

What is Ongoing AIR AWARD?

Art Center Ongoing established Ongoing AIR AWARD to maximize the possibility to meet up artists from all over the world!!
Ongoing AIR AWARD winners can stay at Ongoing accommodation for free. To apply for the award, please send us at least two recommendation letters as well as other 4 items listed below.
For other Ongoing AIR applicants, accommodation fee costs 150,000 JPN for 2 months.
All artists are welcome to apply for both Ongoing AIR and Ongoing AIR AWARD.


Accommodation Fee

Recommendation Letters

Ongoing AIR

150,000 JPN

Not needed



Required (at least two)

* Travel, living and production expenses must be paid by artists for both programs. Art Center Ongoing does not provide grants or scholarships. Please find the source of funding to cover your expenses.

Ongoing Calls for Artists

1.Ongoing AIR
  Residency Period : May 15- July 15, 2020 *Deadline : April 10, 2020
2.Ongoing AIR AWARD
  Residency Period : July 22- September 5, 2020 *Deadline : April 10, 2020

*It is requried to stay at least 2/3 days in a period*

Please note that the residency programs could be cancelled if the COVID-19 situation gets only worse. Let's discuss what we should do. Stay safe everyone!

About Program

We are happy to offer:
・Exhibition at Art Center Ongoing (FREE)
・Accommodation for 2-month stay (FREE for Ongoing AIR AWARD winners)
*The capacity is only one person. Duo is not accepted.

Artists must pay for:
・Accommodation (150,000 JPN for 2 months)
There is no studio for artists' production, but they can use accommodation as a studio if the work is not too big. English speaking staff members will assist them for comfortable life in Tokyo. Also we are happy to have a welcome party, weekly meetings and presentation events of artists' activities etc. at Ongoing cafe to support their networking in Tokyo.

* Insurance for injury, illness or accidents like burglary and robbery in Japan is an indispensable condition to participate in our program. We will ask overseas artists to get insurance before their departure.

How to Apply for Ongoing AIR

1. Application Form ←click here to download
2. CV/ Artist Profile
3. Portfolio
4. Relevant images, audios, videos, magazines, website links

Please send listed items by e-mail here 
*Make sure you attached all four documents on your e-mail.We only accept the e-mail with Application Form.

How to Apply for Ongoing AIR AWARD

1. Application Form ←click here to download
2. CV/ Artist Profile
3. Portfolio
4. Relevant images, audios, videos, magazines, website links
5. At least two Recommendation Letters

Please send listed items by e-mail here 
*Make sure you attached all five documents on your e-mail.We only accept the e-mail with Application Form.

About Accommodation

Accommodation is 5 minutes from Art Center Ongoing with a resident staff.

Room Facilities : bed, desk, book shelf, internet
Shared Area Facilities : kitchen, washing machine, bathroom, toilet, TV, DVD player

We recommend Ongoing AIR!

YAMANO, Shingo(Director, Koganecho Area Management Center)

Art Center Ongoing has a good balance of support and demand in dealing with young artists; Ongoing offers a free exhibition opportunity and also requires them to learn how to make efforts. The young artists, on the other hand, make contribution to develop the venue’s attractiveness by holding exhibitions at Ongoing. As a result, Ongoing has become an essential base in Tokyo’s contemporary art scene and I’m sure this new AIR program will expand their potentials. I believe that success of AIR program depends on what they have in background. In Ongoing’s case, a massive artists network, both in quantity and quality, will be a great benefit for residence artists. I strongly recommend this Ongoing AIR to artists who are eager for production, exhibition, various evaluations and networking with interesting people during the residency.
YAMANO, Shingo
Born in 1950. In 1990, Yamano was selected for the bureau chief of Museum City Project. He has held many projects such as “Museum City Tenjin.” under the theme, “City and Arts.” He was working as a curator of “Yokohama Triennale 2005.” Since 2008, he has been the director and is currently the bureau chief of “Koganecho Bazaar.”

Hisashi Shibata (Direcor, NPO S-AIR)

Ongoing is a private art center, which is rare in Japan. They have held over 100 of highly qualified exhibitions as well as art projects and forums. I was informed recently that the Ongoing also launched a new AIR program, and as I read the plan, it’s obviously a non-profitable type. Tokyo, where Ongoing is located, is a center of Japanese contemporary culture and also a land of extremely high price. With no doubts, their non-profitable residency program will be very valuable in this area, so I’d like to give my full support to Ongoing AIR.
Hisashi Shibata
Research Professor of Hokkaido University of Education/ Representative of NPO S-AIR/ Director of NPO Arts NPO Link/ Bureau chief of the commission of Sapporo Odori 500-m Underground Walkway Gallery (the year of 2012)/ Commissioner of RES ARTIS 2012 general meeting/ Deputy representative of OYOYO MACHI×ART CENTER SAPPORO In the year of 1999, Shibata founded Sapporo Artist in Residence (S-AIR). He incorporated it as a foundation, NPO S-AIR in July, 2005, and became the first representative. S-AIR has accommodated over 80 artists from 33 nations, and assisted their production. S-AIR was awarded the Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship in 2008. Shibata has worked on a lot of cultural affairs such as “SNOWSCAPE MOERE” and “Abolished School Art Center Research” at Hokkaido University of Education since 2009.

Tomoko Yabumae (Curator, Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art)

Take a look at a distribution map of contemporary art spots of Tokyo. You’ll notice most of the significant ones tend to locate on the east half. The west half, however, has Art Center Ongoing which keeps balance of a see-saw of art power: Ongoing has that much weight as an alternative art space in Tokyo. As for myself being a curator of MOT, I can devote to what I’m doing because Ongoing is here to play a role which is totally different from ours, but equally important in art world. Ongoing has established their unique network, not by big frameworks like “market” or “nations,” but they just naturally bring people together like connecting dots and make a circle. I’m sure that Art Center Ongoing definitely doubles the gravity of Tokyo by starting Ongoing AIR program.
Tomoko Yabumae
Born in Tokyo in 1974. Curator of MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART TOKYO. Yabumae worked on the projects such as “SHINRO OHTAKE ZEN-KEI RETROSPECTIVE 1955-2006 (2006), MOT Collection “Special feature: Kenjiro Okazaki” ( 2009) and “Special feature: Takashi Ishida” (2011) at MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART TOKYO, and also “Omnilogue Your Voice is Mine” at National University of Singapore Museum. Lecturer at Obirin University.

Tetsushi Higashino (Artist)

Hey, I’ve just heard in passing that Art Center Ongoing finally started their own residency program! You know what Ongoing is? That’s the most cutting-edge art spot leading alternative art scene in Tokyo. For 5 years since opening, they’ve built up a unique network that still keeps expanding. All the artists come here to hang out are the best strange and hip (but very nice) people in town. Of course it’s SUPER COOL! For their 2 months-residency program, you can stay at a cozy house nearby Ongoing and do a solo show after a research and production period, and it costs you NOTHING! That’s usually impossible in a city like Tokyo! On top of everything, you’re gonna get full supports from Ongoing artists and brilliant staffs! Well, what are you waiting for? All you gotta do is apply for Ongoing AIR!
Tetsushi Higashino
Born in Shiga, 1976. BFA, Scenography & Display Design, Musashino Art University, Tokyo. Starting from the response towards just a mere idea or what is deemed insignificant in our everyday lives, developing projects without regard for media such as installation, video, web or performance in the name of Unproductive Production Activities. Recent exhibitions in 2013: "This is How We Do" @KCUA Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery, Kyoto, "Tetsushi Higashino's Sound Installation" Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo, "Oren en Ogen" Studio Trenkel, Rotterdam.

Kenji Ide (Artist)

Hello, I’m Kenji Ide, an artist. I go to Ongoing quite often and I’ve done my solo shows here a couple times. From people outside, I may look like a very Ongoing-friendly guy, and yes, I am completely so. So, someone like me is writing this to recommend their residency program, I know it sounds a bit fishy and makes you feel … “Of course you’d say good stuff of this Ongoing place, coz you’re one of them, you f**king b*stard!” Well, trust me, I’d feel that way if I were you. So, for those who heard the name Ongoing for the first time today, you don’t have to believe everything what I say. (Again, if I were you, I wouldn’t be reading this.) But let me tell you this. I’m kind of inferiority complex type of person. Haha, you’d feel “what’s got to do with this Ongoing AIR?” Well, you’ll see. I’m telling you that Ongoing people have warmly accepted even someone like me. I’m not a type of guy who can walk up to say hi to upper class cool people, as you may have noticed already, I’m quite warped. Since I was a kid and even ‘til university, my school days were dull. But, this Ongoing is different from any other places I’ve ever known, I assure you. At Ongoing, you’ll meet art lovers, fun-loving animals, happy drunks. Ongoing maximize its long arms to hold those various types of folks and I’m not afraid to say that I’m one of them. Famous artists, not so famous artists, commercial artists, independent artists, art fans, amazing curators, brilliant museum workers, (also some bustards)… anyone who’s interested in art gathers up in this place. I want you to imagine Ongoing as the art lovers’ melting spot where they enjoy talking with drinks in their hands. From people outside, it might look a disgusting closed inner circle. So, I’m suggesting you to come inside and join us. Oops, am I pushing you too hard? Sorry, but I believe in this Ongoing circle, no matter if it’s right or wrong. If you decided to join Ongoing AIR program, you will immediately become one of us, Ongoing family just like that. Now you begin to wonder if this kind of residency really exists… but, it does! Don’t you know that basic things you need for successful AIR program are either masterpiece or good friends. Here you can expect both. Ongoing has a surprisingly huge acceptance range and you’ll definitely be able to experience something you’d never thought of. That’s why I’m attracted to Ongoing so much. Various kinds of people come, talk and you’ll get them see your show at the end. I don’t think you can find this full of hospitality type of residency program anywhere in the world. Not only someone like me, but also so many different types of people come! From both bright and dark sides, all gather around here. So, if you feel you can enjoy this kind of environment, please, please come!! Well, thanks for reading my unorganized long message. Many of my artist friends used to say bad things about Ongoing, but most of them end up joining the Ongoing circle. YOU TOO are more than welcome to join this unique world of Ongoing circle.
Kenji Ide
Born in 1981. Master of Arts in drawning, Tama Art University (2006). Individuality, love, and life are expressed on his installation, which is improvised with the artificial shapes. His recent activities are: “This is How We Do"; at KCUA(2013),“IGAWA and white wall"; at Art Center Ongoing(2012), “about Miss’M at KUNCI"; in Indonasia (2012), “Living Room” at Kogane-cho Residence(2012), “SLASH 2” at island MEDIUM(2011), “PPaul liked me, and I liked Jackie” at Art Center Ongoing(2010), “AIR” at International Artist Village in Taipei(2010) ect. Presented “colloquial performance” at BlanClass.

Feedback from Residence Artists

Takuya Yamashita (Residency Period : April-May, 2013)
I’m Takuya Yamashita, a first Ongoing AIR artist. I have been here for 1 and half month now. Yesterday was the opening for my solo show at Ongoing and I’m feeling relaxed at last. I guess this is a right timing to look back on my Ongoing AIR days and write about it. The real excitement for me was that I’ve been able to meet so many interesting people. Faces I’ve seen on art magazines, people who I can feel like old friends, unbelievably kind helpers, art lovers, alien type of people, very pretty girls and super cool guys. I met so many attractive people. Maybe usually it have to spend 3 years to meet so many interesting people, but here you need only 1.5 months.
Ongoing core member, Masahiro Wada, Atsushi Yamamoto, Tetsushi Higashino, Yusuke Shibata, Kenji Ide…. (oh, I don’t have space to name them all here) were just great! They gave me a huge impact on me. During my stay, I had chances to see their works and I tried to study hard. As an artist I sometimes had some conflicts in myself, but their works have blown them all away. I think I learned the importance of making the best of every moment in life from them, maybe!
I’ve met so many cool artists at Ongoing. Like, Ide-san! He fools around all night and in the morning he starts talking nonsense and does not stop! Oh I love him and all other Ongoing’s core members. They are my role model for next 10 years. And I shouldn’t forget! I have a big respect for Tako-san, the resident staff at AIR accommodation. Ogawa-san, the Ongoing director is the greatest. Manami-chan , the kitchen goddess at Ongoing café is super-duper pretty!!
*”san” is a title of respect added to a name.
*“chan” is attached to a name of young female here.
Takuya Yamashita
1985 born in Kyoto
2010 Bachelor of Arts in contemporary art, Nagoya Zokei University of Art & Design
2013 Master of Arts in sculpture, Kyoto City University of Arts
2013 〈NEXT EXHIBITION / OKI HIROYUKI『UCHINCO 2』〉at Art Center Ongoing, Tokyo Awards
2013 GEISAI #18 judge Prize at Koichi Watari Award
2013 Graduate Mayor’s Prize at Kyoto City University of Arts Exhibition