Appointment of Yuko Hasegawa as Advisor for Art and Design

The International House of Japan (IHJ: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Chairman: James Kondo) is pleased to announce the appointment of Yuko Hasegawa as Advisor for Art and Design in the Programs. Ms. Hasegawa is Japan’s leading international curator and Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

Photo: Yuko Hasegawa

The IHJ has promoted a number of art programs, including the U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellowship Program, the IHJ Artists’ Forum, Architalk: Seeing the World through Architecture, the Asile Flottant Restoration Project, and comparative research on global urban systems. In the past, we have welcomed Walter Gropius to Japan and published an English-language guide to the Japan Art Museum.

The world is now facing a wide variety of challenges from great power rivalry, a pandemic, Russia’s aggression of Ukraine, rapid advances in AI, climate change to diversity and inclusion. Under such circumstances, how could we promote intellectual dialogue and cultural exchange with diverse world? How could we foster the next generation of leaders to build a free, open, and sustainable future? How could art and design facilitate to shape such future?

Following its merger with the Asia Pacific Initiative in July 2022, the IHJ redefined its mission: “to contribute to building a free, open, and sustainable future through intellectual dialogue, policy research, and cultural exchange with a diverse world.” To achieve this, we intend to explore new possibilities by mixing the power of art and design with our existing assets, such as the ecosystem of the people gathering at the I-House, our building (a modernist architectural masterpiece), our historic Japanese garden (designated a place of scenic beauty by Minato-ku), various facilities, membership, and programs on geoeconomics, innovation and sustainability. Please look forward to our new developments.

Message from Yuko Hasegawa
Behind the ecology of political, economic, and social life, there exists each and every human being. Our activities have been based on the modern premise of the freedom of movement, occupation, and project. Understanding others, and accepting others to coexist, begins with securing the freedom to love.

In a society that is increasingly standardized by the laws of capitalist optimization, art is a language that transcends logic, bringing joys of connection and empathy. Art enables communication through our five senses, through our physical body. The role of art and architecture is becoming more and more important today, as is the role of curators as their mediator and relationship builder.

The art and architecture program will connect with all programs at IHJ through its creativity to offer alternatives to current issues, its diversity across race, gender and income gap, and effective communication tools in today’s visually-centric world.

Yuko Hasegawa is a curator, educator and writer based out of Tokyo. She currently holds positions as Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University of the Arts, Visiting Professor of Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, and Artistic Director of the Inujima Art House Project. She was also Visiting Professor at the Department of Philosophy of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in 2023, and the Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo until 2021. Hasegawa has been honored with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2015), the Ordem de Rio Branco, Brazil (2017), and Japan Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan (2020).

International House of Japan

Asia Pacific Initiative