top of page

Postgraduate Workshop: Asian Art Research Now 

18 November 2022, 9am-5:10pm

Zoom Online Meeting/Seminar 


Art Practice: Mobility, knowledge, conversation
11:40am-12:55pm AEDT

Being Keepers

Ryoko Kose (RMIT University)

In my presentation, I will share how my art and everyday-life practice, based on ikebana philosophy, foregrounds physical and psychological mobility as a critical tool for everyday life and long-term survival. This draws on my first-hand experience as a transnational ‘voluntary’ but forcible evacuation to Australia due to the health issues caused by the radiation exposure of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster (Japan).


I have been weaving, retailoring, mending, and reinforcing my auto-ethnography using a heuristic approach to studio research, public engagement, and documentation of my personal life. The pieces I have composited have emerged from my red yarn-based public-practice, which is situated in site-responsive art and art activism, my everyday-life practice, and my lived experience. By doing this, I aim to materialise my experience as a witness of the Fukushima disaster and born in a country that was also attacked by atomic bombs in 1945.

EOI for the workshop in Asian Art Research Now 2022.jpg


Ryoko Kose is an artist and a PhD candidate who arrived in Melbourne, Australia, in 2014 as a transnational voluntary evacuee from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Following on from her Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) at RMIT University, she is now undertaking a PhD. She has worked mainly in public in collaboration with sites. Her interest is to develop her own narrative with her lived experience and daily life so that she and her family can survive. She has exhibited in solo, and group shows in Japan, France and Australia.

The potential(s) of Tojisha-Kenkyu for generating new creative practice?

Chris Berthelsen (University of Auckland)

当事者研究 (Tojisha-Kenkyu) is a method of “self-guided (psychological) intervention” (Mukaiyachi et al., 2019:247) originally co-developed with people with schizophrenia at Bethel House clinic in Urakawa, Hokkaido, Japan. It moves from a clinician-led, therapy-focused stance to a first-person research-focused way of dealing with psychological difficulties.

Recently, its use has broadened to a wide range of mental/physical issues and it is being employed as a genuine academic practice which can generate new knowledge and definitions and as a method for co-generating new directions in numerous fields. Further, its applicability to ‘normal’ people who are experiencing difficulties in their professional, personal, or otherwise, lives is increasingly a focus.

While the literature suggests that tojisha-kenkyu could be of value in developing unique forms of creative practice this aspect is almost totally unexplored (in Japan and internationally) apart from recent works by Hosono and Watanabe (socially engaged art and art util) and Yokomichi (as a form of literary criticism), for example.

This presentation presents a brief introduction to tojisha-kenkyu, its characteristics, steps, and principles, and then discusses its potential for the generation of new forms of creative practice, with a focus on my proposed doctoral study.


Chris Berthelsen explores environments for creative activity, resident-led modification of the everyday environment, and alternative education(s). He is a co-founder and co-chair of Activities and Research in Environments for Creativity Trust, a co-founder of Tanushimaru Institute for Art Research (Fukuoka, Japan), and was Deputy-Chairperson of the Mairangi Arts Centre Trust (2017-2021).  From 2022 he is a Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries PhD Scholarship recipient at Waipapa Taumata Rau | The University of Auckland.


What Could be an "Art" "Centre"? Pulling a mobile art gallery of junk in suburban Tāmaki Makaurau (formerly known as "auckland") during "Making Friends Part 001" at and around Mairangi Arts Centre, 2017-18.

Image Credit: Berthelsen Family

Activating Textile(s)

Thao Nguyen (RMIT University)

Activating Text(iles) investigates the ways in which language can be weaponized to discriminate Asian Australians - an experience which was exacerbated during the pandemic. Through the lens of a textile-based artist, this research project will produce works which integrate text and language into textile installations. The overall aim of this project is to not only understand and capture the experiences of Asian Australians, but also combat the discrimination and racism in which they are subjected to. The key research areas, which will inform the artworks produced in this project are language in times of crisis including the racialisation of disease, the destructive power of political and public rhetoric, reclamation of language from the perspectives of a Vietnamese Australian, anglicised names and the act of self-naming for Asian Australians.

Wearing Whiteness_2022_Thao Nguyen_Photo by Morgan Carson.jpg


Thảo is a visual artist, curator and educator based in Naarm (Melbourne). Her artistic practice integrates textiles and fashion design into art installations that are performative and ephemeral. She explores how design and art methodologies could be used as a tool of intervention into space, and to creatively respond to pressing social issues. Her recent curatorial projects include self-sourced (2020) at Assembly Point, Her Alters (2019) at First Site Gallery and Bruised: Art Action and Ecology in Asia (2019) at RMIT Gallery. Thao has completed a Bachelors in Fashion Design (Honours), as well as a Masters in Arts (Art in Public Spaces) at RMIT University, in which she received the Vice-Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence in 2019. She is a PhD student and teaches Art: History + Theory + Cultures in the School of Art at RMIT University, the Coordinator for the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation Research Group and the Executive Officer for the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools and the Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts.

Thao Nguyen, Wearing Whiteness (2022). Photo by Morgan Carson.

bottom of page