Maejima Art Center is a Japanese government accredited
Non-Profit-Organization that was established
in 2001. Its main objective is to nurture contemporary
art in Okinawa, to provide Okinawan artists with
an environment in which they can create and show
their art works and to support the linking of
Okinawa’s art scene with art scenes in
Japan and abroad.
Being located in one of the central districts of Okinawa’s capital Naha
that has experienced rapid decay over the past years, the Maejima Art Center
also emphasizes close communication and interaction with the community and
sees its role in introducing new ideas to the process of urban development.
One of Maejima Art Center’s main biennial activities is 'wanakio', an
international collaboration project of artists, art curators, architects, town
planners, inhabitants and local authorities aiming at revitalizing Okinawa’s
contemporary cultural environment. The title “wanakio” results
from reading the Japanese “Hiragana” syllabary of “O_ki_na_wa” vice
versa and hints at wanakio’s strategy. Starting from a careful reading
of the urban and social environment art and design projects are created in
a direct interaction and communication process from within the urban reality.
Other activities of the Maejima Art Center include the organization of art
workshops, especially focused on children and local residents, as well as a
variety of art related events including concerts, artist talks, video screenings.