Is It Tough to Be Free? Searching for RewardsCreators from Japan and Germany26 July 2015 - Local topics
Recently creators from Germany and Japan held the symposium titled, "Is It Tough to Be Free? - Artists' Various Ways of Living" at Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa, in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. Creators of movies, music, contemporary art and other works shared their thoughts regarding the market realities around them, possibilities of public and private support, and other topics under the theme of environments of artists working individually while not belonging to an organization.
With Tetsuya Ozaki, chief editor of the online magazine, "Real Kyoto" as the master of ceremony, the panel discussion was held between five artists from Germany, who are staying at Villa Kamogawa and are involved in creative activities, as well as Noboru Tsubaki, a contemporary artist, and Satoshi Ago, a playwright and director of atelier GEKKEN.
Antje Toepfer, a puppet theater playwright, said, "Freelancers can create their own jobs, which is rewarding, but they must overcome various risks. German dramas count on aid funds, and the network with theaters and event organizers is also important." Iris Droegekamp, a director of radio dramas, explained the actual situation in Germany, where budgets for radio shows are being cut. She said, "Cooperation between different fields, such as collaboration with theaters, is necessary."
Tsubaki, who is also a professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design, said, "Governments and corporations disfavor freelancers, but human nature must be free. You can prepare more than one income source to avoid being an organization’s pushover, connect with others, leech off others, and move around, in order to materialize your own ideas and visions. This is the artists' power." He introduced the efforts to hold students' exhibitions not in museums, but on campus to sell their works so that the profit can be returned to the students to support them. Ago reported on the current situation, in which he cooperates with theaters in Tokyo to recruit supporters who will visit theaters all year round.
The panelists also discussed new possibilities for fund solicitation, including "crowdfunding," which raises funds from an unspecified number of people via the internet, and other possibilities. Some expressed opinions also emphasized the negative effects of downloading, Youtube and other online services on creators, as well as the need for viewers to face not only digital data, but also the real artwork.
Ozaki wrapped up, saying, "The situation should get better as more people in society adopt freelance minds and as creators' spiritual peers increase in number."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)