Born in Gifu Prefecture in 1950, Endo graduated from the Nagoya Zokei School of Art and Design’s Faculty of Sculpture. From a line of Hida Takayama Miyadaiku artisanal engineers specialized in traditional shrine and temple architecture, Endo began producing three-dimensional artwork in both modern and early-modern styles around the 1970s. Drawn to the illusory, fictional properties of primitive materials, he began to unveil abstract artworks made using charred wood, water, and earth. He is active internationally as well, and has exhibited at the 44th Biennale di Venezia in 1990 along with the 22nd Bienal de Sao Paulo in 1994. Endo was also honored with the 5th Enku Grand Award in 2009, and the 59th Mainichi Art Award in 2018.
Born in Saga Prefecture in 1962, Kawaguchi graduated from the Sophia University Hispanic Studies. He began to chair the dance company “ATA DANCE” in 1990, and began participating in the artists’ collective “Dumb Type” in 1996. From 2000 and onward, Kawaguchi has unveiled performance artworks spanning from theater through dance, film, and arts. In Vol. 6, “From Okinawa to Tokyo” of his “a perfect life” series (2008 onward), he participated in the 5th Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions (2013). Nominated for a New York Bessie award for his “perfect copy” of the works of avant-garde Butoh dancer Kazuo Ono, “About Kazuo Ono – Reliving the Butoh Diva’s Masterpieces,” (first performance in 2013) Kawaguchi is still actively touring globally.
Poet/Art Critic/Director of Takamatsu Art Museum
Born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1950, Shinohara is an honorary professor at Kyoto University. He specialized in aesthetics and art history within the division of philosophy of the Kyoto University Graduate Faculty. Shinohara has continuously contributed to the modern art sphere since his period as a lecturer at Osaka University of Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, and others during the 1980s, extending into his critiques of modern art. As a philosopher, Shinohara advocates Aida philosophy as well as a unique artistic philosophy of “mabu-sabi,” or blending of loneliness with brilliance. In addition to publishing numerous critiques, he is also active as a poet, and has published the transcendent short verse work “Monosawagi” (or “Uproar”).
Artist/Professor at Akita University of Art
Born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1968, Takamine graduated from the Kyoto City University of Arts/Gifu Prefecture International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences. He also participated in the 1990s artists’ collective “Dumb Type.” Takamine’s works span a diverse range of film, installation, photography, sculptures, and even regular performances in which he features, as well as from works incorporating technology to traditional hand crafted works. In written works, he has produced the story “Zainichi no Koibito” or “Korean Lover Living in Japan.” In 2013, Takamine was invited to Berlin for one year through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Biologist/Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University
Born in 1959 in Tokyo, Fukuoka graduated from Kyoto University. He served as a doctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School in the US and as an assistant professor at Kyoto University before becoming a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and visiting professor at Rockefeller University in the US. He has released numerous written works challenging the concept of “what is life?” via the theory of dynamic equilibrium, such as the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities-recognized “Between the Inanimate and Biological” and “Dynamic Equilibrium.” Fukuoka has also published a travelogue based on his journey through the complete works of Vermeer, in his “Vermeer: Realm of Light,” and previously served as supervisor and president at the “Vermeer Center Ginza.”
Architect/Director of the Edo-Tokyo Museum
Born in Nagano Prefecture in 1946, Fujimori is an honorary professor at Tokyo University and serves as director of the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Fujimori also completed graduate curriculum at the University of Tokyo. His specialty is in modern architecture and city planning history. After initially working as a researcher studying and analyzing modern architecture around Japan, Fujimori began work as an architect in 1991. Since then, he has unveiled numerous architectural works which incorporate plants and natural materials. Notably, Fujimori designed and drafted the Mosaic Tile Museum Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture. He has also been honored with the 29th Japan Prize for Arts in 1997, the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize in 2001, and the 5th Enku Grand Award in 2009.
Painter/Professor at Tama Art University
Born in Gifu Prefecture in 1963, Murase completed graduate studies at Aichi University of the Arts. From 1990 through 1996, she was enrolled at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf (Germany), and received meisterschuler recognition from renowned artist Konrad Klapheck in 1993. Until recent years, Murase continued to produce artwork from a base in Dusseldorf, Germany. Her portfolio centers on realist paintings of young girls, with layers of carefully-placed colors combining to give off an aura of youth. Since 1996, she has also participated in numerous group exhibitions held at museums within Japan and abroad.