Utilize the “Creative Archive” What classes did Ryuichi Sakamoto take at the University of the Arts?

Creative Archive

Utilizing past expressions in new projects and productions. At Tokyo University of the Arts, we are intentionally circulating this and creating a “creative archive” that actively connects with people outside the university. We asked him about the underlying issues and possibilities.


A Secret Recipe to Create a Future

Ueno no Mori has many art galleries and museums. Tokyo University of the Arts stands in the background with a unique presence. Founded in 1887, Japan’s only National University of Arts exudes a somewhat inaccessible, secretive atmosphere.

Utilize the “Creative Archive” What classes did Ryuichi Sakamoto take at the University of the Arts?

The University Art Museum, located near the entrance, exhibits graduation and alumni exhibitions, as well as works and materials from the university’s collection that are open to the public. However, the University of the Arts has more than just paintings and sculptures. Fragments of information related to creation, such as course materials taken by artists who are now active around the world, are also an example of important artistic resources.

In other words, the education provided at Tokyo University of the Arts on a daily basis could be called a “secret recipe.” The tangible and intangible artistic resources possessed by these universities will be shared with society and utilized. Don’t just preserve it, use it creatively for the future. Yoshitaka Mori, director of the Center for Future Creation and Succession, will be the one to lead this effort.

A Center for the Future of Art: Creating the Past for the Future

Originally, at the University of the Arts, the University Art Museum, the Fumio Koizumi Memorial Archives, and the Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Music each housed paintings, music, and other works that were made available to the public. Among these, the center was established with the aim of integrating information, materials, and archives related to the history of the university, and preserving and passing on the creative process and production environment in its context. On the website, Mori says, “Creating the past for the future.”

Utilize the “Creative Archive” What classes did Ryuichi Sakamoto take at the University of the Arts?

Mori, a professor of sociology and cultural studies who specializes in the relationship between media, culture, and politics, and who is not an archivist or archivist, was chosen because he is an art company whose slogan is “Art is effective for the future!” President Katsuhiko Hibino leads the university’s social collaboration platform, the Institute for the Future of Art. Creative archives are also one of the five areas that the institute focuses on. Hibino himself continues to experiment with archives and creativity, working to preserve and utilize not only his works but also his creative spaces and thought processes, such as developing the “Preserving Katsuhiko Hibino” project.

Sceneries seen and sounds heard by Ryuichi Sakamoto

“It is a natural stance for the University of the Arts to lean toward new creations rather than the accumulation of the past.However, since the 1980s, art itself has changed significantly, with an increase in activities such as workshops and fieldwork, and the form of output has also changed to performances, installations, etc. Graffiti, which assumes that records are included in the process of creation and will be erased, is attracting attention, and we must change the way we preserve the past.

Utilize the “Creative Archive” What classes did Ryuichi Sakamoto take at the University of the Arts?

At the “Art Future Research Center Exhibition” held last November, Ryuichi Sakamoto exhibited materials from Fumio Koizumi’s ethnomusicology class, which he was immersed in when he was a student at the University of the Arts, as well as pieces of music he was assigned to as a first-year composition student. The exhibit, which contextualizes the “fragments of information” that Sakamoto saw, listened to, and was influenced by, was experienced by students who are currently in their first year as musicians and are facing the same piece of music. 

Mori says, “In order to circulate creative archives, it is important to recontextualize the past and find an appropriate outlet.Time does not stop when it is stored, but the way we view the past changes depending on the current artistic environment and social situation.” “We want to increase the number of specialized human resources who can explore and contextualize the hidden past resources of the University of the Arts from new perspectives.” In the future, he plans to edit the book from the perspective of alumni like Sakamoto and the times, and to hold special exhibitions and teach classes that utilize the archives.

Turning the uniqueness of Geidai into a breakthrough in business

Many of the professors at the University of the Arts are graduates of the same university, but Mori sees its value from an outsider’s perspective, saying, “The ecosystem of the University of the Arts itself is a treasure.” At the same time, he feels a sense of crisis, saying, “The book “The Last Unexplored Region: Tokyo University of the Arts” has sold well, but an unexplored region is meaningless if it remains unexplored.

Utilize the “Creative Archive” What classes did Ryuichi Sakamoto take at the University of the Arts?

It has been a while since emphasis has been placed on the creative management and thinking methods exemplified by Steve Jobs, but few graduates from the University of the Arts find work at regular companies. The solitude required of a writer is difficult to coexist with the cooperative nature required of a businessperson. However, now that the days when it was all about making things efficiently are over, the observational eye, creativity, and ability of art students to turn complex objects into a single picture are the envy of businesspeople.

The Creative Archive: A Place to Share the Knowledge and the Knowledge

Furthermore, the ideas and methods of creative archives can be applied to companies as well. Generally speaking, corporate archives focus on compiling company history. However, if we re-evaluate the treasures that lie within, they may become the seeds of creativity. In terms of how to present it, reinterpreting a company’s history through pictures, plays, or participatory workshops, rather than chronology or documents, will lead to the creation of future ideas. .

Utilize the “Creative Archive” What classes did Ryuichi Sakamoto take at the University of the Arts?

In addition, Mori aims not only to explore the time axis of past, present, and future, but also to collaborate with local governments, NPOs, and other organizations on a horizontal axis. “The environment at the University of the Arts is pure culture in the best sense of the word, and it is a treasure trove of possibilities. It is a great opportunity to encounter fields and themes that were previously thought to be distantly connected to the University of the Arts and unrelated to art and music. “Innovation can occur through co-creation. I want to circulate the creative archive and contribute to society through art.”


Yoshitaka Mouri ◎Sociologist. Specializes in media/cultural studies. Professor at the Graduate School of International Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, Professor at the Department of Music and Environmental Creation, Faculty of Music, and Director of the Center for Future Creation and Succession. His main research themes include contemporary culture such as contemporary art, music, and media, as well as the organization of urban space and social movements. His portrait was taken at the Fumio Koizumi Memorial Archives.

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