The Foundation of Akita University of Art

Simply put, the foundation of our education lies in its social focus. Have you heard the expression, “Art for art’s sake”? It is the philosophy that art exists only for its own sake and is only valuable because it is not constrained by contemporary society. Until recently, this philosophy has engaged the hearts and minds of artists.

However, this philosophy is now a relic of the past, a folk tale. Artists today realize that the value of art is only generated by society. Art is about to change dramatically. Akita University of Art will promote cooperation between art and the larger society.

Once you focus on society, you will realize that among the fields of art, “fine art” – in which Akita University of Art specializes – is taught in schools throughout Japan in a uniform manner. This is the result of political measures that were necessary for Japan to demonstrate to Western countries its integration of the subject.

However, such integration is hindering the globalization of Japanese art. This is because on the global stage, the value of art is beginning to make a transition from expressions of national pride to expressions of bonds between communities and the people in them. Akita University of Art has set the goal of participating in the global art scene by creating art steeped in the traditions of the local culture.

With this goal, Akita University of Art has established five majors: “Course of Arts & Roots”, “Course of Multidisciplinary Arts”, “Course of Creative Manufacturing Design”, “Course of Communication Design”, and “Course of Landscape Design”. The common bond among these majors is a strong curiosity about local history and culture. Without this curiosity, there can be no nurturing of businesspersons who can take advantage of their artistic knowledge, let alone of the artists or designers needed by modern society. Akita University of Art is resolved to contribute to society by cultivating such human resources.

April 1st, 2015
Akinori Shimotori