Welcome to JAGS

JET Art Group Shimane, or JAGS, was founded in 2002 by Paula Black as a public outlet for foreign artists living in Shimane Prefecture, Japan to display their works. Now in its fourth year, JAGS will be taking the Changing Perspectives Exhibition to the three corners of Shimane Prefecture: Izumo (Matsue), Iwami (Hamada) and the Oki Islands.

The Concept

The concept of the exhibition is to bring together the ideas of Japan Exchange Teaching Programme participants and all the foreigners in Shimane and in a visual way display their impressions of Shimane Prefecture and Japan. There are over 100 Japan Exchange Teaching Programme participants living in Shimane, and more than 5,000 foreigners in all, each one from a very different part of the world. We have a unique chance to live and work in Japanese communities, sharing their cultures while learning about Japanese cultures and traditions. The aim of this exhibition is to express the interpretations of being a foreigner living in Shimane. We want the public to see our works and learn how we see Japan and Shimane and how we interpret our lives as a result of living here and being a foreigner here.


As Japan becomes more and more international and the number of foreigners living in Japan increases, we think it is important to find a common understanding and connection between all cultures and nationalities. One way to share a connection between cultures is to share feelings and thoughts in visual way. Shimane is embracing the 'internationalization' of Japan by playing host to both JET Programme participants and Shimane University students, not to mention the other foreigners who live and work alongside Japanese. 5,333 residents living in Shimane (2002 poll) are foreign (from a total population of 770,000). Through our exhibition we hope to make a representation of some of the foreigners living here. We hope that this show will break down some of the mystery that surrounds foreigners lives and share our thoughts and impressions with the public.

About Shimane

By exhibiting the works in a public place, we hope people will be able to appreciate and read about them as they please. The public will hopefully be able to see how important Shimane is in the artists' lives and how they have been moved or changed by living there. It will also help to express the appreciation many foreigners feel about living here. There will be space for approximately 30 participants. Participation is voluntary. Participants will represent many foreign groups living in Shimane. The gallery space will be evenly divided between the participants and they will be free to design or decorate their area as they wish. We will accept all mediums including photography, sculpture, fabric and painting. One way to share a connection between cultures is to share feelings and thoughts in visual way. We hope to encourage the public to become involved in the show by filling out a survey form at the show.

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