SHITSURAI ART International Competition
Outline for application

Application details

KOBE Biennale 2015 will invite "shitsurai" works to be exhibited on a stage at Kobe's port, the city's most important resource. Shitsurai refers to a traditional Japanese space decoration for formal occasions. It could also mean an installation that places importance on spaces where people meet by chance. Please submit unique ideas for employing a vast area that offers views of the sea and the city of Kobe. Your open-minded imagination and methods have the opportunity to create wonderful spaces where many people will gather. A wide variety of works from professionals and nonprofessionals are welcome.


We are fascinated by the new, the outstanding, the endearing. Curiosity arouses our senses and brings Art Culture to life. As the saying goes, "each to their own", but in each person's preferences (suki na koto) we see the essence of that person's being. "Suki" in Japanese is many words, pronounced the same, but written with many different Chinese characters and with a host of different meanings. Making paper (kami o suki), ploughing the fields (tochi o suki), brushing hair (kami o suki), peeking through a gap (hedate o suki)...People in Japan experience and become close to the various meanings of "suki" during the course of daily life. With combs, hoes, and fences, the dishevelled is put straight, things we do not need are gotten rid of, and the way is cleared: this is suki.
Innovation can thrive through this spirit of cleansing and clearing, and within the created space (suki), free thinking is stimulated in the minds of many individuals. Japan's culture of hospitality also has developed with people's will to respect others' beliefs and opinions, and their willingness on occasion to open up (suki o ataeru) and let others in.
Kobe is the city of style where a multitude of artistic forms of expression and values bloom. Come and encounter "suki" at KOBE Biennale 2015.

Exhibition period/Exhibition site

■Exhibition period

September 19 (Saturday) through November 23 (Monday), 2015 (66 days)

■Exhibition site

Meriken Park

Application period/Eligibility

■Application period

March 2 (Monday) to no later than March 11 (Wednesday), 2015


All nationalities, ages, individuals or groups are eligible.
Works must be original and never been presented elsewhere before.
However, works whose presentation has been limited to applicants' personal websites are still eligible.

Prizes and cash awards

Kobe Biennale Grand Prize a trophy, diploma (certificate) and cash award of ¥2,000,000
Second Prize diploma (certificate) and cash award of ¥1,000,000
Honorable mentions (about 10) diploma (certificate) and cash award of ¥350,000 for each winner
  • The above prizes do not involve purchasing the works.
  • First and second prize winners will be selected from the finalists.
  • The cash awards are inclusive of consumption taxes.
    Each Grand Prize and the Second Prize is the total sum of winning prize.
    (Withholding income tax will be deducted. Winners who reside outside Japan may be able to apply tax treaties between Japan and their countries of residence.)
  • Finalists normally resident outside Japan are eligible for travel expense support of up to 300,000 yen (or 150,000 yen within Asia), in addition to any cash prize.
  • Should the display of winning works become impossible due to circumstances for which the applicant is responsible, the cash awards (including the payments for travel expenses) shall be returned immediately.

Screenings/Jury members/Judging fee


1st screening: Late March 2015
※About 10 selected works will be announced.
2nd screening: after September 14 (Monday), 2015
※KOBE Biennale Grand Prize, Second Prize determined.

※Screening results will be sent by post to all entrants, and will be published on the official website.

■Jury members

SHINGU Susumu Sculptor
OCHI Yujiro Director, Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum
TAHO Ritsuko Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, at Tokyo University of the Arts
OOMORI Masao Professor, Graduate School of Kyoto Saga University of Arts
YOSHIDA Hiromi General Producer, KOBE Biennale 2015

■Judging fee

¥10,000 (including consumption tax) per work is required, to be paid by credit card or bank transfer.

Credit Card Transaction
Bank wire transfer Bank Name: Sumitomo Mitsui Bank (Bank Code: 0009)
Branch Name: Kobe Shiyakusyo Sub-Branch (Branch Code: 598)
Account Number: 3124754
Account Name: kobe biennale committee
  • Once the fee is paid, it is not refundable for any reason.
  • Enter "2" before your name when making the remittance.
  • All bank charges shall be paid by the applicants.
  • Please inform your transaction ID (in case you paid by credit [PayPal]), or bank transaction number (if you made a bank transfer), by writing in [Information of judging fee] on the application form.

Briefing of Container observation session

Dates 1st session: December 20 (Saturday), 2014
2nd session: January 18 (Sunday), 2015
Place Meet at the lobby of Kobe City Hall Building 1
Time 13:00 (registration starts at 12:30)
  1. Meet at the lobby of Kobe City Hall Building 1
  2. Tour of container yard; Tour of exhibition site
  3. Tour of green art; Tour of exhibition site
  4. Tour of shitsurai; Tour of exhibition site
  5. Q&A session (at Kobe Maritime Museum)
Attendants Hiromi Yoshida, General Producer
Masao Oomori, Artistic Director
Secretariat of the Organizing Committee for KOBE Biennale
To apply 1.
※Subject line should be "Tour of exhibition site" Send your name, postal address, phone number, and preferred date of attendance.

2. Telephone:+81 (0)78-322-6598
※Calls will be accepted until 17:00.
Periods when applications accepted For the 1st session:by 17:00 on December 12 (Friday), 2014
For the 2nd session:by 17:00 on January 9 (Friday), 2015



Application documents

Please submit the following materials before the closing date.
If you submit more than one work, an application form and concept sheet is needed for each work.
Please comply with the sizes (horizontal and vertical dimensions) of the documents and number of pages.
Please read consent documents carefully and confirm their content.

■Consent document

Consent document

■Required documents

Please fill out all items on the application form.
Concept sheets 1, 2, 3 (A4 horizontal)
Please describe the configuration of the work, manner of maintenance, idea drawings and plan sheet that covers the entire work (measurements, materials, etc.)

■Optional but preferred material(s)

3. Submission of a photographic image

Submission of a photographic image (one horizontal A4-sized print) of a scale model or mock-up is strongly advised.
Do not include text that can be used to identify applicants.

■Voluntarily submitted documents

4. Images of past works

Applicants are allowed to submit images of his/her past works (on a single sheet of A4 horizontal paper).
Do not include text that can be used to identify applicants.
Do not place submitting materials on presentation boards.

■How to apply

※We recommend you apply by e-mail


Please e-mail required documents (application form, concept sheets) , optional but preferred material(s) and voluntary submitted materials as attachments.

  • Attach all the data files in a single e-mail.
  • Works submitted for judging must be compressed so that the entire size of the email (body plus attachment file) is 5 MB or less.
  • After you sent your e-mail, you will receive an auto-reply message after your e-mail reaches the organizer.
  • If you have not received an auto-reply message one or more days after you sent your e-mail, please re-send it.
  • Depending on your mail setting, the auto-reply message may be recognized as spam. So, please confirm your mail settings.
Postal (surface) mail Please send the required optional but preferred material(s) and voluntarily materials to the following postal address.
Only printed materials. (Pasting on presentation boards is prohibited.) No electronic data materials (CD-Rs, DVDs, etc.) please.

Submitted materials (application forms, concept sheets, images of models, images of past works) may be used for project promotion (pamphlets, Websites, etc) free of charge.
Submitted materials come under the jurisdiction of the organizer and may not be returned.

For inquires

SHITSURAI ART International Competition
c/o The Organizing Committee for Kobe Biennale
Kobe City Hall No. 1 Building, 17F,
6-5-1 Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-8570
TEL:+81 (0)78-322-6598
FAX:+81 (0)78-322-6136