About Okayama Art Summit



Development is the process of
creating something over time.
Development implies
growth and advancement.
Development applies to
narrative and cinema.
Development can be
a permanent state of future potential.

Name of event



Sunday, October 9 to Sunday, November 27, 2016 [44 days]


9:00 - 17:00 (Entry permitted until 16:30)
Closed day: Mondays (Excluding October 10th)
*Cinema Clair Marunouchi venue from 12:15 to 13:45 for one screening per day


Management structure

Okayama Art Summit Executive Committee

Masao Omori, Mayor of Okayama City

[Vice Chairmen]
Miyachi Toshiaki, Vice-Governor, Okayama Prefecture
Akira Okazaki, President, Okayama Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Masato Miyanaga, President, Chugoku Bank

Yasuharu Ishikawa
President, Ishikawa Foundation
President and CEO, Stripe International Inc.

Taro Nasu

[Artistic Director]
Liam Gillick

Hiroshi Miyatake, Chairman, Okayama city council
Masami Matsuda, President, Sanyo Shimbun
Fumihiro Izumi, Executive Adviser, Chugoku Bank
Kiyoshi Morita, President, Okayama University

[Affiliated entities]
Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Okayama Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Okayama Visitors & Convention Association, Okayama Culture Zone Liaison Council, The Consortium of Universities in Okayama, Sanyo Shimbun, Sanyo Broadcasting Co., Ltd., Okayama Broadcasting Co., Ltd., Setouchi Broadcasting Co., Ltd., Okayama Bus Association, Okayama Taxi Association, Okayama Branch of West Japan Railway Company, Ishikawa Foundation, Stripe International Inc., and Chugoku Bank

Read More

Chairman, Okayama Art Summit Executive Committee
Masao Omori

Mayor of Okayama City

Okayama City has great potential as a city, possessing a warm, sunny climate with little exposure to natural disasters, and with the geographical advantage of being located at the transport node of the Chugoku and Shikoku regions. However, while it has recently garnered a great deal of attention as the destination for people moving away from large metropolitan areas, it has also been pointed out that Okayama needs to improve its ability to communicate its potential as a city with great appeal.

For many years, the center of Okayama City has developed around two main areas—the old castle town area surrounding Okayama Castle and Okayama Korakuen Garden, and the area around JR Okayama Station. The old castle town area boasts a history that goes back over four hundred years to the founding of the city at the end of the Warring States Period in the 16th century. It can be considered the origin of Okayama, and the culture that was fostered there has brought forth the essence of Okayama and its appeal.

However, unlike the area around JR Okayama Station, which has seen the creation and development of various facilities in recent years, the old castle town area has lost some of its role as a focus of activity. In order to encourage people to stroll around or travel around and appreciate the whole of the Okayama City center, we created Okayama Art Summit, a new festival of contemporary art backed by both the public and private sector. The Summit focuses on art, culture, and the creativity of art as a trigger to revive the old castle town area, which is of vital importance to Okayama.

Art possesses the potential to serve as the glue that bonds together people with other people and with other cities, transcending national, regional, gender, and generational differences. We are convinced that art will attract many different people to Okayama from around Japan and throughout the world, and that interacting and building relationships with them will inspire and stimulate the imaginations of the young people who represent new generations and the future of Okayama, nurturing the capacity to create our own future. This multiplicity of exchanges promises to allow us to see once more the attractions and the desirable qualities of our city, Okayama, and promises an opportunity to ensure that information about Okayama is communicated far and wide throughout the world.

We hope to receive your support and cooperation, and look forward to welcoming many people from around the world to the Okayama Art Summit, which will hold its inaugural opening in 2016 in the old castle town area—the symbol of Okayama.

Yasuharu Ishikawa

President, Ishikawa Foundation
President and CEO, Stripe International Inc.

Born in 1970 in Okayama Prefecture. Graduated with a degree in economics from Okayama University. Currently engaged in post-graduate studies at Kyoto University. Established Cross Company in 1994. The group has now expanded to JPY 110 billion in sales and 4,000 employees in 1,200 stores in 28 countries. Implements comprehensive system of support for women, and actively contributes to the local community. Member of the Liaison Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. In FY 2014, he headed Imagineering OKAYAMA ART PROJECT, an experimental project for the development of a historical city in a dynamic society, as representative of the Imagineering Production Committee, made up of Ishikawa, Taro Nasu, and Masamichi Katayama.

Some profess not to understand contemporary art. However, I am convinced that if you encounter a work by an artist who lives in contemporary times, taking the time to contemplate it and use your imagination will be rewarded by an ability to discover or create new value. The people who become the pillars of Okayama’s future are likely to be people whose encounter with art inspires and motivates them to nurture their imagination and creativity, two strengths required for leading a forward-thinking life. We move forward with this project with the aim of making Okayama into a creative city that, twenty years from now, will be able to powerfully communicate its message worldwide.

Taro Nasu


Born in Okayama City in 1966. Graduated from Waseda University. After working in the art department of Tenmaya department store, opened the contemporary art gallery TARO NASU in Koto-ku, Tokyo in 1998. Moved gallery to current location in Chiyoda-ku in 2008. Works to popularize fine art through exhibitions of prominent contemporary artists. Collaborates with many art museums and other institutions in Japan and internationally. In FY 2014, he took part in Imagineering OKAYAMA ART PROJECT, an experimental project for the development of a historical city by encouraging people to travel around the city. Nasu served as a member of the Imagineering Production Committee, together with Yasuharu Ishikawa and Masamichi Katayama, playing a central role, selecting works and working on exhibits.

Japan has many art festivals in the form of art biennials and triennials initiated or supported by local authorities in the name of urban revitalization through art. The number of such festivals, when all sizes and levels of quality are included, rises to several hundred events.

But can a town really be revitalized through art?
My answer is "No."

The aim we have with this summit is to develop people, not a town. Adopting a long-term perspective, we aim for Okayama to nurture and bring forth talented people. High-quality contemporary art at the forefront of the global art scene is our medium to achieve this aim.