滞在者紹介 =Jeff Downer=

20170121 Jeff_re


As an annual "open call" AIR (Artist In Residence) project, Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio invited three international artists to work and do research based in Sapporo/Hokkaido. This year project key word is “Winter, Snow and Subarctic”. Three artists were selected from 113 applicants.


天神山冬の国際公募プロジェクトの招聘アーティストJeff Downerが到着しました。滞在は3/4までを予定しています。



-Jeff Downer プロジェクト概要-








A Canadian artist Jeff Downer who is invited for winter "open call" project arrived Tenjin.He will stay Tenjin until 3/4. His field is photography and installation. His portfolio site is here http://www.jeff-downer.com/.

Jeff Downer project outline

I use photography to engage with multiple and overlapping histories that comprise my perspective of the world, specifically in outlying urban environments. These spaces narrate to me about life, globalization, integration, and alienation. I immerse myself in locations and discover potential images that express these histories and disparities. I document while walking the city, unplanned, being led by my emotions provoked by the environment. This concept unearths a sociological perspective of a locality by highlighting the effects that geographical environments, both constructed and natural, have on the emotions and behaviours of individuals.

I am a recent graduate of Emily Carr University in Vancouver, having completed my BFA in Photography in 2013. Up to now my work has largely been based in North America. I have documented the cities I have called home, and I have photographed the peripheries of towns I have encountered during my travels throughout C
anada and the United States. These are spaces and cultures I know well, and have a particular and privileged position within. At this point in my career, I believe traveling to Japan will be vital for developing both my practice and my perspective. Sapporo represents an environment and culture I have never experienced and I believe that, though challenging, my residency at Tenjinyama will be very necessary and rewarding. The work I intend to make during this residency will be more than a re-encountering of myself in a new environment. My work will investigate both the city of Sapporo and the community that I will develop and work alongside.

During my time at Tenjinyama Art Studios, I aim to create a new body of work, in photographic form, that highlights how a city, its people, the culture, the architecture, and myself an outsider who is unfamiliar with large quantities of snow, endures the subarctic temperatures and at times the impeding snowfall. I plan to showcase the city’s unique history and natural landscape while searching for disjunctures that I am traditionally interested in. Through partnerships with individuals in the community, not solely artists, I will find outlets to foster that will allow the inhabitants to express themselves and their communities rather than being simply expressed by my camera. Having lived in Vancouver, a city that has more recently shed light on to its indigenous peoples of the area, celebrating their culture and their lives, I am sensitive to these issues, and look forward to exploring the similarities and differences between the marginalized societies as they relate t

o Canada and Japan. These marginalized societies being the First Nations Peoples of the British Columbia area, and the Indigenous Peoples of Hokkaido, the Ainu.

I would like to visit, and possibly work along side Sapporo’s City Hall and see what The Snow Management Office does, and maybe make this the starting point of my thematic research. My aim is to find the reasoning behind the slogan “Winter is a Resource and Asset” as someone who is used to mild winters and has never encountered very much snow. I want to study and document how the community copes with the harsh winter weather and find out what the World Winter Cities Association for Mayors does for the city of Sapporo, and how the everyday lives of the community are impacted.

Typically I am drawn to areas of leisure and spectacle and photograph these locales with a critical eye. I believe during these moments people can dispense with their everyday identity and can take on a more liberated, unfettered and more authentic character. With this I am thinking about the annual Snow Festival that happens in Sapporo and the other tourist spectacles that occur during the winter season. It is during this time that I want to create a project that speaks of a territorial identity of Sapporo. I will attempt this by studying a visual language of the past in the structure of the city, in the landscape, in the images around me, and by relating them to the present, in order to identify, verify, unmask and then design a landscape.

During the end of my residency I would like to have an exhibition of the work made during my time. Typically my work is printed, framed and hung in a gallery or studio setting. For my time at Tenjinyama I am looking to create a photographic installation incorporating 3D sculptural objects that I encounter on assignment. The quantity of images is hard to gauge at this early stage, but typically one body of work can have 10-15 images within it.