In October 2019, the British Council in collaboration with the Department of Industry and Tourism Ise City invited six UK-based artists that span the artforms reflecting the current diversity of UK creativity to travel to Ise City for an artistic research residency. This was the first time Ise City hosted an artists-in-residence programme and the open call attracted over 600 submissions.
Ise City is the home of Ise Jingu, one of the most important and prestigious Shinto Shrines in Japan. During the two week residency period, the artists had the opportunity to visit hidden parts of Ise Jingu which are not generally opened to the public; travel to other cultural heritage sites; and meet with Japanese Shinto priests, craft makers, local residents as well as Japanese contemporary artists. The residency provided the UK artists with an unique experience to encounter the beauty of Japanese culture and its tradition, explore its relevance to the 21st century and build new cultural relationships with Japan.