A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Challenge Art Festival in Tsukuba Shows that with Art, There Really Are No Limits (thru Sunday March 14th)



The theme of this year`s Challenge Art Festival featuring works created by the physically/mentally disabled in Tsukuba is “Amazing Limitlessness” – and that is really what one feels while exploring the galleries at the Tsukuba Art Museum during the show (which runs through 3 PM on Sunday March 14th)

By Avi Landau

Ideally, an art exhibition should excite and delight, thrill and chill, stimulate and fascinate – and  of course, get you to think about all sorts of things. The 20th Challenge Art Festival exhibit at the Tsukuba Art Museum succeeds in delivering on all these counts and has had me coming bad on several consecutive days for multiple viewings of these works – all created (you might or might not be surprised) at the 2 dozen or so different facilities around Tsukuba which are dedicated to the care of the mentally and or physically disabled.


A world of color…



The creation of and appreciation of art is one of distinguishing features that separate us from the other species – an essential part of what makes us human. With the help of their teachers (who deserve a lot of credit and respect) these artists (who range in age from young children to older adults) have learned to express their inner worlds – their humanity – in ways that physical and mental disabilities do not permit them to do out in the everyday world. And they do hit the various media with a vengeance, letting loose with a barrage of color, shape and form – and plenty of wit and humor.


the fantastic….

Unfortunately, the event will end today. I will be looking forward to next year`s 21st Challenge Art Festival – and I thank the artists and their teachers for proving how powerful the act of making art can be – as a form of expression and self discovery, building confidence and a sense of achievement, and giving others like me a few moments of pleasure (and an escape from the everyday humdrum world!)


the love of the game….



rich textures…..



and a full range of humanity…



and surprises! Unique Jack-in-the-boxes line the corridor leading into the museum`s main gallery.

The Tsukuba Art Museum (Tsukuba Bijutsukan, つくば美術館) is located in the Ars Building (which also houses the Tsukuba Central Library) just north of Tsukuba Center and the TX Tsukuba Terminal. It is on the eastern edge of Chuo-Koen Park.

Admission to this exhibition is free.


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