SLOW LABEL aims to realize
a diverse and harmonious world
We generate opportunities for forms of
co-creation that transcend national and disciplinary
boundaries through the power of art
SLOW LABEL is a team of individuals
brought together slowly and passionately:
individuals who want to achieve goals
that are impossible alone,
but may be accomplished together;
who want to see what hasn't been seen;
who want to do what no one else is doing.
We do not fear change;
we respond sensitively and flexibly to social changes.
We love freedom;
things we think are interesting, things that excite us
spur our creativity into fully functional form.
If people change, society will change.
If society changes, the world will change!
this is what we believe.
SLOW LABELDIRECTORYoshie Kris
SLOW LABEL MISSION
Together with artists working both domestically and abroad,
SLOW LABEL determines the issues faced by a given community
and, bringing in experts from various fields, as well as local citizens, enterprises,
and governmental bodies, puts together arrangements of people, things, and activities
that lead to solutions for social issues from minorities' points of view
Always questioning our own ethos, never fearing change,
we recuperate a sense of "slowness" in a society that so often emphasizes productivity,
aiming for the realization of a society that has achieved diversity and harmony.
The Yokohama Rendez-vous Project is implemented as an undertaking of ZOU-NO-HANA TERRACE (operated by Spiral/Wacoal Art Center Co., Ltd under the commission of the Yokohama Culture and Tourism Bureau.) Artists who work within Japan, as well as those whose activities are focused abroad, are dispatched to facilities throughout Yokohama for individuals with disabilities. The artists' perspectives allow certain points of interest - the monozukuri (making crafts) taking place at each facility; the uniquely talented people involved - to be established, and experimentation with creating a product begins.
Yoshie Kris, who had been undergoing treatment for osteosarcoma since 2010, makes her return to society and assumes the role of director of the Yokohama Rendez-vous Project. SAFARI.inc, a design company based in Osaka and Tokyo, is brought in to head art direction. The various items that result are branded under the name "SLOW LABEL" and shown at exhibitions such as "DESIGNTYDE TOKYO" and "ROOMS." They are subsequently sold at select shops, department stores, and museums all across the country.
photo by 427FOTO
photo by 427FOTO
photo by 427FOTO
photo by 427FOTO
SLOW LABEL encounters a number of discrepancies between its ideal practices and their implementation: the more the products sell, the less the project is able to keep up with its "slow" production methods; the number of people able to participate in monozukuri within a given welfare facility proves to be limited; and so on. The creativity of participating artists is accordingly channeled away from product design and into the development of methods and tools that will allow anyone and everyone to enjoy monozukuri. As a result, SLOW FACTORY is opened: a participatory workshop where a diverse range of local individuals, both with and without disabilities, can spend quality time together through monozukuri. SLOW FACTORY's hit item - the palm-sized loom MARUIRO, invented by Yui Inoue - is expanded to a variety of sizes, both large and small, and becomes a popular program that makes its rounds across the country.
With the collaboration of NPO Foundation Tokushima Work Support Co-operative for People with Disabilities, the BLUE BIRD COLLECTION is announced: a new indigo dye product line created using the tennen-aku-hakko-date (natural ash lye fermentation) process, which involves zero chemical additives. Given the rise of SLOW FACTORY's popularity, a do-it-yourself kit is simultaneously announced that allows consumers to make their own indigo dye creations. In Yokohama, a project is begun with the support of Kanazawa Fishing Port that draws on the theme "seaside monozukuri" and focuses on growing the seaweed used to make fishing nets. Misodama (balls of miso paste) are made out of the harvested seaweed, developed by food designer Haruna Nakayama together with local welfare facilities WAKUWAKU WORK and SELP-Mori. A documentary following this process, Hitohiro-han, is directed by Mito Ikeda and shown at the SLOW LABEL THE FACTORY 3 exhibition "Blue Ocean Blue Sky – Sea and Sky Monozukuri."
photo by Kyosuke Asano
photo by Kyosuke Asano
photo by Kyosuke Asano
With the cooperation of Yokohama's Culture and Tourism Bureau and Health and Welfare Bureau, and with the vision of creating places and roles in society for all different kinds of people, the Yokohama Paratriennale 2014* is launched: an international contemporary art exhibition bringing together professionals from a wide range of fields and individuals with disabilities who display outstanding talents or sensibilities. Society is full of barriers; the Paratriennale, through its three installments that will continue through 2020, positions itself as a progressive project that aims to isolate them and use the power of art to break them down. Alongside the exhibition opening, SLOW LABEL is incorporated, becoming Specified Nonprofit Corporation SLOW LABEL. At the first edition of the Paratriennale, an initial attempt is made to tackle the performing arts, but there proves to be little room for those with disabilities to participate. The effort accordingly serves as a first-hand account of the current state of society, making visible the variety of barriers - present both in surrounding environments and in prevailing states of mind - that persist with regards to individuals with and without disabilities mingling and engaging in activities together. * Organized by: Yokohama Rendezvous Project Executive Committee and Specified Nonprofit Organization Slow Label
photo by Ken Kato
SLOW MOVEMENT パフォーマンス
photo by 427FOTO
Through the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's "Model Enterprise Supporting the Artistic Activities of Persons with Disabilities" initiative, and through SLOW MOVEMENT, a public participation-based performance project, work is done to improve environments for individuals with disabilities to participate in cultural and artistic activities as members of society. Research is simultaneously conducted to develop support positions: "access coordinators" to prepare locations to accommodate individuals with disabilities, and "accompanists" to work alongside them. A performance is created for SLOW MOVEMENT by diverse local performers and circus artist Keisuke Kanai. Titled The Eternal Sympony 1st mov, it is based on an original poem by Mizuki Misumi; performances are held at the plaza in front of United Nations University, SPIRAL, Toyosu Park, and more. As part of the project, an electric power-assisted wheelchair that plays music, "&Y (Andy)," is developed in collaboration with Yamaha (music production) and Yamaha Motors (vehicle production.)
SLOW GELATO 店舗外観
新豊洲 Brillia ランニングスタジアムでの
SLOW ACADEMY in APCD
Showcase & Forum 聞こえても聞こえなくてもダンス劇
SLOW GELATO -MADE IN NONOSHIMA- is opened in collaboration with Nonoshima Gakuen in Kumamoto prefecture's Koshi city, as an initiative to develop a new, creative workplace for individuals with disabilities. In Tokyo, Shin-Toyosu Brillia Running Stadium opens opposite the Tokyo Olympics Athletes' Village location, under the theme "SPORTxART." It becomes the rehearsal base for SLOW LABEL's aerial and physical training. SLOW ACADEMY, a program allowing all kinds of people to learn together, is also started. As a JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) delegate at Bangkok's APCD (Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability), SLOW LABEL and animator Mimi Shinko implement a program for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, generating opportunities for collaborative learning through the process of creating animation. In the summer, SLOW LABEL director Yoshie Kris is appointed stage advisor for the Rio Paralympics closing and flag handover ceremony. Together with access coordinators and accompanists, SLOW LABEL contributes to the performance's success. The SLOW MOVEMENT project holds "SLOW MOVEMENT Showcase&Forum" at Spiral Hall, with the goal of connecting players who work in the context of disabilities to the greater performing arts world. The program serves as a showcase of work displaying a high level of artistry, as well as a forum to consider environments for individuals with disabilities within the performing arts.
SLOW HAND TRADE STORE
The Eternal Symphony 2nd mov.
Yokohama Paratriennale 2017
photo by Ken Kato
Yokohama Paratriennale 2017
photo by Ken Kato
SLOW HAND TRADE STORE opens in Tohoku prefecture's Kamiyama, a village that has garnered attention for its creative approaches to the issue of depopulation. The store creates opportunities to connect speciality handicrafts related to food, clothing, and shelter from nationwide community workshops to creators and enterprises that will use them in the development of goods and services. At the second Paratriennale opening, accessibility is improved due to continued research efforts; the participation of individuals with disabilities increases dramatically, compared to the previous edition; and a large-scale outdoor performance production is realized. Additionally, SLOW MOVEMENT composes its "second movement," welcoming the direction of Kaiji Moriyama. A Tokyo show is followed by one in Osaka, where a performance is unveiled that involves over 100 local participants. The project evolves according to a diverse series of needs, holding experiential workshops and mini-performances in Shizuoka, as well as all over the country. Back in Tokyo, Tina Carter from London's National Center for Circus Arts, who served as the aerial trainer for the opening ceremony of the London Paralympics, holds workshops training talent in the instruction of aerial arts for individuals with disabilities. Likewise, physiotherapists, physical trainers, and other personnel knowledgable about the physical needs of those with disabilities, are added to the team, and begin research and development on physical training for individuals with disabilities.
Frédéric Loiselle, an occupational therapist who applies methods from Cirque du Soleil's philanthropic program "Cirque du Monde" in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, is invited from Montreal on the occasion of the 2nd SLOW MOVEMENT Showcase & Forum. He teaches about the difference in approach between the circus arts, which focus on creation and recreation, and the Social Circus, which focuses on fostering the social skills needed by participants to survive in our problematic society. Development for a Social Circus program is begun, marking a shift in gear from the SLOW MOVEMENT circus activities that had, since 2014, focused on a target year of 2020 with a goal of producing creative work and locating/training talent to support such endeavors. The goal of this new program will be to empower individuals with disabilities, setting as its target the shape that will be taken by society in 2025. A project is additionally undertaken to create environments that will allow individuals with disabilities to continue enjoying art and sports in regional areas post-2020, sharing* the accessibility know-how SLOW LABEL has cultivated thus far with the personnel and instructors at sports and culture facilities, directors at professional dance and theater companies, and other industry figures. In terms of creative work, a new piece is produced as part of the Nippon Foundation DIVERSITY IN THE ARTS initiative. Directed by Keisuke Kanai, choreographed by Sonsherée Giles, and helmed by Kazuyo Morita and Natsumi Sadayuki, dancers who have worked with SLOW LABEL since 2014, Onna Matsumushi is performed in Singapore at the True Colours Festival: Asia-Pacific Festival of Artists with Disabilities.* An FY2018 Cabinet Secretariat Research Project for Promoting the Basic Policy for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
SLOW CIRCUS SCHOOLの様子
OPEN CREATION & TALK SESSION in SHIBUYA
With an eye to encouraging future independent businesses, a circus school is opened that utilizes the circus arts to support those in the younger generation who, for whatever reason, have been unable to find their places in society. Classes are held on the first Saturday of every month in Yokohama's Minato ward. In November, SLOW CIRCUS PROJECT is launched as a platform for integrating these circus-related undertakings. The event "OPEN CREATION & TALK SESSION SHIBUYA" is held at Shibuya Stream Hall to showcase the project's work. More than 200 attend, and SLOW CIRCUS PROJECT garners attention as "Japan's first social circus company."
2019 additionally sees the debut of Glue Crew, a three-year joint venture with Sun Chlorella. Focusing on the creation of a sustainable form of corporate culture that sees diversity as its strength, Glue Crew implements hands-on training led collaboratively by those with and without disabilities. SLOW LABEL also helms the various tasks required for the training of "co-creative human resources" and development of interdepartmental networks. The SLOW CIRCUS SCHOOL program is used for employee training and is well-received.
SLOW CIRCUS SCHOOL takes the initiative to develop a series of workshops that apply the social circus method to areas beyond disability welfare, bringing its program to schools, childcare facilities, and others who fall outside the corporate sphere. Exploration of other avenues is currently in progress, with a focus on tailoring each program to its target audience. "Yukku & Lee of the Spiral World," developed for business professionals in partnership with Dentsu Para Initiative, is implemented for NewsPicks Academia members and receives high praise.
PERFORMING ARTSSLOW CIRCUS PROJECT
SLOW CIRCUS PROJECT was established as the first company to popularize and practice social circus in Japan. Social circus empowers those disenfranchised by circumstances such as poverty, forced migration, or abuse, using the practice and mastery of the circus arts to comprehensively foster cooperation, problem-solving skills, self-esteem, communication abilities, and more. In Japan, SLOW LABEL came together with experts from a diverse range of fields to begin developing the program in 2017, receiving support from Cirque de Soleil and working closely with social circus groups from all over the world (including Italy, Asia, and South America.) Together with its 30-plus members, which include both performers and specialists from a variety of fields, SLOW CIRCUS is devoted to the popularization and practice of social circus in Japan: developing programs for diverse audiences such as middle schools, disability welfare facilities, families, and next-generation business leaders; creating and preparing for performances featuring people with disabilities; recruiting and training support staff (accompanists/access coordinators); and more.
TRAININGSLOW CIRCUS SCHOOL
Social Circus began over 25 years ago in Europe as an attempt to use the circus method to resolve a broad range of social issues, such as poverty, abuse, barriers, and complexities surrounding immigration. Our version of the program anticipates advancements in education, rehabilitation, and more, through encounters with the circus arts. At SLOW LABEL, we engage in the program's research and development, implementing methods set out by Cirque du Soleil. Along with a variety of training programs, we provide a space that fosters self-sufficiency and physical and mental functioning, and that allows anyone to participate, regardless of their level of ability or disability.
Aiming to generate chances for diverse groups of local people to meet and collaborate, SLOW ACADEMY is organized under a number of different themes. The programs we offer include courses on accessibility, which train local citizens spearheading inclusive spaces for creative work; a workshop series that anyone and everyone can participate in, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or level of ability or disability; and more.
Involving local ventures and business enterprises, SLOW FACTORY is a slow-paced factory environment where anyone can have fun making simple products developed by artists. All different kinds of people take part, including artists and craftspeople from welfare facilities. By chatting together while doing their "work," participants are able to directly experience a slow world overflowing with diversity and harmony. The program offers the senses of fulfillment and achievement that humans instinctively require, as well as the gratification and enjoyment of working together with others and creating tangible things with one's own hands - pleasures that have been lost in our society of mass production and consumption.
PERFORMING ARTSSLOW MOVEMENT
SLOW MOVEMENT is a public participation-based performance project started in 2015. Participants gather together regardless of age, gender, nationality, or level of ability or disability, aiming to spread a message of diversity and harmony by showing their performances far and wide. We hold performances and workshops all over Japan, including Tokyo and Yokohama, simultaneously conducting talent searches and training for the personnel ("accompanists" and "access coordinators") who support our performers with disabilities, our creative activities, and so on.
The Yokohama Paratriennale is an international contemporary art exhibition held once every three years, born of the collaboration between individuals with disabilities and professionals from a wide range of fields. We prepare environments that allow anyone who wants to participate in cultural and artistic activities to do so, unconstrained by obstacles arising from their health or surroundings. Through art and creativity, we unleash, in the form of instructive resources, a variety of innovative and independent perspectives - the unique qualities and talents of those who are called "disabled" - into society. We accordingly aim to realize a form of local community in which anyone and everyone can truly feel they have their own place and role.
LOCAL / MANUFACTURINGSLOW PRODUCT
SLOW PRODUCT brings together together artists and designers, business enterprises and welfare facilities, aiming for a free form of monozukuri that cannot be realized through mass production. From sundry goods to apparel, we create and sell a wide range of products, all one-of-a-kind and handmade. This project served as SLOW LABEL's starting point.
LOCAL / MANUFACTURINGBLUE BIRD COLLECTION(SLOW LABEL TOKUSHIMA)
The BLUE BIRD COLLECTION is a product line developed in collaboration with NPO Foundation Tokushima Work Support Co-operative for People with Disabilities, which is located in Tokushima, the home of indigo dyeing. We specialize in the tennen-aku-hakko-date (natural ash lye fermentation) process - which involves zero chemical additives - and every item is one-of-a-kind and handmade using a natural dye called sukumo that is made from fermented indigo leaves. The cloth and embroidery threads used for the line are slowly and carefully indigo dyed one by one at facilities in Tokushima for individuals with disabilities.
LOCAL / FOODSLOW GELATO(SLOW LABEL KUMAMOTO)
Opened on July 11, 2016 as a joint venture with social welfare corporation Ashibi no Kai Nonoshima Gakuen, SLOW GELATO is a gelato store located in Kumamoto precture's Koshi city. It is staffed by the individuals with disabilities with whom Nonoshima Gakuen works, and serves as a base for ceramic arts production and confectionary making. The store manufactures and sells its own special gelato made with local ingredients, with recipes and manufacturing methods developed by pro-creators with the aim of drawing on the special skills and unique talents of individuals with disabilities. The gelato can also be purchased on order.
LOCAL / MANUFACTURINGSLOW HAND TRADE STORE(SLOW LABEL TOKUSHIMA)
SLOW HAND TRADE STORE is a small concept store that was opened in Tokushima prefecture's Kamiyama village in March 2017. With the vision of generating opportunities to create and to connect, the store assembles speciality handicrafts related to food, clothing, and shelter from nationwide community workshops, and brings them together with creators and enterprises that will use them in the development of goods and services. Its Japanese name, hyakkaten, is a pun that sounds like the word for "department store," but instead has the intended meaning of "a place where 100 things are about to happen." The store operates at a slow pace, opening just a few times a month.