F.I.N.E. Residency Program
Date:September 17-30, 2010  Place:Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, USA

 I was invited to the F.I.N.E. residency program at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in September 2010. The program invites a variety of artists who use different media to work together with children at the museum and then display the finished artworks there.
I wanted to introduce some traditional Japanese elements through art to American children so I brought some Japanese paper, including shoji paper, and sumi ink. Shoji paper is used for Japanese-style sliding paper windows and it softens the direct sunlight coming into a room. I wanted the children to see how Japanese paper reflects light and how ink blurs on it. I also planned to make an installation using the children’s artworks later.
After a series of workshops, both at the museum and the Allegheny Traditional Academy near the museum, I collected almost 150 children’s paintings on Japanese paper. I decided to make ten panels out of their paintings and hung them from the ceiling in a hallway of the museum.
As a result, I made and displayed the installation Wa—Harmony at the museum. With light filtering through the Japanese paper from behind, these paintings on tilted panels seem grow on their own. I hope the children enjoyed painting on Japanese paper and the audience had a peaceful and enjoyable time experiencing the installation.

  • The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  • Pre-kindergarten class from Pittsburgh Public School at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  • Paintings by children
  • Workshop at the Allegheny Traditional Academy
  • Introducing Japanese culture
  • A 5th grade class
  • Painting on long shoji paper together
  • Workshop at the kindergarten at the Allegheny Traditional Academy
  • About 100 paintings are collected
  • Making panels from the children’s paintings
  • Installing the painting panels
  • They look like floating clouds
  • Wa—Harmony
  • Installation view
  • Installation view
  • I wrote the title, Wa in Japanese on the wall with sumi ink
Hiroshima City Yasunishi Elementary School
Date: January 20, 2010  Place: Yasunishi Elementary School

I had the wonderful opportunity to give a series of lectures to teachers from several kindergartens in Hiroshima and to speak to parents at the Yasunishi Kindergarten in Hiroshima in 2010 and 2011.
I was deeply impressed by the dedicated teachers I met there. They were keen to learn about art education for children and open to sharing ideas. Our discussion was always lively and the meetings were productive and fun. I enjoyed teaching and exchanging ideas with them.

  • Drawing lines with paint rollers.
  • Layering primary magenta onto primary yellow.
  • Adding primary cyan.
  • Layering colors.
  • Using a cutout black frame to find various colors.
  • Finding your own distinctive colors.
  • Expressing the shapes you see on the screen.
  • Pairing with other teachers to make more complex shapes.
  • Working in a group to form the letter “R.”
  • Working in pairs to “shake” hands.
“Beautiful Fukushima” Banner
Children from “Kids Campus 2011” and Yasunishi Kindergarten
Date: August 28th and September 6th, 2012
Place: Hiroshima City University, Yasunishi Kindergarten, Hiroshima
Size of the banner: 90cm x 520cm
Materials used: thin cotton, acrylic paints, colored gesso, crayons and pastels
In order to show our support for the adults and children of Fukushima who have been working hard to revive their lives after the March 11 earthquake in 2011, I organized this small project to make a banner with children in Hiroshima and show it to people in Iwaki, Fukushima. We hope this colorful banner—a collaboration of children’s paintings—made people in Fukushima smile and feel better, even for a moment. This banner was exhibited to the public at the Cascade Plaza in Iwaki Ariosu, Fukushima in November 2011.
  • Preparation of paints, brushes and paint rollers.
  • Picking a color you like
  • Children joining in.
  • You can see some handprints.
  • The background is done.
  • Yasunishi Kindergarten pupils add more pictures to the banner.
  • Rainbows and stars are popular motifs.
  • You can see their favorite animals too.
  • Sending our energy through the banner.
  • Exhibition view at Iwaki Arios in Fukushima.
Kids Campus

“Kids Campus” is an art project for children consisting of a series of art workshops, exhibitions and lectures at Hiroshima City University. Funded by the Hiroshima Hino Automobile Company, this project takes place every year as one of HCU’s open art classes for people of all ages.
Faculty and students from the art and design departments plan programs in accordance with an annual theme, prepare all materials and teach the children. Later, we hold exhibitions to show the children’s art works on campus or at galleries in Hiroshima.
By promoting children’s creativity and skills, we aim to provide an enriching artistic environment for them in order to make the world a better place.

I first participated in “Kids Campus” in 2007 and I have been in charge of this project since 2008. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding our activities, please feel free to contact me at the address below.

“Kids Campus”
Mayumi Matsuo, Director

Faculty of Art, Hiroshima City University
3-4-1 Ozukahigashi, Asaminami-ku
Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken
731-3194, Japan
Tel/Fax: 81-82-830-1636
Email: matsuo@art.hiroshima-cu.ac.jp