Skip to content Skip to footer

‘Engawa’ : A Cultural Exchange in Lisbon

Engawa - Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian

CAM Celebrates 40 Years with a Japanese Art Season, Anticipating the Reopening of its Redesigned Building by Kengo Kuma

LISBON – The CAM—Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian is marking its 40th anniversary with the launch of ‘Engawa’, the first iteration of a Japanese contemporary art season. This cultural event precedes the reopening of the CAM building in 2024, which is being redesigned by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

‘Engawa’ is a time-based art programme that intersects various artistic practices and disciplines. It draws inspiration from the architectural concept of ‘engawa’, a transitional space found in traditional Japanese houses, which is also a key element in Kuma’s design for the new CAM building.

The term ‘engawa’ symbolises multiple relational spaces beyond the domestic sphere, serving as a metaphor for a “liminal space”. This concept resonated powerfully in the ’80s between Japan and the Western world through the notion of ‘ma’. It was embodied in the Japanese multidisciplinary art movements and collectives of the post-war period, which challenged the official narrative constructing Japanese identity. These parallel histories continue to reverberate in the practices of contemporary artists in Japan.

The Japanese Season at CAM will explore these themes through time-based art exhibitions, site-specific projects, commissioned works, and events. In collaboration with the multicultural context of Lisbon and Portugal, the Season aims to highlight how the interplay between perception and emotion can create alternative realities. These realities, intertwined with embedded social and political situations, suggest potent transformations.

The 2023 programme includes a variety of events such as the CAM 40’s anniversary celebration, FluxFest Lisbon, and ‘An Engawa of the City’. The season will continue into the spring of 2024, coinciding with the reopening of the CAM building. It will feature an intense programme of exhibitions, performances, concerts, film sessions, debates, and other artistic practices.

The season brings together collaborations with artists and cultural institutions in Lisbon, featuring a group of creators from Japan and the Japanese diaspora, many of whom will be presenting their work in Portugal for the first time.

Programme 2023

July 20–23, 2023: CAM 40’s anniversary celebration
Masayume: art team [mé]
Installation in motion in the city of Lisbon

100 Cymbals: Ryoji Ikeda with Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Tomás Moital, Madalena Rato, Joana Duarte, Paulo Amendoeira and Francisco Cipriano

Cuisine Existentielle: Lei Saito

Delicious landscapes: Lei Saito in collaboration with chef Leopoldo Calhau and Leonor Pêgo
Workshop for families with children aged 6 to 12 years

September 8–10, 2023: FluxFest Lisbon
Conversations on Japan 
with Mieko Shiomi (video), Ami Yamasaki, Ko Ishikawa, Christian Marclay and Jaime Reis, moderated by Emmanuelle de Montgazon

Solo performance: Ami Yamasaki

Interview with artist Mieko Shiomi (Mieko Shiomi and Michelle Elligott)

Christian Marclay’s Manga Scroll performed by Ami Yamasaki

From the Endless Box: works from 1966 to 2023: Mieko Shiomi (artistic director: Jaime Reis with local performers)

Yobi Mizu; Ami Yamasaki (voice) and Ko Ishikawa (shō)

November 10–12, 2023: An Engawa of the City

A new Build-Burger: Chim↑Pom from Smappa!Group (CPfSG)—A site-specific project for a neighbourhood in Lisbon
Installation and events

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Av. de Berna 45 A
1067-001 Lisbon
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube / TikTok