Ljiljana Maletin Vojvodić and Dragan Vojvodić are artists from Novi Sad who visited Tokyo in mid-January within the ‘Kizuna’ exchange programme organised by the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation in cooperation with ‘EU-Japan Fest’ from Tokyo.
By creating bonds (‘kizuna’ = ‘bond’) in the form of cooperation, the Foundation encourages mobility of artists from Novi Sad in order to make city cultural scene more international and to connect local cultural workers and artists with partners from Japan, so that the end result of this type of exchange would create joint cultural and artistic projects.
Ljiljana Maletin Vojvodić discussed what residential programmes mean to her, why she recommends them to young artists and what are her impressions of Japan:
‘International residential programmes in Spain, Portugal, France, Latvia, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Greenland, in which I have participated since 2006, are integral and unavoidable part of my creation. The possibility to know the ‘Other’ and the ‘Different’ has enabled me to write dozen books, each of them being inspired by the culture of a country I visited thanks to artistic residences. This enabled me to prepare cultural guides to Finland and Sweden, anthology of Norwegian literature, novels that take place in Greenland and Reykjavik, travelogues about Portugal and Catalonia, imagaologial essays about Paris, and numerous articles and blogs about contemporary art. In addition to this, residences have provided opportunities for personal growth, cooperation and friendship with many talented artists, from Island to Japan. This is why I hope, after our visit to Tokyo within the ‘Kizuna’ programme, I will write a book that will motivate young people, especially artists from Novi Sad, to travel; to isolate themselves from everyday life and to get to know an unusual country of developed technology, long tradition and pleasant and gentle people with whom I had a joy to cooperate in this project.’
Ljiljana’s husband, Dragan Vojvodić, is a visual artist who also carries positive impressions from this residence, and he conveys the following message to young artists: it is important to move.
‘Exchange projects in the USA and Japan (‘Kizuna’) and residential programmes in Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Czechia (‘Plants AiR’) have had a great impact on my development, both as an artist and personally; they fundamentally transformed my artistic practice and made me recognisable on the art scene as an artist that creates in-situ using his rich existential experience. It is impossible to create art today without communicating with artists and institutions outside our borders because art becomes more universal and erases attributes that make it local. Mobility is unavoidable in modern age; by travelling and facing the Other, we can get know ourselves and our position in the world more clearly.’