The 2019 exchange began with AIRMW’s Kiyomi Negi and Kioto Aoki going to the Obihiro/Tokachi region for a month-long residency in June. During their stay, they met with local community members, ranging from artists to cafe founders, to learn about the social and cultural landscape of this rural region. Kiyomi produced illustration-based narrative caricatures while Kioto created a pinhole series making cameras out of materials received from each participant to photograph their workspace.

Kiyomi and Kioto were hosted for the first half of their residency at Feriendorf Resort Village in Nakasatsunai. The first floor kitchen was turned into Kioto’s darkroom workspace. She was reunited with last year’s collaborator and local Obihiro photographer Souda Seijiro, who generously lent his equipment for Kioto’s darkroom spaces once again. They then moved to the town of Shikaoi, taking up residence in a nearby bed & breakfast. The second darkroom and studio space was set up inside old workspace of local ramen resturaunt 花のや Hananoya, whose owner is Tokachi International Exchange Center coordinator Tom Hanaki’s childhood classmate.