Chikako Watanabe

1969, Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

The artist Chikako Watanabe (1969) was born in Kariya, a city in the Aichi prefecture in Japan. During her Master’s degree in the ceramics department of the Kyoto City University of Arts she took part in an AIDS poster project run by Artscape in Kyoto. She noticed that the Dutch posters showed an entirely different style than that of the neighbouring countries, and she became fascinated by the Netherlands and the Dutch. In 1995 Watanabe moved to the Netherlands, and she has lived and worked in Amsterdam ever since. She completed a Master’s degree in the Applied Arts department of the Sandberg Institute, and was given a residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (national academy for the visual arts). Watanabe’s projects involve research into the local cultures and traditions of communities in different countries. She then uses her findings to create mixed-media installations, which often involve performances and workshops. Chikako Watanabe’s work has been exhibited in the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Museum de Lakenhal in Leiden, Museum de Paviljoens in Almere, the Aichi Arts Center, and elsewhere. In 2018, coinciding with the first time The Third House Owner was on display, two earlier installations by Chikako Watanabe were also on view on the bel-etage and in the light court of Keizersgracht 399: Island Tracing (2012) and Survival Net (2000). To honor the 20th anniversary of Huis Marseille in 2019, a ‘dollhouse’ version of The Third House Owner at, made on a 1:9 scale, was exhibited in the Blue Room.