The Maejima Art Center was founded in 2001 and became a Japanese government accredited Non-Profit-Organization in 2002.
It’s main objective is to promote contemporary art in Okinawa and to provide Okinawan artists with a space where they can show their art works in an experimental context.
Being located in a once bustling red light district that has experienced rapid decay over the past years, the Maejima Art Center also emphasizes close communication and interaction with the community and sees its role in introducing new ideas to the process of urban development.
Maejima Art Center has a gallery space of around 70m2 with an average of two solo and group exhibitions per month.
One of Maejima Art Center’s main activities is "wanakio", a biennial collaboration project of artists, art curators, architects, town planners, inhabitants and local authorities aiming at revitalizing Okinawa’s contemporary cultural environment. The title "wanakio" results from reading the Japanese "Hiragana" syllabary of "O_ki_na_wa" vice versa and hints at wanakio’s strategy. Starting from a careful reading of the urban and social environment art and design projects are created in a direct interaction and communication process from within the urban reality. Other activities of the Maejima Art Center include the organization of art workshops, especially focussed on children and local residents, as well as a variety of art related events including concerts, artist talks, video screenings.