Our 2018 Cultural Programme is hosting diverse partnerships with EU-Japan Fest to promote both tradition and innovation, while establishing strong creative and professional networks between cultures.In additition to these collaborations the EUJP Fest Committee has been providing Research Travel and Project Support to a number of Maltese and Japanese artists.The EU-Japan Fest Weekend lends Valletta 2018 a strong international dimension that celebrates collaboration across disciplines and communities. It also promotes cultural exchange across projects that have already benefitted from the support of the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee – such as the Valletta Design Cluster, one of Valletta 2018’s largest infrastructural projects. The weekend also invites communities to bring cultures together through group activities: anything from tea ceremonies, martial arts, calligraphy to photography and bonsai exhibitions.European Eyes on JapanSpazju Kreattiv, Upper Galleries Led by artistic director Mikiko Kikuta, European Eyes on Japan is a visual arts project that has toured over thirty European cities since 1999. In anticipation of our European Capital of Culture year, the project extended an invite to Maltese photographer Alexandra Pace from Valletta 2018 and photographer Alice Wielinga from our twin European Capital of Culture, Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018. Both photographers will live and work in Japan, looking to capture the country’s lifestyle through a European lens. In 2018, an exhibition featuring the work of both artists will be hosted in Malta at Spazju Kreattiv, after which it will travel to Leeuwarden and Japan.VALLETTA DESIGN CLUSTER & EU-JAPAN FEST COLLABORATION PROGRAMMESince 2015, the Valletta Design Cluster and EU Japan Fest have been collaborating on multiple design projects for 2018. Among these initiatives is the continuation of an ongoing collaboration between various Japan-based designers and the 2018 edition of the Malta Design Week.In 2018, our Cultural Program is hosting diverse partnerships with EU-Japan Fest which function as meeting points for traditional and contemporary art and design practices, while also establishing strong creative and professional networks between Japanese and European communities.

Tetsuo Kondo Architects have teamed up with the Restoration Directorate’s architecture team to develop the concept and design the Valletta Design Cluster’s roof garden. Located at the Old Abattoir site in Valletta, the roof garden will be part of the Valletta Design Cluster, one of the main Valletta 2018 infrastructure projects, which is devoted to rehabilitating the site into a fully-functional creative cluster by 2019.


BLU BAĦĦ / BLUE VOID is a multidisciplinary work involving Japanese designers from Atelier Omoya and Maltese bookmaker Glen Calleja. The work explores the relationship between Maltese maritime landscape and literature, by generating an installation that “writes” in the water surface. The project’s objective is to highlight this international collaboration, especially through the contribution of Japanese-led technology-led design. However, the ultimate result to be achieved is not technology-centred, but focuses on how words and basic elements such as air (bubbles) and water (the sea) can be made to create an aesthetically fulfilling experience.

‘Tactile’ project by producer Jesmond Vassallo brings together the works of a number of Maltese and Japanese sculptors within a light-tight space. Within such an impenetrable setting, this exhibition leaves no other way of understanding the artworks than through the sense of touch. Besides addressing this community of people, who either have difficulty with their vision or are totally blind, this exhibition acts as an ‘eye-opener’ for the general public, who will be engaged in the act of perceiving sculpture in the same way as the former do.


MODERN MUSIC DAYS(MMD) promotes the performance and appreciation of twentieth century repertoire and contemporary music in Malta through a series of projects that build connections between creatives in the field of music. In this way, the project fosters an interdisciplinary approach to music and introduces contemporary music to new audiences. This initiative seeks to build a relationship between local musicians and international artists and organisations, thus giving local artists the opportunity to move beyond the local music scene through diverse collaborations also with a famous Japanese composer


Award-winning Japanese choreographer and DJ Kentaro!! will be collaborating with one of Malta’s most exciting alternative bands, Plato’s Dream Machine, on a new work which challenges the status quo. With the participation of Japanese dancers from Kentaro!!’s dance company Tokyo Electrock Stairs and local hip hop dancers, the year 2018 hosts an exciting hip hop dance theatre performance that breaks genre stereotypes.