Founded in 2011, MI-LAB (Mokuhanga Innovation Lab) is an artist-in-residence program designed to provide extensive knowledge of mokuhanga (water-based woodblock printmaking) and its techniques to international artists, printmakers and teachers of printmaking, as well as to enable them to make use of traditional tools and materials.
The scope of the MI-LAB program ranges from introductory to advanced studies and also includes ongoing self-development programs for mid-career mokohanga artists and academic researchers. The current program at Fujikawaguchiko-cho is based upon the curriculum of the Nagasawa Art Park (NAP) Artists-in-Residence program, held in Awaji-city between 1997 and 2011, in which 78 artists from 30 countries participated.
The MI-LAB residential studio is located at the foot of Mount Fuji, an area that was registered as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013. The premises are close to Lake Kawaguchi, in peaceful rural surroundings. The workshop is led by professional mokuhanga artists, master carvers and printers. This enables participating artists from differing cultural backgrounds to explore their interests through the traditional techniques of mokuhanga.
MI-LAB also showcases the artists’ work and activities in Tokyo. The CfSHE (Centre for the Science of Human Endeavor) Gallery organizes exhibitions, workshops, discussions and forums that are related to MI-LAB programs and to mokuhanga in general. Through its annual program of workshops and presentations, MI-LAB encourages participating artists to broaden their professional skills and to engage in networking, with the aim of encouraging the mutual development of printmakers throughout the world.