PROJECT NIO-MON is an art project between the Netherlands and Japan- A project about the creation of a gate for two temple guardians that returned home.
The path walked being as relevant as the goal.


Within this project, three notions of MON (Gate-ness) play a combined role: gate (temple gate), platform and portal are an attempt to simultaneously designate one and the same entity in three different manifestations. We want to focus on the creation of these 'MON' and examine how functionality can be returned to the temple guardians. Again in coöperation with various institutes and participants in the Netherlands and Japan and the inhabitants of Yokota. We will focus on the notion of "gate-ness", using the original house of the two temple guards as a starting point to engage in workshops, Artist-in-Residence (AIR), exchanges and debates.

NIO refers to a new (nio) mon, new temple guards (Niōzo) and of course refers to the Niōmon: a gate at the temple area and a house to Niōzo.


In 2007 the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, acquired two magnificent statues: 14th century wooden Japanese temple guardians that, for more than 700 years, stood in the temple gate (Niōmom) of the Iwaya-ji, a then prominent Buddhist temple in Shimane ken, Japan

In 2015, Dutch artist Jikke van Loon traveled to the temple gate in Yokota

to say 'Thank You' and to tell her the two temple guards (Niōzo) in Amsterdam are doing well and are taken good care of.
This 'Thank You' expanded into the project it is today: An international art project with many people in both The Netherlands and Japan actively involved in helping the Temple Guardians find their ways back home.

ISSHO-NI/ TOMO-NI: In 2019 we were able to help the Gaurdians return to their former hometown in Delftblue suits (see Issho-ni/ Tomo-ni) and now we want to help them find their ways into their former context: the NIomon, a temple gate, home to temple guards and a gate to wisdom...

Although the Temple Guardians returned home it was impossible to place them in their former house, Iwaya-ji's Niōmon. The gate is in a terrible condition and needs repair/ rebuilding.
As a result, the inhabitants are still unable to walk 'the field of wisdom' and the temple guardians were not given the opportunity to regain their specific functionality: giving acces to and being guardians of the field of wisdom.
Meanwhile an interest group has been formed to track down the owner of the land on which the current gate stands; after years of neglect, the area around the temple gate is now being cleaned regularly again, and the Yokota municipality recently laid a paved road to the temple gate.

In Japan, residents of Yokota have provided an impressive building for AIRs, debates and workshops (the Honmachi Kaikan).  In the Netherlands, too, several venues will serve as a base for workshops/rounds and debate.
By rebuilding and reconstructing the Niōmon and building a NIO-MON we want to create both a Home to the Delft blue temple guards and a Portal between people of the Netherlands and Japan.

NIOMON- A Portal A Home 2021/ AIR YOKOTA
This year 2021, the project will start with a collaboration of Japanese and a Dutch artists Sachi Miyachi and Jikke van Loon who, together with the people in the Netherlands and Japan, will investigate the function of a Gate / Portal and start the reconstruction of the NIO-MON in all its manifestations. An installation will be set up in the Honmachi Kaikan, a former bank building provided by the people of Yokota, as a temporary home for the Nio and that will serve as a project platform. This AIR period will be concluded with a meeting on 23 November 2021: the second anniversary of the Delft Blue NIozo.

> Due to corona and travel restrictions postponed to 2022.

Instead an hybride/online NIO-MON FESTIVAL will be held in Nov. 23-28 2021.- Geweest