Publications Editorial Group

The Publications Editorial Group began as the News Study Group in 2004. At first this group was almost completely inactive, but was revitalized in March 2009 when then group chairman Harada Heisaku gathered together several group members. Today the group is fully active. Given the radical change in the contents of the group’s activities after this reorganization, this abstract provides an overview of the subsequent Publications Editorial Group’s activities. The notation “reorganized” that precedes the number of group meetings held as listed in the JCAM website refers to this landmark in the group’s history.
With reorganization of the group the members aimed to realize a new form of art journalism in the paper medium. Over the course of two years of discussion the group decided to publish the journal Zenbi, setting the frequency of publication, format and numbers to be published. The JCAM board formally approved the publication of Zenbi in February 2011, and it was positioned as JCAM’s official publication. Thus from its inception Zenbi has been dual in nature, both an official publication and a critical journal. These two functions were combined in a novel journal design featuring two covers and two types of articles presented in horizontal and vertical text alignment.
This process led to the inaugural issue in January 2012. The official publication aspect of the journal featured regional block reports with information about the member museums throughout Japan, information on the activities of the study sub-groups, introductions to new member museums, and a special feature article reporting on the response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Conversely, the critical journal aspect of the journal appeared in the form of the Zenbi Forum with its publication of five contributed articles.
At the JCAM board meeting held immediately after this inaugural publication the group name was changed to the Publications Editorial Group, and JCAM Chairman Hasegawa Saburo was appointed the new group chairman. Since that beginning, the journal has been published on a semi-annual basis. Beginning with issue No. 2, the even-numbered issues introduce new member museums while the odd-numbered issues report on sub-group activities, regional block news and the Zenbi Forum column of articles. At first Zenbi was only sent to member museums, but from issue No. 5 onwards, issues have been made available for sale to the general public in some museum shops, and from No. 6 onwards the journal has started to carry advertising from the JCAM supporting member companies.
Thus we hope that Zenbi will be both an accumulation of reports of the activities of art museums throughout the country and of JCAM itself, and while drawing a firm distinction between itself and normal art journalism, provide viewpoints and discussions from those involved with museums. We hope that all the more people will contribute articles to the journal. We would also like to welcome new members to the sub-group who are interested in participating in the editorial and publication work.

Osaki Shinichiro
December 2, 2015
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