Art and Science in Kyoto City ZooSensing the Feelings of a Chimpanzee Through Art

Roger is watching a video workRoger is watching a video work

What is art for human beings? Through this program, artists and scientists approach this fundamental question with a focus on chimpanzees, the species closest to humans.

This year, the project examines diverse and lasting reactions of chimpanzees to a wide range of materials and videos, and exhibits the documentation videos and materials. During the exhibition period, participating artists and researchers will give a tour and talk.

This project engages in the development of globally unique environmental enrichment and explores new approaches to exhibiting animals in zoos.

(PDF : 2.1MB)


Saturday, March 20–Sunday, March 28, 2021 / 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Closed Monday, March 22, 2021


Indoor viewing passage at the Monkey House, Kyoto City Zoo


Aoki Ryoko and Ito Zon


Sakamoto Hidefusa (Director, Kyoto City Zoo; Chief Director, KYOTO STEAM—International Arts × Science Festival)
Yamanashi Yumi (Principal Researcher, Kyoto City Zoo)
Kano Fumihiro (Program-specific Associate Professor, Kumamoto Sanctuary, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University)
Ikkatai Yuko (Project Researcher, Kavli IPMU, University of Tokyo)
Yoshida Nobuaki (Chief Researcher, ASTEM)
Iwaki Akihisa (Associate Professor, Department of Cultural Design, Kindai University)


Open to all


Free (zoo entrance fee required)


Not required

In cooperation with

Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University

Talk & Tour

Researchers and artists give insider insights into the project and share the reactions of the chimpanzees. (The event will also be streamed online.)


Saturday, March 20, Sunday, March 21, Saturday, March 27, Sunday, March 28

approx. 10 participants per session (first come, first served)
not required (please assemble at the west entrance (near the penguin area) of the indoor viewing passage in the Monkey House)
Date Time Topics
10:30 a.m. – Environmental enrichment at the zoo
– The project’s future development based on the experiment results
2:30 p.m. – Environmental enrichment at the zoo
– The project’s future development based on the experiment results
10:30 a.m.
Without audiences
– Collaboration Event: A Walk with the Zoo Director
Kyoto City Zoo × Kyoto STEAM
2:30 p.m. – Chimpanzees watching videos
10:30 a.m. – Possibility of incorporate art into the chimpanzees’ study time
2:30 p.m. – Possibility of incorporate art into the animal care
10:30 a.m. – What is art for human beings?
2:30 p.m. – Summary of the experiment
– The content of next year’s experiment