3331 - a place to encounter multiple expressions
Based in the renovated Rensei Junior High School 3331 Arts Chiyoda creates a space in which leading artists and creatives have the freedom to present their diverse expressions. 3331 brings together cutting edge art with the familiar everyday.
The first floor gallery presents an exciting range of exhibitions highlighting 3331's unique vision of the art scene. 3331 aims to break the barrier of inaccessibility often associated with art museums and instead create an art space which everyone can enter at ease, including a wide range of spaces which visitors can enjoy for free. While walking throughout the arts centre you can sense the creative energy which makes up 3331 through the diverse range of artists and creative practitioners based here.
3331 is an active space hosting a wide range of events and exhibitions and transmitting a new form expression not only as a hub for Tokyo, but also acting as a hub which links Japan's various regions and that of wider Asia, with the objective of forming an international base for a new kind of art.
"3331" is intent on becoming a leading base for the advancement of arts in Asia, expounding a new value and promoting creativity through truly international cultural and artistic exchange.
Main characteristics of "3331"
●New programs supporting artists' creativity as a driving force for community development
3331 will carry out a range of programs which will approach artists from a wider perspective as those engaged in creative expression, and harness their creative dynamism to feed into local contexts. The emphasis of this program will not be solely upon its results, but also upon the motivation and process of artistic production and expression.
●Promoting culture internationally with the support of the cosmopolitan Akihabara district, located at the center of Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo, Japan.
Fostered by the central support of the cosmopolitan Akihabara district and radiating from Chiyoda ward at the heart of Japan' s capital, 3331 aims to become a significant art platform for artistic and cultural exchanges at both international and regional levels. Moreover, the centre will build upon the traditions rooted in the local Chiyoda area, which inherits customs, celebrations and cultures from the Edo Period, linking the past with the future.
●Increasing cultural strength thanks to various cultural organizations gathered into a single institution
Several organizations working actively in various fields will undertake mutual exchange and collaboration, gathering under a single structure in the support of artistic and creative production, fostering positive relationships with new forms of art, and openly welcome the participation of citizens as well as young artists.
●Putting forward cutting edge programs and ideas in a place dedicated to the training and support of artists
3331 offers programs and support adapted towards the nurturing o f artists with a global outlook, regardless of their age, combined with personal development programs specifically focusing on global cultures. Furthermore, creative programs dedicated to children, workers, the elderly and disabled people are also broadly proposed, welcoming anyone who wishes to carry out cultural activities.
Key Features of 3331 Arts Chiyoda
★Exhibitions for a new arts engagement
The first floor gallery will be holding regular exhibitions. This is a gallery space which allows one to engage upon a new level with art, presenting stimulating exhibitions which aim towards a freer conception of art beyond the art museum.
★A relaxing space where everyone can come together
3331 offers a wide range of spaces which everyone can freely enter and enjoy, from the park in front of the centre up to the wood deck patio, through to the community space, to the lounge space filled with arts information.
★A café space to enjoy art and food together
In the first floor café space - Foodlab - you can enjoy good food and drink while being surrounded by art. In addition the kitchen will be opened to various food experts and provide a session space for those interested in cuisine, while distributing new information about food to the public.
★A select archive of art information
The lounge space is filled with the latest arts information from 3331, Japan's various regions and from all over Asia. Here you can relax in this comfortable environment and look through the select range of materials.
On the rooftop 32 allotment spaces (3.3㎡)are provided for gardening enthusiasts. Offering the opportunity to grow your own plants and vegetables while enjoying the rooftop space and communicating with fellow gardeners. Guidance by a gardening expert will also be offered each month.
★A multitude of events and exhibitions to see and join
The former classroom spaces are filled with a diverse range of tenant organizations with studios, galleries and offices throughout the arts centre. All are welcome to visit the exhibitions and participate in various workshops and events organized by these creative practitioners.
3331's main gallery hosting regular exhibitions. Tickets may be purchased from the reception desk at the entrance of the gallery. Entrance fee varies from each exhibition.
The best café for lunch, dinner and tea time, also holding various events including exhibitions and collaborations with food experts. Opening hours: 10:00～23:00
You are welcome to take a little rest in this space. Various events and workshops are also held here. (These events may require an entrance fee.)
The lounge is a place full of art information. Here you may browse through the various art materials, discuss the work you have see and leisurely spend your time.
This is an open space devoted to the "kaekko" project of artist Hiroshi Fuji where children may exchange their unwanted toys and use them as materials for their own creative activities.
Tobimushi proposes a way of living with nature/the forest through which a connection is formed between people and community, engaging in the promotion of sustainable community redevelopment.
Local products, goods filled with ideas, delivered to you with a story. A take-out shop with various delicious foods made from local produce.
AKIBATAMABI21 is a space run by Tama Art University for the presentation of work by young artists. Graduates of Tama Art University are actively developing this space in mutual collaboration.
●203/205 Project Space
A space for various projects to be realized, including utilization as the artist in residence studio and gallery.
●204 +81 Gallery+Lab
This is a project space devoted to presenting the work of both Japanese and international artists as well as publishing collections of art works and supporting exhibitions overseas, with a particular focus upon nurturing young artists.
●206a ZERODATE Art Centre Tokyo
The Tokyo base for ZERODATE, an art project initiated in Odate, Akita prefecture. This is a multi-purpose space not only for the facilitation of art projects but also for distributing information about Akita and the local community and encouraging new forms of exchange.
Artist Initiative Command N
This is an artist group committed to the organization and facilitation of alternative art projects. At 3331 this group aims to develop a new relationship between art and the local community.
A base for the distribution of information about the creative activities of high school students throughout the country. Supporting the creative practitioners of the future, who have a strong desire to create something new.
●208 A/A gallery A/A shop (Abla Art Japan)
This is Japan's first commercial gallery for the promotion of work produced by artists with disabilities, run by NPO Able Art Japan.
●209 TANIKADO ARTS
A contemporary gallery specializing in discovering young arts and promoting them to the world. Also facilitating lectures and producing various publications.
A vast space of approximately 630㎡ which may also be used for various creative activities.
●302 Tokyo Art Point Project ROOM 302
Tokyo Art Point Project is engaged in creatively promoting the citizen/community participation in the appreciation of Tokyo, activities include the nurturing the talents of individuals through various projects, meetings, lectures and seminars.
●303・304 g3/ tripleg
The project room of editor and creative director Shigeo Goto, made up of the combination of "superschool", "gallery" and "editroom".
The creative space of art director Naoki Sato, who has also played a leading role in the overall design of 3331. Engaging in planning, direction and design.
The creative space of producer, programmer, editor and designer Gabin Ito. Facilitating various projects in illustration, web design, moving image, exhibitions and other events.
●307 SWITCHSCIENCE / Handazuke Café
SWITCHSCIENCE offers a range of electronic parts/goods for sale. Run in tandem is the open space "Handazuke Café" where tools are made available for the creation of various electronics.
●308 SMN office
The active space of SMN, the organizers of national competitions for high school students in film, music and animation as well as publishers of the magazine "Ss'" promoting the work of creative high school students.
●309/310 Street Media
Street Media are engaged in projects of area casting, which aims to activate people and promote regional development by means of information distribution linked with digital signage and mobile phone services.
●311/312 Share Office
A space shared by many different tenant organizations.
●313 Project Space
A project space with a regularly changing program. Currently it is exhibiting the project "HEARTBEAT-PORTRAITS in Chiyoda", a visual recording of individuals' heartbeats.
Studio space of 3331's art schooling program, used by students for the production of their work.
Wood workshop and preparation space of the management team.
●B105 Multi-Purpose Space
A multi-purpose space suitable for various events including screenings and exhibitions.
●B106 RENSEI PRINT PARK
The printing studio of printing company Seikosha, which is approaching its 100 year anniversary in 2013. RENSEI PRINT PARK produces the various print materials of 3331 and also holds exhibitions of publications.
●B107 Bambinat Gallery
A gallery specializing in contemporary art, in particular promoting the work of young artists.
A studio space available for rent.
●B109 CfSHE ANNEX
CfSHE ANNEX organizes international artist projects, exchanges and workshops and distributes information about various artist in residence programs around the world
●B110 sagacho archives
An archive space for the activities and documentation of sagacho exhibit space. This is a space for exhibition, discussion and showcasing of the archive.
●B111 Able Art Studio (Able Art Japan)
An art studio which anyone can join. Facilitating various workshops and talk events which tackle art, society and well-being. Also welcoming proposals!
The main purpose of this program is to encourage long-term encounters between local residents and significant Japanese artists, within an initial period of 5 years.
Katsuhiko Hibino - Artist
[Day After Tomorrow Project] in Tokyo
The [Day After Tomorrow Project] began with the local residents of Azamihira (Tôkamachi City, Niigata Pref.) in 2003 and quickly spread to more than 20 areas all over the country. This project takes the form of a continuous cycle of seeding, flowering and harvesting morning glories and exchanging the seeds between regions, encouraging an awareness in "taking every seed into better consideration" and furthering a respect for the efforts of local residents, it aims at inducing new encounters and exchanges between people.
Born in Gifu City in 1958, Hibino graduated from the master' s course of Tokyo University of the Arts. He obtained domestic and international recognition with the body of work created from cardboard during his student years and went on to develop activities in a wide spectrum of fields, including stage design and public art. Since 2003, he has launched various initiatives still ongoing and energetically spreading all over the country, such as the [Day After Tomorrow Project], the [SEED TRIP] (introduced at the Yokohama Triennale in 2008) or the [Yokohama FUNE (BOAT?) Project] (a project developed with the collaboration of local residents for the 150th Anniversary of the Opening of the Port of Yokohama in 2009).
Kazuhiko Hachiya ‒ Media Artist
[Akihabara ‒ Tsukutte Mita Labo]
As demonstrated through engineering based projects and experiments like [DorkBot] or [Make :Meeting], there are still many hidden interactions and potential fusions between art and engineering that may be explored.
He was born on April 18 (Invention Day) 1966 in Saga Prefecture and graduated from the Faculty of Visual Communication Design (Kyushu Institute ofDesign). His works mainly consist of a series of special commun ication tools, like [Inter Dis-communication Machine] and [Seeing Is Believing], and others with special functions such as [AirBoard], a jet-powered skateboard, and [OpenSky]. As the developer of the [PostPet] email software, he is a representative director of PetWORKs and works on the development and direction of PostPet-related software.
Hiroshi Fuji - Artist
Acknowledging the extensive activities which have arisen not on ly in Japan but all around the world from the "kaekko" tradition, which allows children to exchange and play with no longer wanted toys, 3331 has dedicated specific spaces to permanently accommodate the [KAERU Station] project. As a "workshop for children", it is meant to cultivate community activities and induce more interaction with their close environment and the local residents.
Born in 1960 in Kagoshima Prefecture, he graduated from the Kyoto University of Arts (Department Of Crafts) in 1985 and travel ed to Papua New Guinea to teach at thecountry's National Art University as a me mber of the Japan Overseas Cooperation of Volunteers (JOCV) bet ween 1986 and 1988. He established his own studio in 1992, based in Itoshimagen Nijô City (to become Itoshima City in 2010, Fukuoka Prefecture), and worked as a part-time teacher for the universities of Kobe (spatial compositions, workshops, etc.), Kyushu (architectural design exercises ) and Kyushu Sangyo (contemporary art theory). He has developed several projects based on principles of " Dialogue and Local Development " added to a high degree of awareness towards "Local Resources, Appropriate Technology and Cooperation".
The organization of commandA has already gathered many experiences in managing art projects under the name commandN over a period of 10 years.
Masato Nakamura - Tokyo University of the Arts - Associate professor of the painting faculty
●Educational activity : Teaches on the BA, MA and research graduate courses
●Social activities : 1997 to date - Founder of command N - a non-profit artists initiative
●Art activities : 49th Venice Biennale as a Japan representative, [Akihabara TV]
- an international video art festival
Nakamura has planned and produced a large variety of art projects
which bring together local residents, students, businesses and industries
Takuma Ishiyama, Mitsunori Sakano, Yûmi Shishido, Tomomi Ohzone, Tokumasa Matsubuchi, Kohei Aida
Plan and produce exhibitions and art projects
Plan, produce and advise new programs related to regional art activities and art in education
Plan and produce graphic design and production design
Hidetoshi Kita (Office KITA Former Chairman) ‒ Ishibashi Foundation
Shinji Ootorii (Representative) ‒ Kanda Shrine
Ryohei Miyata (President) ‒ Tokyo University of the Arts
Yoshitsugu Shimizu ‒ Afternoon Society
Tetsuya Ozaki (Representive) ‒ ART IT Ltd
Naoki Sato (Representative) Asyl Ltd.
Kosai Hori (Artist / Professor) ‒ Tama Art University
Katsuhiko Hibino (Artist / Professor) ‒ Tokyo Art University
Teruyo Ichikawa (Internship coordinator) ‒ Rikkyo University
[Tokyo Rabbit Paradise ‒ TraP]（2001～2004）
The [Tokyo Rabbit Paradise Project] gathered the video works made
by 40 Tokyo-based artists in order to bring a sharp new perspective
on Tokyo life, pointing towards a way of living closer to the "Rabbit
Paradise" rather than the rabbit-hutch existence more often
portrayed. The project went to the Selfridges Department Store,
Venice, Sidney, Milan, Weimar and the Busan Biennale.
[Akihabara TV] (1999～2003）
[Akihabara TV] is an international video art festival staged in Tokyo's
Akihabara Electric Town with TVs, computers and VCR streaming
medleys of 1-minute movies about Akihabara using the electric al
equipment of the shops and buildings all around the district. After the
initial impulse, led by thirty Japanese and foreign artists, Ak ihabara
TV_02 and Akihabara TV_03 further gathered more than one hundred
Artists Initiative commandN（1998～）
"commandN" is an artist initiative organization with a core group of 9
members all dedicated to Contemporary Art. Through unique art projects
and cross-disciplinary and organically formed networks of the "powwow"
talk sessions and various other activities, communication of both
transmission and reception is practically formed by the group.
Food Lab 3331 brings a range of delicious meals and drinks to 3331. With a highly original approach to cuisine, with also a sensitivity to the environment, Food Lab 3331 expresses its flair for food creativity, where one can appreciate art and culinary satisfaction at the same time. With tables laid out across the wood-deck at the entrance of 3331 as well as around the café area, a relaxed welcoming atmosphere is created where you can savour a unique dish while also soaking up the creative energy of the art infused surroundings. Food Lab 3331 also includes its own exhibition space and will be collaborating with artists to realize innovative new projects for this site. In addition Food Lab 3331 will also be hosting a series of events including inviting special guests, leading culinary experts, to facilitate workshops and presentations.
As the first in these collaborations Food Lab 3331 has invited Chaco Kato to realize her "A Law of Wheat : Slow Wheat Project" within the café itself. In this project visitors to the café may help to nurture colonies of fresh wheat and eventually create a rejuvenating wheat juice drink from the leaves.
3331 Arts Chiyoda is launching a new residency program open to artists, curators and creative practitioners internationally. With a full range of facilities including accommodation, studio and gallery, creative practitioners have the exceptional opportunity to extend their artistic engagement in the heart of Tokyo. Not only will artists be able to pursue their own individual research and practice, but they will be connected to the extensive network of Tokyo's art scene through the hub that is 3331. With the energy of the electronics and anime haven of Akihabara right at one's doorstep and the traditional cultures of downtown but a stone's throw away artists will be able to experience all aspects of this kaleidoscopic city from this convenient base. Artists are not only able to spend time in Tokyo, but are able to create work onsite and then finally exhibit what they have developed during their stay, in the distinct setting of 3331 Arts Chiyoda.
We are pleased to be able to offer these facilities to artists who can contribute to the diverse creative expressions of this cosmopolitan metropolis and engage its inhabitants in new ways.
We particularly encourage applications from galleries, museums, universities, arts organizations and funding bodies who are able to recommend and support a number of artists to join this program. We also welcome approaches from artists who are able to secure their own sources of funding. We recommend that artists consider applying in groups of 2-5 in order to reduce the financial responsibility of the individual. Please note that 3331 is unable to offer financial support to artists in residence in this program.
The facilities are ideal to be shared between a group of 3 artists, and can accommodate a maximum of 5 artists if so required. The overall fee for accommodation and other facilities is set and is not affected by the number of people in residence.
We are now calling for applications for this residence program.
In order to apply for this program please download the following application form and send it with the relevant supporting material (outlined in this form) to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are two dealines for applications.
For those wishing to use the residency facilities between November2010-January 2011 please apply by 18th August 2010.
For those wishing to use the residency facilities between February-June 2011 please apply by 19th November 2010.
Application Form (word file) Application Form (pdf file)
If you have any queries please contact Emma Ota at email@example.com +81(0)3-6803-2441
Shared accommodation recommended for 3 artists, with a maximum capacity of 5 artists.
Just 2 minutes walk from 3331 Arts Chiyoda - 4 minutes from Ginza line Suehirocho station.
Communal Facilities (shared between the artists) - Kitchen, Bathroom, Toilet, Television, DVD player, internet
Bedrooms - 2 bedrooms with bed, desk and closet
1 open space - with 1 bed and desk (please note this space is open to the kitchen)
* provision can also be made for 2 more persons using futon and sharing space with other occupants
Dedicated studio space for all resident artists to use for their artistic production. 33㎡ - internet access, electricity, water.
Ample gallery space suitable for exhibitions and events, based on the 2nd floor of 3331 amongst the many galleries and creative organizations based at the centre. 66㎡- wooden flooring, spot lighting, internet access.
A dedicated assistant may also be arranged to help the artists in the arrangements necessary for their artistic production and realization of final presentation. The assistant will also be able to further introduce the artists not only to the sights and everyday life of Tokyo but also to the many creative practitioners in the city, furthering their penetration of the art scene network.
Program Fee - to be paid by the applicant
Residence & Studio =280,000JPY
・Coordinator : 200,000JPY (5 days/week) /1 month
・GALLERY : 100,000JPY (66㎡ /205) /1 week
・Event Space : 40,000JPY (100㎡) /1 day
The residency facilities are currently available between July-December 2010 and January-June 2011. The minimum residency period is 1 month (and is possible to extend). Please indicate which month you wish to partake in the residency on the application form. Specific dates may be negotiated at a later stage.
Increasingly in our globalized era, the megalopolis has taken over from the nation, a dense concentration of power, wealth, technology, labour and culture. But as the mega-cities rise they eclipse the diverse environments of the wider region. When the mega-city is a cultural, economic, social melting-pot then we can forget to look beyond this particular representation. Japan and its megalopolis of Tokyo very much demonstrate this notion, with 30% of the population concentrated in the Tokyo district. Arguments of global vs local have raged and tired over the decades, but now many have come to view these supposedly polar opposites as fundamentally part of each other. As cultural analysts, such as Arjun Appadurai, have demonstrated the global and the local can not exist in separation.
Insideout/Tokyo follows this line of thought in attempting to subvert the hierarchy between Tokyo and other local regions of Japan. It aims to shine a torch on the thriving arts scene of these regional cities and raise awareness of unique projects which have a distinctive local flavour, reflecting the individual characteristics of the area through strong community collaboration.
Insideout/Tokyo Project is a project designed to create links between Tokyo and other provinces of Japan. Aiming to reverse the principle of Tokyo-centrism of Japan, the project attempts to create a level relationship between the communities both inside and outside of the capital, building a new form of civil participation while nurturing artistic and cultural awareness. This is a long term network which aims to offer support between the various groups and communities facilitating such projects and hopes to encourage new collaborations and original developments.
The project launched at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in conjunction with the centre's pre-open events, presenting an exhibition of unique art projects from 9 regions around the country which encourage a new engagement towards society, not only introducing their activities but revealing the basic concrete methodology behind these. Accompanying this exhibition was a three day event which brought together artists, organizers and local participants for presentations, discussion, live performances and a chance to sample the original foods of each region.
The members of the network are now engaged in regular meetings sharing their skills and experiences and working towards new forms of cooperation. One of the activities which they will be working towards will be to build an archive at 3331 Arts Chiyoda which will provide an overview of the various creative engagements being held in the different regions of Japan, providing a valuable resource which will be open to the public and provide the opportunity to access materials and documentation relating to regional practices, conveniently collated all in one place.
Introduction to some of the projects participating in Insideout/Tokyo:
SapporoII Project - Sapporo, Hokkaido
Creating an art network between public facilities in Sapporo city during the winter months, SapporoII Project aims to transform the heavy chore of snow clearing into a new form of snow festival for local communities. With its root in creative collaboration, this is an engagement which can diffuse widely through the activities of local citizens, through forming a network between organizations, institutions and local administration. The festival is designed to create a new awareness in local people towards their surroundings, allowing them to appreciate the beauty in winter life which can activate new cultural production. It aims to transform what is seen as a problem of snow into a perspective which values it as a resource, an engagement which is very much relevant in our current environmental condition.
Himming - Himi, Toyama
Himming is an art project targeted at researching the unique appeal of the local area of Himi, Toyoma and encouraging new creative engagements within this context. Through project series it is attempted to rediscover what is important to Himi and how to build its future. Tokyo Himming is founded on such an engagement and aims to create a new relation between people in the capital and the provinces. This will become an important place for people in the city.
Birdo Flugas - Shiogama, Miyagi
This is an art project based around the "Birdo Space" of Shiogama, Miyagi. The project facilitates workshops and events, in addition to exhibitions of both domestic and international artists. It is not concerned with chasing the cutting-edge, but aims to highlight unique artists and art scenes giving rise to a rich exchange. Linking North America and Japan, introducing artists to each other, is just one example of their borderless approach to the arts.
Kukan Jikken Shitsu - Aomori City, Aomori
Based in a two storey building filled with memories of the neighbourhood, this project provides a free space with gallery and café facilities. This open space offers the opportunity for dialogue and exchange between many different people, creating a shared experience between communities, residents and proprietors of the local shopping district through workshops, exhibitions and various events.
Hisho Arts - Maniwa, Okayama
Hisho Arts was initiated in 2005, based on the site of a Soy Sauce Warehouse, which has over a 100 year old history, and has brought the residents together in unity as a cultural facility for the community. The name Hisho brings with it the meaning of brewing and nurturing culture.
Yu no Sato Hijiori - Hijiori, Yamagata
In a caldera valley in Yamagata there is a steaming hot spring, there is a small village and there is a school. In March 2009 the 134 year history of this school came to the end as the school faced its closure. "Yu no Sato Hijiori" is a documentary film depicting the final year of this school capturing the thoughts and feelings of the children, teachers and former pupils, their memories and attachments to a place which has played such an important role in the community and which has played a pivotal part in its culture. While depicting the closing scene of this local icon, it reveals a new landscape in the relations between the local people who live there.
ZERODATE - Odate, Akita
ZERODATE is an art project formed spontaneously by artists and local residents from Akita in order to rediscover the appeal of the local area and build its cultural and community strength. Through engaging in creative activity, which overcomes generation and genre, it aims to share the imagination of "Odate".
Kitamin Lab - Kitamoto, Saitama
Kitamin Lab was initiated as part of the Kitamoto Arts Camp, held in August 2008. It aims to act as a vitamin for the local area, encouraging a new culture, creating a space to develop creativity and to nurture the relation between art and community. Reinvigorating Kitamoto and facilitating arts activities which engage local communities.
Konya2023 - Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
Konya2023 is facilitated by TRAVEL FRONT and is concerned with revitalizing a disused building in the local area. In the centre of Fukuoka this 45 year old building with 17 rooms provides the communal space for many different activities, generations, nationalities and objectives. Through the compounding and dissociation of these elements, the layering of thought and action, a new value and culture is being constructed. The multi-purpose building includes a gallery, residence space and café, while hosting creative organizations engaged in art, education, design, photography, architecture, fashion and dance.
Date: 13 April (Tuesday)- 23 May (Sunday) 2010
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00
Admission: Free of charge
Venue： 2F 208
A first in Japan! A commercial gallery supporting the work of artists with disabilities, led by Able Art Japan. A/A gallery will over the following year present a series of exhibitions of 8 different artists, each for a period of 6 weeks. The first exhibition in this series features the work of Yanagita Takenobu.
The lines which Yanagita Takenobu draws are full of warmth. His portraits are truly living creations. When you look upon these works you are embraced by them and given a feeling of comfort, soothing one's heart.
Takahashi Naohiro - Setagaya Art Museum Curator
Profile : Born 1980. Lives and works in Fukuoka city. Has been a member of Maruworks since 1999.
This new gallery which opened in April 2010 is the first of its kind, a commercial gallery promoting the work of artists with disabilities, taking on the role as mediator between artists, art work and society.
The organization behind the gallery "Able Art Japan" is an NPO established since 1994, with the purpose of creating a new value in society through the engagement of art and disability. For nearly 16 years the organization was based in the Polepoleza building opposite Higashinakano station. But now in being given the chance to move to 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Able Art Japan takes this opportunity to extend its activities even further in establishing a gallery, shop and artist studio.
KOSEI SASAKI 「Exhibition Total Affirmation : OK. Perfect. Yes.」
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March 2010 heralded the opening of a brand new arts centre in the heart of Tokyo, in the famous electronics district of Akihabara. In Tokyo where there is such a plethora of arts facilities what can this new initiative provide for the city we may ask? 3331 Arts Chiyoda offers a new model for a creative hub which builds a unique platform for cross-disciplinary, cross-community and cross-regional exchange. Based on the site of a former junior high school, this renovated 4 storey building, with its original character, plays host to an exciting range of events, exhibitions, community facilities, creative organizations and artistic practitioners. 3331 creates a space in which people of many different backgrounds and experiences can come together to explore, learn and create.
The center has been initiated by members of the artist initiative group commandN, who have over 10 years of creative engagement established a wide reputation for their innovative approach to artistic projects, always determined to challenge the presumptions surrounding contemporary arts practice and to deconstruct its frameworks. They have undertaken a vigorous enquiry into the connection of art and everyday life, bringing contemporary arts into new spaces and into new relations with society. Their acclaimed projects include Akihabara TV - an international video festival screened on the televisions of Akihabara's electronics stores, Zerodate - a project bringing together artists hailing from Odate, Akita prefecture, in an attempt to revitalize the area, Tokyo Rabbit Paradise Project - a video installation in human size rabbit hutches presented in shopping centres around Europe and Asia and POWWOW a pioneering series of discussions between artists and other guest speakers and audiences in an informal setting. In their instigation of 3331 Arts Chiyoda the members aim to push their concept of alternative spaces and alternative arts practice to another stage, where a multiplicity of forms and perspectives can exist in the same point.
The centre is a testimony to the diversity of Japan's arts scene and its regional practices. This is clearly demonstrated in the wide range of tenant organizations based in the centre, including independent art galleries (Bambiart), organizations supporting and promoting the artistic work of people with disabilities (Able Art), exhibition and support centre for art students (Akibatamabi21), printing services (Rensei Print Park), community media networks (streetmedia) and arts education facilities. The centre also follows a philosophy of inclusivity and accessibility with a range of resources which are available for the public including meeting/conference facilities, sports/events hall, allotment plots and community spaces, encouraging the involvement of not only artists and arts related audiences but also from local communities and the general public.
Another distinctive feature of 3331 Arts Chiyoda is its artist in residency program, providing an opportunity to both young and established artists to pursue an active artistic engagement in the context of Tokyo. 3331's first resident artist was Taiwanese video artist and director of Taipei Contemporary Art Centre, Wang Jun-Jieh. 3331 is aiming to expand upon this program by connecting a number of different related residency centres in Okinawa, Akita and Toyama and form a network which will enable visiting artists to explore the distinctive cultural condition of different provincial areas of Japan.
3331 is not only concerned with providing a hub for Tokyo and the regions of Japan but is dedicated to building a network throughout wider Asia and internationally. Recent undertakings by commandN members in projects such as Regional Code Asia (an archive of interviews and resources from artists, curators and various organizations around Asia), demonstrate a keen motivation to develop deeper dialogues and collaborations within the region, an engagement which 3331 aims to nurture through its future activities.
The inaugural exhibition "Look if you like, but you will have to leap" presents 6 projects which clearly indicate the participatory, dialogical approach of 3331 both on a local and regional level. 3331 has made a significant commitment through the commissioning of 3 renowned artists for site-specific projects to be held at the centre over a five year period. An introduction to their projects is on display here. Katsuhiko Hibino, whose Day After Tomorrow project has connected communities in 22 areas throughout Japan through the nurturing and exchange of morning glory seeds, presents here a series of drawings made upon his travels, described as a reflection of the collection of memories and experiences built up through itinerant existence, rather like that of the seed. Hiroshi Fuji presents a vivid sculptural landscape, made from old toys collected through his toy exchange project Kaekko. Kazuhiko Hachiya introduces the projects of creative engineers and scientists in "Extreme DIY", a taster of the kind of hands on experimentation to be pursued in his Akihabara Tsukutte Mita Lab.
ZERODATE offers in a playful installation various unique goods from the local shopping streets of Odate, increasingly under threat of closure as large suburban shopping centres gain in popularity. Regional Code Asia brings together an exceptional body of resources collected from various areas of Asia examining the approaches of alternative arts spaces, creative practitioners and arts institutions. With video interviews with artists, curators and other arts professionals in India, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam and a wide range of texts, brochures and catalogues from even further afield the space presents an excellent opportunity to learn about the artistic innovation of neighbouring countries.
Finally the work of Wang Jun-Jieh produced during his residency period is here presented as Taipei Contemporary Art Centre Tokyo Branch, including works of various Taiwanese artists, an outline of the new art centre being established in Taipei and an area for visitors to share their thoughts upon what the function of an art centre should be.
Further related events have been taking place throughout the arts centre in celebration of its opening. These have included a symposium of alternative arts spaces from China, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore, a series of dance workshops/performances, an exhibition by Ryoichi Sakamoto and the Yellow Magic Orchestra, Insideout/Tokyo project (connecting Tokyo with the wider provinces of Japan) and the launch of nanairo a radio broadcasting channel for arts students.
3331 has already achieved a great deal within its first few weeks of opening, yet its official grand opening is yet to come. Set for 26th June 2010 the centre will be fully launched on an even more ambitious scale, with a whole series of stimulating events and exhibitions, we look forward to the further unleashing of 3331's potential.