New Worlds Full of New Dialogues by Hui Serene Sze Lok

September 27, 2018 / Open Residence / AIR3331

New Worlds Full of New Dialogues by Hui Serene Sze Lok
Residency length: 6 weeks
During Hui Serene Sze Lok's ( program with AIR 3331, she created new worlds for us to step into. These worlds were formed by interweaving texts and space, as well as objects familiar in our daily lives, found anywhere from the art supply store to flea markets. Traveling from Hong Kong, Serene put her methods into practice with Tokyo as her new canvas for the creation of her own poetic and site-specific work.
Inside the AIR 3331 Nishikicho Shared Studio, (, Serene made full use of her work table next to other residents. She posted across the wall, texts that invited dialogues with our thoughts, and on her table could be found old globes, with markings half rubbed away using sandpaper. Indeed, her space displaced the ground below our feet where we found new relationships to the world we think we know. Yet there were instances when she played off the spaces of fellow residents, further expanding connections to be made between worlds. In the first part of Serene's program, she collaborated with residents in a group show ( that displayed their shared experience of creating and living in Tokyo together, where new dimensions were brought out in all of their artowrks.
In July, Serene was invited to share her work at the Canvas Artist Talks held at a local pub in Tokyo's eccentric neighborhood of Shimo-kitazawa. The audience was able to view samples of past works, including those from a residency in Iceland. We saw inside her hand-crafted artist book full of memories and intimate thoughts expressed as calligraphic lines and bold colors, resonating with her background in traditional Chinese painting. Perhaps it is her skill in capturing poetic landscapes that allows her to imagine alternative modes of existence in our everyday surroundings.
As Serene's residency drew to a close, she held an exhibition titled, "Words Unsaid, then forgotten" (, showcasing her resulting artworks inside the lounge space at 3331 Arts Chiyoda. She took on the challenge of transforming this large space into her own atmosphere in which we could feel and experience each artwork and the dialogues sparked between them. Upon entering, visitors could play a mis-harmonized music box that punched out notes onto paper - a new kind of sheet music. Another space we came across was a moving image of waves displayed on a globe, its printed text and geographies completely erased - yet interestingly, the projection simultaneously revealing a larger ocean scene on the wall.
Serene returned to Hong Kong and is busy back at her position in a gallery. Yet she has taken up motifs and ideas developed during her AIR 3331 residency as a foundation for her project in progress for an upcoming group show of Zines. This new artist book will feature two simultaneous texts - one being the title from her AIR 3331 exhibition. The letters are in fact, not printed, but embossed/de-embossed to be both read by sight and touch as a dialogue between two texts. We see Serene's Tokyo experience here as another stepping stone along her path across various locations that will no doubt continue to be shaped as her world expands.

Hui Serene Sze Lok's Website >>>

We hope the creativity of our past participants will inspire some ideas for your project proposal to AIR 3331!
Program Availability: April 1, 2019 - March 27, 2020
(1-3 months per residency)
Deadline: September 28, 2018
More info:
AIR 3331: Emily

Introducing Kim Thøgersen Grønborg: Looking Through the "Chrystal Star Drum" of Tokyo

August 5, 2018 / Staff Blog

Introducing Kim Thøgersen Grønborg: Looking Through the "Chrystal Star Drum" of Tokyo
Residency length: 1 month

Upon arriving to Tokyo from Aarhus, Denmark, Kim Thøgersen Grønborg's first question was where to find cardboard. In previous overseas projects, including one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kim picked up cardboard as his material of choice for its availability and freedom to construct or deconstruct it in any way. In no time, Kim picked up all varieties of cardboard from around the city to gradually fill an entire work space with his installation. The efficient and versatile medium allowed Kim to build up his base drawn from the Tokyo scenes he walked through in the style of a "flaneur".

With a private studio plan, Kim used the AIR 3331 Soto-Kanda Studio inside 3331 liberally as the grounds for his creation. With a work space in the back and a gallery in the front, he could develop his digital work on his PC, while adding daily to a public display of cardboard structures seen through the glass window. While the digital images of the city were taken apart and made into shapes as 2-dimensional animations, these were also transformed into 3-dimensional sillouhettes traced and cut out of cardbord. The city came alive between different dimensions, even enveloping sound as Kim collected the noises recorded around Tokyo.

As his final presentation with AIR 3331, Kim opened up his studio to the public and gave an artist talk about his practice, drawing together the ideas surrounding characteristic shapes and forms found in cities across the world, these objects' random occurrences and interactions between one another, as well as our encounters with them in daily life.

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As Kim's artwork title "Chrystal Star Drum" suggested, audiences were left with a Tokyo reshuffled in time and space to be born in a new plane.

Kim Thøgersen Grønborg's Website >>>

We hope the creativity of our past participants will inspire some ideas for your project proposal to AIR 3331!
Program Availability: April 1, 2019 - March 27, 2020
(1-3 months per residency)
Deadline: September 28, 2018
More info:
AIR 3331: Emily

[AIR 3331 Open Call] Applications Now Open for April 1, 2018 - March 27, 2019!!

July 2, 2018 / Open Call

[AIR 3331 Open Call] Applications Now Open for April 1, 2018 - March 27, 2019!!
Seeking Creators from All Fields and Disciplines to Join Us in Tokyo!

July 2, 2018 / AIR 3331 Team

Imagine the creative possibilities of starting your very own project within the bustling urban scene of Tokyo. While drawing creators to the heart of the city, AIR 3331 based in the independent art center known as 3331 Arts Chiyoda, also brings them directly into the local artistic community. AIR 3331 is now welcoming your applications to join our open residence made for all fields of creators and researchers for the period of April 1, 2019 - March 27, 2019!


Through AIR 3331, creators are warmly welcomed at 3331 housed in the former Rensei Junior High School, now containing 4 floors of creative spaces from the open community space, the vast main gallery, an entire floor of independent art galleries, a floor made for shared offices and innovative companies, and a sprawling rooftop. Then hop over to the Nishikicho Residence located just 1 metro station away, and participants will find a common space to share their daily lives with artists from around the world, with a quiet retreat to their private room for plenty of focus. Our program is flexible in offering programs with either a private studio inside 3331 or a shared studio conveniently located just below the residence living quarters.


Nestled beside the larger buzzing Akihabara district, the residence is located in the unique historical book district known as Jimbocho, where plenty of both urban excitement and antique treasures may be discovered.


As part of the program, the coordinators at AIR 3331 are eager to support your initiatives with a range of services including event coordination, translation, networking, and sharing information*. We look forward to the outcome of your work and creating the opportunity for you to present in the 3331 community to be shared with the greater Tokyo art scene. AIR 3331 awaits your arrival in Tokyo!

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Residency Period: April 1, 2019 to March 27, 2020

Residency Length: 1-3 months**
Facility Details: here
Programs & Fees: here
Support Details: here

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DEADLINE: September 28, 2018
Notification of acceptance: Early October, 2018 (Notification date may change based on applicant numbers)
Please submit the materials below to [residence(at)] by the deadline.
Materials (up to 2MB)
(1) Application form (download here)
(2) Recent CV
(3) Portfolio (at least 5 images, video, audio, essay or web links as relevant)
(4) Supporting materials to describe your residency project, as applicable (example: sample schedules, images/videos, web links, etc.)
Note: Applicants must be able to cover the costs of the program fee, travel, production costs and living expenses.

AIR 3331 Residence Program (Contact: Emily, Chihiro)
3331 Arts Chiyoda
6-11-14 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan 101-0021
TEL | +81 3 6803 2441
MAIL | residence(at)3331(dot)jp
*There are services included in the base program fee and optional support/space options at an additional fee.
**Calculated in 4-week increments.

Tokyo's Urban Scenes Filled by the Imagination of Artist, Erin McCluskey

March 28, 2018 / Open Call

Tokyo's Urban Scenes Filled by the Imagination of Artist, Erin McCluskey
Residency length: 1 month (August - September, 2017)
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Erin McCluskey arrived in Tokyo from Toronto, Canada ready to grab a bike and trek the city's extensive urban scene. Carrying her backpack equipped with a chair and tools, and the notebook that never left her side, she aimed to see, explore, and sketch the city at each moment. Erin took action right away to gather her artistic material from inspiration found in the city itself.

In Erin's past works spun from Toronto's urban life, one finds the city transformed into a quirky and colorful place by her unique vision. It is as though we move in time with Erin's own experiences felt between every encounter with her subjects. With even fairy tale or folkloric characters and motifs, viewers can perceive daily city life in new and romantic ways.

The AIR 3331 Open Call program offered Erin the challenge of taking up Tokyo as her first overseas city as subject matter. In addition, as her first time in Japan and her first residency, Erin experienced everything with fresh eyes. At the heart of Tokyo's urban core, AIR 3331 provided the perfect base for envisioning the city through her own imagination. From sketching outdoors in the middle of bustling Ueno Park and Shinjuku, to joining a local Chiyoda city festival, all sights were drawn up in Erin's style to become fantastic places.
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With sketchbooks and a wide array of painted artworks in the making, at the end of her residency, Erin decided to hold an open studio event in the Nishiki-cho Shared Studio , where she worked daily after traveling the streets of Tokyo. Erin's work area was overflowing with the internalized map of her Tokyo experiences - from train lines, museum tickets, sketches on the go, to journal entries and famous romantic poems. During her residence, she even had the chance to make a collaboration painting with fellow resident, Kyungwon Yoon , from South Korea.
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Erin's desk corner in the Nishiki-cho Studio attested to the wide network of places and objects that became her personal map of Tokyo. She transformed the city into an alternative Tokyo as a fairytale of urban life through her imagination. The AIR 3331 team looks forward to what kind of metropolis Erin will envision in her next travels from city to city.
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We hope the creativity of our past participants will inspire some ideas for your project proposal to AIR 3331!

Residencies between: May 1, 2018 - March 29 2019 (1-3 months per residency)
Deadline: March 30, 2018

AIR 3331: Emily

Kyungwon Yoon Weaves a Korean Legend Into the Present

March 15, 2018 / Open Residence / AIR3331

You Might Just Meet A Ghost:
Kyungwon Yoon Weaves a Korean Legend Into the Present
Residency length: 3 months

Kyungwon Yoon flew into Tokyo from South Korea carrying with her a draft of her original graphic novel. Her plan was to complete the full book in Korean, English, and Japanese with the goal of someday selling it in bookstores internationally. With her smart tablet, paints, brushes, and worksuit she went straight to the job in her own way, by drawing both digitally and by hand.

The AIR 3331 team finally got to look inside her graphic novel when Kyungwon asked us to edit and translate her story in Korean into complete English and Japanese. When opening the book, one finds expressive and raw, twisting lines of hybrid fish creatures, light and shadow marked by heavy contrast, and abstract layouts that move in a non-linear flow. As so, the story meanders in and out of the past and present, as well as the human, animal, and ghost forms. When we first asked Kyungwon what the story was about, she told us it was a Korean legend about a king who became a dragon. But with a closer look, it appeared that Kyungwon was telling the story through her own imagination.

With the Nishikicho residence accessible to all of Tokyo's conveniences, Kyungwon made thorough use of the local ACCEA printing shop to produce her book in all three languages. She had changed the title from "The King's Last Will" to simply, "Meat." As shocking as it sounds, the title fits the quite corporeal moments of her story. Now that she had her material, Kyungwon wanted to share her graphic novel with the Japanese audience. This led Kyungwon to join fellow resident at the time, Ignacio Chico , in holding a tent for the Trans Arts Tokyo festival. Here she laid out her graphic novels, with even a stampcard station for the public to make their own fish stories with hand-made stamps. This made her graphic novel a hit with visitors from all over the world who stopped to think, "Meat?"
After catching the attention of festival-goers, Kyungwon went ahead in planning her very first solo-exhibition. Kyungwon drew up the structure and with the support of the 3331 installation team, set up the entire space. Using the 1F Room 101 inside 3331, the exhibition attracted a good flow of foot trafic and 3331 staff, including the installation team members that became a major part of her project. It featured a reading section, an impressive number of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works - even a combined painting/mural/sculpture popping out from the wall! Visitors could travel through all dimensions of Kyungwon's imagination, where ghosts, ancestors, animals, and the living were brought together in real space.
Through her residency, Kyungwon was able to spread her graphic novel across the communities of 3331 and Tokyo, even across the world. The staff at 3331 recently received an original New Year greeting card from Kyungwon, a piece of the quirky cuteness of her fish characters that traveled beyond naitonality and language. As Kyungwon looks to the future in publishing "Meat" and drawing up even more stories, AIR 3331 sends our support and hopes to come across her graphic novels on Tokyo's bookshelves soon.

*Follow Kyungwon Yoon's Work:
We hope the creativity of our past participants will inspire some ideas for your project proposal to AIR 3331!
Period: January 2018 - March 2019 (1-3 months per residency)

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