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AIR 3331 Artist Spotlight: Chan Chung Yin, Connie & Wan Sheung Wah, Elly

June 6, 2019 / Open Residence / AIR3331

Currently accepting applications for its open call, what kind of projects can artists bring to Tokyo through AIR 3331? Let's take a closer look into the projects of past AIR 3331 participants, Chan Chung Yin, Connie & Wan Sheung Wah, Elly (Residency period: 2018.11.01-2019.01.09).
To begin their 10-week residency, Connie & Elly immediately dove right into the Chiyoda City neighborhoods, mapping out districts by foot, while interviewing and joining local citizens in community activities. These results first took the form of a workshop held inside the AIR 3331 Soto-Kanda Studio that invited the public to create a map of Chiyoda City.
At the same time, Connie & Elly brought their ongoing international "White Envelope Project" to Tokyo using envelopes passed on from London and Hong Kong. How would Tokyo residents respond creatively to messages delivered across the globe? Connie & Elly displayed these contents to us as a final exhibition in the Soto-Kanda Studio, while encouraging visitors to continue the chain of response letters.
Alongside the "White Envelope Project", Connie & Elly displayed all of their research finds and responses from Chiyoda City locals as part of their final exhibition. One of the interviewees, a Jimbocho Old Book Town enthusiast, even came to stop by!
Connie & Elly also become a valuable part of the AIR 3331 community of artists joining us in December 2018, including Yongwon Kim, Move Arts Japan's Anna McMahon and Yuyen Lin-Woywod, and Shinya Ishida, a resident artist collaborating with 3331's toy exchange project "Kaekko".
Now that Connie & Elly are back in their respective bases of London and Hong Kong, they are in the process of making a book that collects the results of these projects. Stay tuned for updates of their final piece!

Follow in Connie & Elly's footsteps and bring your project to the heart of Tokyo!
AIR 3331 OPEN CALL is currently accepting applications for residencies between September 2, 2019 - May 31, 2020.
Apply here by June 5, 2019 >>>

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

3 creators, 3 projects: What you can do with a month (or three) in residency with AIR 3331 (Tokyo, Japan)

July 6, 2017 / Staff Blog

One draw of a self-initiated residency is the chance to work from scratch: from conceptualizing your project to doing hands-on exploration, and the final satisfaction of sharing your work -all with the added adventure of being in central Tokyo.

Here, the AIR 3331 residence program (run by the independent arts and community hub 3331 Arts Chiyoda) is a base for artists, curators and researchers from varied countries and practices. While playing host to such a wide array of people can be a challenge, it also makes space for unexpected encounters - the life source of creativity!

To go along with our current open call, let's take a look at how three creators achieved their projects:

Sunwoo Kim (Korea)
Residency length: 1 month

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Fresh to Tokyo, Sunwoo began wandering the streets for imagery. Returning to Nishikicho Studio at the end of the day, the influence of the area on his new work was immediate. Working towards presenting his work at the shared open studio, Sunwoo met other artists working in Tokyo and even joined local cultural events like Kanda Festival. Sunwoo capped his residency with an artist talk, connecting 3331 Arts Chiyoda with his work with Eulji Design Art Project in Seoul. But it didn't end in Japan! Talks with 3331 Arts Chiyoda director and artist, Masato Nakamura lead to further discussion in Seoul... might this be the start of an international collaboration?!

Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge (Canada)
Residency length: 2 months

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Evelyne dedicated her extra time in residency to not one, but three artwork series, which continue to develop today! Enlisting the support of AIR 3331 to spread the word, Evelyne independently sought out participants for her video series "Les Attentes", which was filmed in Nishikicho Studio, among other countries. Between shoots, her out-of-studio exploration spread from the most humble corners of 3331 Arts Chiyoda's renovated school building, to the seemingly infinite train system, researching spaces and filling her notebook with maps and memos. In culmination, her open studio featured a window-facing video projection from the residence bedroom. To facilitate the interaction, AIR 3331 staff went door-to-door to neighboring businesses and residences to inform of the public presentation -the reaction to a room seemingly filling with water was unforgettable!

Fiona McGurk (Scotland)
Residency length: 3 months

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If your schedule allows, three months might be the best way to digs as deep as possible into the Tokyo art scene. There are numerous community events, exhibition receptions, an art fair and art festival held through 3331 Arts Chiyoda that change with the seasons.

After experimenting with her materials in Nishikicho Studio, Fiona rented extra space for a workshop inside 3331 Arts Chiyoda, where a diverse range of passers-by gather, each contributing bits of thoughts and words to her installation. As part of the Trans Arts Tokyo festival surrounding the residency in the Fall, Fiona opened her studio to the public, interacting with visitors. Finally, her in-studio exhibition caught the attention of community paper Gooddays, who chronicled her response to the local area.

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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)
*Limited openings between September 2017-November 2017 also available. Please inquire.
Deadline: August 20, 2017
Details: here

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3331 Lana

[AIR3331] June Happenings: Olympic Afterlife to Future Wonderland

June 19, 2015 / Open Residence / AIR3331

Thanks to our (very) recent addition to our residence space and ongoing open call for participants, our number of monthly creators-in-residence has jumped from two to five! AIR3331 will continue its mission to inject international perspective into the heart of Kanda, Tokyo through regular open studios, exhibitions and events. Here's how you can join us this June:

Jying Tan (Singapore) 6.01-6.28
Jean-Maxime Dufresne and Virginie Laganière (Canada) 6.01-6.28
Hakan Topal (USA) 6.15-7.10
Julia Mejnertsen (Denmark) 6.08-7.05


Future Wonderland
by Jying Tan


"Future Wonderland" explores the loss of a developed country in the midst of progression. An exploration of archival Tokyo cityscape photography and Japanese science fiction film will be used to explore this concept as it applies to the Tokyo metropolis.

Period: June 24 (Wed) - 27 (Sat), 2015
Hours: 10:00-17:00 * Open until noon on the 27th
Venue: AIR3331 Nishikichō Studio (Tokyo Chiyoda-ku, Kanda-Nishikicho 3-16 2F)
Free entry

[Open Studio]
Date: June 19, 2015
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Venue: AIR3331 Nishikichō Studio (Tokyo Chiyoda-ku, Kanda-Nishikicho 3-16 2F)
Free entry

Olympic Afterlife
by Jean-Maxime Dufresne & Virginie Laganière


Residency research focuses on narratives surrounding architectural sites of the Olympics held in 1964 and being staged for 2020 in Tokyo. Photography and video is presented in exploration of post-olympic uses, their daily life and maintenance, as well as the potential imaginary they hold for citizens through time and their entanglements with larger societal issues.

Period: June 8 (Mon) - 27 (Sat) 2015
Hours: 12:00-19:00
Venue: AIR3331 Soto-Kanda Studio (Room 205 in 3331 Arts Chiyoda)
Free Entry
Full listing here

[Open Studio & Artist Talk]
Date: June 25 (Thu) 2015
Time: 17:00 - 19:00 *Talk begins at 6PM
Venue: AIR3331 Soto-Kanda Studio (Room 205 in 3331 Arts Chiyoda)
Free entry

Search for me in plain sight
by Julia Mejnertsen

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Staged photography series surrounding the revelation that Tokyoites have a special ability to find a personal space anywhere in the city despite of - or perhaps rather as a result of - the size of the population. Let's not grow careless and blind, but let's keep looking for those people, who hide in plain sight.

[Open Studio]
Date: June 26 (Fri), 2015
Time: 18:00 - 19:00
Venue: AIR3331 Nishikichō Studio (Tokyo Chiyoda-ku, Kanda-Nishikicho 3-16 2F)
Free entry

*An exhibition will also be held from July 2-5. Please stay tuned for details.

Unrelated Matters
by Hakan Topal

Installation ongoing. Please stay tuned for details.

3331 History: The nostalgia of a Japanese school

October 3, 2014 / Staff Blog

Visitors from around the world have stumbled upon 3331 Arts Chiyoda, nestled in the Kanda neighborhood near Akihabara. While 3331 is an inclusive art center with ongoing exhibitions to peruse, the space functions as a base for cultural workshops and lectures as well. But the cultural experience does not stop there - visitors are sure to notice remnants of what was once a Japanese junior high school!

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When Rensei Junior High School closed its doors in March 2005, Chiyoda City was open to suggestions on how the building could be repurposed. By its opening in 2010, 3331 had filled the classrooms with art galleries, creative offices, a cafe and more. To this day, one can walk the halls and feel the creative energy of its tenants, while at the same time experiencing the nostalgia of the former school.

Depending on where you are from, some of the remaining school infrastructure might seem very distinct or even "Japanese". Let's take a tour!

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Just as one often changes from outdoor shoes into slippers when entering a home, Japanese students will place their outdoor shoes in these shoe boxes. At 3331, the boxes have been reused for mail and flyer displays, showcasing upcoming exhibitions and events in the area. Browsing the various designs and photographs can be fun in itself!
Speaking of shoes, the CUBE shop and gallery also offers "uwabaki", common indoor shoes students change into as part of their uniform. Here, they come in different colors and add a quirky and comfortable touch to any outfit.

The classic layout of the remaining classrooms can still be seen throughout the hallways. That is, two sets of sliding doors with a sign marking the classroom's designation. Why two doors? It seems to have allowed for easy exit in case of earthquake and fire - a serious concern in the past when classrooms accommodated large numbers of students.
These days, many doors have been remodeled as gallery windows but some interiors maintain a classroom feel with original wood flooring and chalkboards. School desks and chairs have also claimed new purposes throughout the building.

The school roof, made iconic in Japanese drama and anime as a place for love confessions, fights, skipping class and the like. In actuality, the school roof provides an outdoor recreation space in crowded cities like Tokyo. While the space still functions as a place for community sports and barbecues, it also hosts artisan markets as well as an organic gardening program. (Start your own garden!

Often said to remind visitors of their student days, these hallway sinks were once used for brushing teeth after lunch and rinsing hands after playing outside. Tenants are often seen filling their water filters and flower vases these days.

While Japan's birth rate is in decline and schools continue to close around the country, 3331 represents just one way in which community infrastructure can reanimate the local area as a creative hub. We invite you to freely explore the space for yourself!

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