One of the pitfalls of the Tokyo art world is its diaspora. The galleries are spread far and wide. Though there are a handful of funky buildings containing several galleries, they themselves are located in areas far from each other. When exhibition openings clash often a hard choice has to be made, since rarely is it possible to visit more than one in a night. The New York gallery crawl experience of taking in a glut of places in an hour is a foreign world indeed.
However, with the opening of Musashino Art University’s Gallery αM space in Bakurocho, alongside young galleries like CASHI and other 2008 arrivals, Tokyo is in danger of achieving a real art town in a most unexpected place.
Bakurocho is located relatively close to Kanda and other convenient areas, and is also just round the corner from Akihabara and shitamachi. Littered with Showa Era architecture, the district is a far cry from the plush museums of Roppongi. However, with the galleries has come a clutch of cafes, making it a pleasant place to have a lazy lunch.
On a sunny summer afternoon, TABlog took a stroll in the area to investigate if art gallery flanerie is possible.
より大きな地図で Bakurocho map 1 を表示
より大きな地図で Bakurocho map 2 を表示
より大きな地図で Bakurocho map 3 を表示
より大きな地図で Bakurocho map 4 を表示
Gallery αM: opened in May 2009
Taro Nasu : moved from Roppongi, March 2008
Foil Gallery: also an art book publisher, since 2004
Radi-um: moved from Roppongi under a new name, March 2008
CASHI – Contemporary Art Shima: opened in 2008
Makii Masaru Fine Arts: just north of CASHI and Radi-um, since 2005
Gallery Hashimoto and Keumsan Gallery: since 2003
Zenshi: moved in June 2009
You can download a PDF map of the area’s art venues and recommended eateries here (Japanese only).
See this photo report of the closing of the old Roppongi building.
The July/August TAB Art Map also features CASHI and Gallery αM in its main article.