Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Returning to the Tokyo theme sparked by the rediscovery of Ray Castle, let’s turn to the Nakaochiai Gallery in Shinjuku. Run by New Zealander Julia Barnes and Californian artist Clint Taniguchi, the gallery is on the ground floor of a traditional shop house. This one was originally a kakigori and okashiya shop (a place that served shaved ice deserts and cake) and although most of the old buildings in the area have gone, it still feels like a real community. Even the walk from Nakai station is an eye-opener, taking you past houses, stores, workshops and a large temple complex. The gallery opens out onto the street and is often used by artists for installations. Some of the rooms upstairs (tatami, sliding doors) are also used from time to time. Julia and Clint were in New Zealand over the holidays talking about possible exchanges of artists and ideas between NZ and Tokyo. One of their projects, the Instant Drawing Machine from the San Francisco based collaborative team, Crust and Dirt, is already slated for Barcelona and Melbourne.
Pictures Left: KazumasaNoguchi-Small Impact. Right: ChrisDuncan-PlayingFields