What criteria does she use and how does she select artists?
Hagiwara Most are self-introduction by individual artists. I also visit graduation exhibitions at art universities and contact artists who have exhibited their works at overseas exhibitions and art fairs. The criteria for selection include not only the work itself, but also my consideration as to whether I can share the same attitude and sensibility as the artist toward the work.
Are artists (who want to exhibit) able to bring their portfolios? This must be a concern for the candidate artists. Ms. Hagiwara answered categorically.
Hagiwara I would recommend artists to exhibit their works in any way they can and asking people to come and see the work, rather than bringing in a portfolio. It is easier to convey what the artist wants to do if the actual work is on display for people to view it.
Before launching HAGIWARA PROJECTS on her own, Ms. Hagiwara was working for an art gallery in Tokyo. However, she gradually became aware of the need to become independent. A major trigger for her was the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Hagiwara At the time of the earthquake, I was at my place of work in Tokyo, and while the city was shaking violently, the thought crossed my mind that I might regret it if I died without doing what I wanted to do. At the art gallery where I used to work, 90% of the artists we handled were from overseas. At that point, I began to think about going independent and I also felt a growing desire to work with Japanese artists of my own generation.
Then, just two years later, in 2013, she achieved independence. More recently, in 2021, her gallery relocated, as was mentioned at the beginning of this article.
The current gallery space is also distinctive in that it is unpainted, with the bare wood grain walls. This creates a cool space.
Hagiwara Since this was a new start, I thought I would try something a little different. The floor of the current space is concrete, and I decided to give it a garage-like atmosphere, so I made the walls wood. It makes a very strong impression as a backdrop for artworks, doesn’t it? I chose this wall surface in the hope that artists would create works that would be as strong as the grain of the wood. I am satisfied with what I did, but it has been surprisingly difficult to maintain. Some of the artists have also struggled with these wooden walls. So, I am planning to whiten the walls in the near future.
So, if you want to see a wood grain gallery space, come along to HAGIWARA PROJECTS now.