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Artists capture Kiyosumi Shirakawa from many different angles

MOT Satellite 2017 Spring – By the Deep Rivers

Event Report

No.012
Fukagawa Shiryokan Dori street

Kiyosumi Shirakawa is an up-and-coming area of Tokyo where the streets are full of the “old Tokyo” feel, and many new contemporary art galleries and much-talked-about cafes are opening up. The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) opened its doors in this neighborhood a little over 20 years ago. While it is currently closed for renovation, it has gone out into its community to launch its very first art project.


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2017.01.13

An area that emerges from multiple viewpoints

As soon as we climbed out from the Kiyosumi Shirakawa subway station to the ground level, we saw a sign for “MOT Satellite”! At the Kiyosumi Shirakawa Genzai Shiryokan, a space run by a designer unit called “mi-ri meter,” multiple monitors were showing video interviews of people of different ages and from different areas, including those who live in this neighborhood and those who don’t, sharing their thoughts about Kiyosumi Shirakawa.

Words and text related to Kiyosumi Shirakawa

Many noren (flat, curtain-like dividers often placed above store entrances) flutter in the front eaves of the stores that line Fukagawa Shiryokan Dori street. This is also one of the pieces for this project. Poet Kanie Hana wrote verses that make us think of the local history and collections stored at MOT, and designer Daijiro Ohara created the text for them, which he arranged on the noren (which were displayed in 17 locations during the exhibition).

Take a break with some art and coffee

We arrived at an area lined with popular cafes. At ARISE ROASTERS, we had a cup of coffee while enjoying the work of Kanie Naha and Daijiro Ohara, and paintings by Shinpei Kusanagi.

The past and future that emerge from the present city

The exhibition by Taiji Matsue held on the first floor of an old print shop displayed aerial and panoramic photographs taken of the area spanning from Shinkiba to Kiyosumi Shirakawa.

The exhibition by Yuki Iiyama + remo (nonprofit organization Record, Expression and Medium Organization) included a video showing the city streets and people’s lifestyles of the old days.

After getting off at Kiyosumi Shirakawa station, we spent about two hours experiencing the time flowing by peacefully in this area that, while containing a cutting-edge culture, still retains an air of old Tokyo.

Kiyosumi Shirakawa Genzai Shiryokan was set up in an empty space that used to be a candy store.
Showing people being interviewed about Kiyosumi Shirakawa.
The words on the noren that hangs at Tamaki-ya (a kimono shop), if read backwards, are a poem by Matsuo Basho.
Taiji Matsue (2017)
Aerial photograph of the Kiyosumi Shirakawa neighborhood.
At the entrance of ARISE COFFEE ROASTERS hangs a noren by Kanie Naha and Daijiro Ohara.
Yuki Iiyama’s Kao (“face”), for which she draws a face that is projected onto the table. The booklet placed on a stand entitled Ato o Ou (“chasing after”) is one of the pieces created by remo (nonprofit organization Record, Expression and Medium Organization).

The Japanese text was written by Emi Sato.

INFORMATION

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (currently closed)

MOT has been closed since May 30, 2016 for a major renovation. For information during the museum’s closure, please go to its official website and Twitter page.