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Innovative Take on the Relationship between Art and the City Contemporary Art Gallery CADAN Yurakucho

Event Report

No.033
CADAN Yurakucho occupies a renovated space on the first floor of Yurakucho Building that once housed an apparel store.

CADAN Yurakucho is a contemporary art gallery that opened doors in a corner of one of Japan’s most vibrant business districts in July 2020. It is unusual to see a contemporary art gallery open at such a prime location, only a minute walk from JR Yurakucho Station and three minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Station, but a deeper look into the background of the gallery reveals a vision of Yurakucho of the future and a prospect for the relationship between art and the city going forward.

We spoke with Tomio Koyama, Representative Director of the Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon (CADAN), Yoriyuki Arimitsu of Mitsubishi Estate Company, Limited, who provided the opportunity for the creation of CADAN Yurakucho, and Atsushi Fukai of Culture Vision Japan.


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2020.11.25

The changing modalities of contemporary art galleries

CADAN Yurakucho is a contemporary art gallery that slightly differs from conventional galleries. Its most prominent feature is the management model, under which more than 40 galleries take turns holding exhibitions.

According to CADAN Representative Director Tomio Koyama, who is also the owner of Tomio Koyama Gallery, “Opening a gallery on the ground floor of a building that faces such a busy urban street is an entirely novel approach for a contemporary art gallery.”

CADAN is a non-profit organization composed of numerous contemporary art galleries. At CADAN Yurakucho, the member galleries take turns holding exhibitions for approximately three weeks each.

Why art in Yurakucho?

Behind the birth of an art gallery at such a prime location is Micro STARs Dev., a project to reconstruct Yurakucho implemented by Mitsubishi Estate Company, Limited. This project was launched as part of a larger plan for reconstruction of the districts of Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho. We spoke with Yoriyuki Arimitsu, Vice Manager of the Yurakucho Development Planning Office at Mitsubishi Estate.

“Yurakucho is home to theaters and art museums. The district offers deep insight into art and culture. Against this backdrop, we approached Culture Vision Japan (CVJ) with the idea to engage in art in earnest.”

CVJ is an organization that promotes cross-sector partnership between creators, government, industry and academia with the objective of building a comprehensive cultural platform. One of the projects that CVJ proposed after being approached by Mitsubishi Estate was to attract art galleries to the area. The concept behind this project was to invite not one but multiple contemporary art galleries that will share a venue and take turns holding exhibitions. This is how a unique art space was born in the heart of the business district Yurakucho.

Yurakucho is also a fashion area and home of a variety of designer stores and specialty boutiques. In recent years, however, the fashion industry is undergoing transformations caused by the expansion of online shopping. Perhaps the day is not far off when Yurakucho will be reborn as a new art district.

Tomio Koyama, Representative Director of the Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon (CADAN)
To commemorate the opening of CADAN Yurakucho, member galleries are participating in a four-part series of group exhibitions called “CADAN Showcase.” The curating gallery sets the theme for each exhibition, and selects works from about ten artists. This photo is from the first exhibition of the series, CADAN Showcase 01 NEWSPACE / NEWCOLLABORATION
curated by Tomoko Ashikawa (WAITINGROOM) (July 17 – August 9, 2020).
Atsushi Fukai of Culture Vision Japan (CVJ) (left) and Yoriyuki Arimitsu of Mitsubishi Estate Company, Limited (right) posing in front of the Yurakucho Art Sight Project, a collection of artworks on a temporary enclosure at the Shin-Kokusai Building. The project is part of Micro STARs Dev. The featured artwork is Yurakucho202004 (2020) by Kenryo Gu, a collage of multiple photographs taken from various buildings surrounding the Yurakucho district and combined into a single image using a unique technique.
CADAN Yurakucho, an exterior view from Marunouchi Naka-Dori Street

Japanese original text: Emi Sato
Photo: Yuta Hinohara

CADAN Yurakucho
Address: Yurakucho Building 1F, 1-10-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 070-6464-1438
Open: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. / Saturday, Sunday and national holidays 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed: Mondays (if a national holiday falls on Monday, the gallery is closed on the next workday)
https://cadan.org/en/cadan-yurakucho/