After visiting the Tokyo Wonder Site (TWS) Shibuya, Hiroyuki Matsukage and Sayaka Toda went to the TWS residency in Sumida ward. This is a facility where creators who are involved in art fields like design, music and architecture from all over the world can stay and work on their production or research. Minori Kuroda, manager at the TWS gives a tour of the facility.
The entrance of the TWS on the first floor
Kuroda: At the TWS residency, there are 12 rooms where you can stay, a large and a small studio, and a library. This is a room for two.
Toda: Wow, it’s spacious and clean.
Kuroda: It just opened in the fall of 2014.
Matsukage: Residential facilities tend to be renovated old buildings such as abandoned schools, but this one looks just like an apartment building.
Kuroda: Actually, this is a regular apartment building part of which the TWS is renting. So there are regular people living in other rooms.
Matsukage: I see. So it doesn’t suit artists whose work produces large sounds, like building 3D structures.
Toda: But it’s good for artists who deal with 2D stuff and visual things.
Matsukage: You’re right. Those who require a quiet environment would love this place.
On the day of their visit (November 14, 2-15), “Open Studio 2015-2016/November” was being held, where creators residing at the TWS (artists and musicians) displayed their work.
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, a product designer from England, presented his collaboration with Edo Cut Glass craftsmen. Lys Villalba, an architect from Spain, who had done research on buildings included in a book called Made in Tokyo, written by Atelier Bow-Wow (a Japanese architecture firm founded by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kajima), reported on how Tokyo has changed in the 15 years since the publication.
Presentation by Oliver Beer
Displayed documents related to works by Natale Adgnot. She is pursuing metaphor between crystallization and personality development.
Photograph by Hiroyuki Matsukage
Matsukage: I got to hear interesting stories. I was especially interested in Oliver Beer from England.
Toda: He is the one who does sculpture and image.
Matsukage: Yes. Everything he does is unique. The one where he took off the floor of an old woman’s house is wild.
Toda: I agree. I only saw pictures, but I was struck by it.
Works by Aleix Plademunt
Works by Raul Walch
Matsukage: I really want to see the real thing. By the way, are you interested in artists-in-residency?
Toda: Of course, yes. I want to go to Berlin and work there.
Matsukage: Things are less expensive there, including rent. Especially in former East Germany, you can rent an atelier with a high ceiling for just a few hundred dollars a month.
Toda: In addition to that, there are a lot of art related events in Berlin where you can see a lot of works by different artists. Artists gather from all over the world and I want to live in such an environment.
Matsukage: There are two kinds of artists. Those that change their styles when they go abroad, and those who do not get influenced. Which do you think you are?
Toda: I think I would completely change what I make.
Matsukage: Is that right? Motif and materials that you use would change too?
Toda: My works are a combination of the senses I feel in Japan and the information that I get. Therefore, if I go to a foreign place, my works will inevitably change. I will be creating completely different things.
Reporter: Where would you want to go, Mr. Matsukage?
Matsukage: Mars. I want to go beyond the earth. I’m just joking, but I really do not have any specific place I want to go. I don’t think I can create my work abroad. Especially, my political works are only possible because I’m in Japan. Now, Ms. Toda, you are really sure your works will change if you go abroad.
Toda: Absolutely sure.
Matsukage: Then, you should go.
Toda: Most definitely.