3331 Arts Chiyoda is a hub for arts and culture of Japan and East Asia, introducing cutting edge art to everyday life. They will curate periodic exhibitions and host projects where hotel guests and artists could meet at NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO. We asked Masato Nakamura, supervising director at 3331, how experiencing art inside the hotel would change our everyday life and point of view toward the city.
In general, contemporary art defines a broader range of art form when compared to other genres. From conceptual to concrete, it embraces a tremendous diversity. Mr. Nakamura, who also curates artists and their works at NOHGA HOTEL UENO TOKYO, affirmed that hotels are ideal to promote up-and-coming artists' fresh concepts.
"It is easy to match each artist's artistry to the hotel space. As a matter of fact, an artist who has had the opportunity to exhibit his works at NOHGA HOTEL UENO TOKYO told me he was highly motivated by the exhibition space itself, leading him to challenge new styles. I appreciate this wonderful opportunity to present art at such a hotel."
Averagely, for Japanese people, art is thought to be something seen on special occasions and kept distant from daily life. But at places like hotels, where viewers are able to access art with an open heart, the experience affects the viewers' senses even after they return to their daily routines.
"Not only from art, it is important to experience the sensorial process from day-to-day subjects. The more you sense, the more you become open-minded and accept the reality in front of you. A generous environment is necessary to nurture such a heart.
An artwork with a strong message has the power to vitalize the entire exhibition space. I hope that visitors who encounter art at a very generous place like NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO will become more aware of their sensorial experiences and engrave it to their heart."
When we asked Mr.Nakamura, who is also an artist himself, what is necessary for a sensorial experience, he replied with what seemed to be his principles when emitting message to the society through his works.
"There are three steps -sensing the entire exhibition space first, examining and perceiving the details, then at last, perceiving the artist's philosophy. This could not be realized just by watching the artwork. The viewer must be put into a situation where he/she could consider the art carefully and start an image association game.
Art has the possibility to trigger an image association game, or even affect the game process itself. Human imagination is much abundant and intuitive than reality. I believe the charm of art is evoked when it guides the transformation of imagination."
Akihabara is indeed a multi-faceted city. There are various points where visitors start and transform their imagination. Through art, it is possible to break down stereotypes of the city and guide them to new ways of perception.
"If an image association game starts at NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO, it may be a hint to reveal the unique complexity of the city. Although seeing the same subject, visitors may conceive it differently after the game."
The relationship between Akihabara and Mr.Nakamura dates back before 3331's opening in 2010, in the late 1990s. Akihabara TV(*1), a site-specific video art project in collaboration with his own artistic organization Command N and local home electronics stores, is one of the symbolic events to note.
"Art combining history and culture of the city's resources and artist's concept makes us realize we exist upon the accumulation of it. Only those who discover the artist's message could step forward to a new world. The true delight awaits for those who nurture their sensation and open their hearts."
3331's positive relationship with local residents is true to their policy since establishment, being open to the local society. Their similar attitude with NOHGA HOTEL is one of the reasons of collaboration.
"Consciousness toward the place is nurtured from a remarkable experience at that place. We offer various programs beside art exhibitions. Some examples are the annual morning glory seed planting at the 3331 garden, or 'Kaeru Station', a toy exchange project for children. The more you spend time with local people, the closer they are involved with our facility."
Like 3331, NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO's mission is to become a place where cutting edge arts and culture pleasantly coexist with local activities. "This could not happen within a short period of time, nobody could tell the results," says Mr.Nakamura, who was rejoicing the first blooming of a cherry flower tree with a neighborhood resident who walked by before the interview. This episode reveals the human connection between 3331 and the neighborhood.
"3331 aims to become an intriguing place for both neighborhood residents and sightseeing visitors. I wish the same to NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO, to be one of the representatives of the city -this is why we are supporting them through art."
Hotels are ultimate places to encounter art for guests who seek special experience. Among them, the discoveries deriving from art experience combining the essence of the city where a hotel is located, will leave behind a strong aftereffect for sure.
(*1) Akihabara TV
An international video art festival which took place at Akihabara Electronic Town in 1999, 2000, and 2002. Taking over approximately 740 monitors at 32 stores, which usually shows television shows, they restlessly showed short films created by artists across the globe throughout the period. The project was acclaimed to transform an everyday scenery into an artistic exhibition.