In Tennoz Isle, also known as “a locale of art”, you can experience all forms of “aesthetics'' every day.
We often hold collaborative events that connect the various artistic locations along the riverside.
On April 24 (Sat), PIGMENT TOKYO with WHAT (a collector's museum), and WHAT CAFE (an art cafe), held a collaborative event called "Family Art Tour in Tennoz!".
Here’s an overview of the tour.
In the morning, we visited WHAT and the Archi-Depot.
WHAT is a combination of arts and cultural facilities that aims to open up the valuable art assets managed by Warehouse TERRADA from collectors to the public and make their value and appeal widely.
In May, WHAT held an exhibition called "-Inside the Collector's Vault, vol. 1 - Unveiling the Collection," which allows visitors to view the collections of two contemporary art collectors, Ryutaro Takahashi and Mr. A.
Mr. Nakahashi, the curator of WHAT, was giving the visitors a brief review of the exhibition.
The concept of the show is about "interactive viewing," in which visitors could appreciate the artworks through conversation, transcending the boundaries between museum staff and audiences; adults and children. For example, by asking questions such as “What is this painting trying to say?” “What kind of art material is it used for?” “What’s the metaphor behind the figures?” etc.
Alexander Makoto Nakahashi, the curator of WHAT.
We started the day by having a look at "Mt. Wudang" by Aki Kondo.
In front of the huge painting painted with powerful strokes, the viewers can feel the overwhelming sense flowing into their bodies and some of the visitors started to share their own stories as if they were looking at a storybook.
“Look! There’s something drawn over here in the painting!” “Here too!” “I wonder what kind of message it’s trying to send?”
Audiences were fascinated by finding different motifs and figures in the painting.
After viewing the works on the first floor, we moved on to the second floor.
The "Obsession - Portrait of a Collector" 《xxxx》 is an artwork by Sho Nozawa, sitting in the center of the gallery space, looks like a guardian deity watching over the exhibition.
The human figure that appears in the work is an art collector and his name is Ryutaro Takahashi.
While Mr.Nakahashi was giving us a brief explanation about the artworks, some of the children were staring at him and the painting. And this kind of scenery makes you wonder, what kind of "conversation" are they having with Ryutaro Takahashi and the artist?
Therefore, when it comes to art, heart-to-heart conversation like this does not necessarily involve languages and I think this is one of the most important forms of communication in understanding artworks.
A young visitor staring at the drawing of Ryutaro Takahashi.
Next up is "Stroke of Brush of of Genocide" by Kazuki Umezawa.
This collage work combines and includes several motifs that are inspired by anime, games, and subcultures.
While enjoying Umezawa’s work, we can hear voices like "I know this game! " "I recognise that anime character!" etc.t, it’s quite interesting to see how the visitors react and discuss their discoveries compared to the reaction from the previous works.
Even for me, I wonder what and how this work looked like to children who have been exposed to smartphones and video games for as long as they can remember.
Curator Nakahashi explaining the concept of "Stroke of Brush of of Genocide”.
At the end of the tour, we got to take a look at a series of Yoshitomo Nara’s works from Mr. A's collection.
While enjoying the paintings, Nakahashi asked, "So, what do you think it is carrying on its back?" and we got some responses like "Is it a chessboard? " "A house?" "Or a box?”etc., to be honest, all of these could be right or wrong since the correct answer has never been clearly stated. Perhaps this is the exciting part of holding an interactive exhibition!
This is the floor where you get to see some of Yoshitomo Nara's works. As you can see, this is pretty impressive for Mr. A to have such a huge private collection.
After the tour in WHAT, we visited the "Architectural Model Storage" at the ARCHI-DEPOT.
Architectural models are often destroyed and disposed of because there is no room to store them, even though the process of building is as valuable as the structure itself. Therefore, Warehouse TERRADA decided to treat them as a form of "art" and developed a storage business.
On this floor, architectural models entrusted to ARCHI-DEPOT by architects and design firms are stored and displayed. Beyond this huge and elegant space, the visitors are amazed and drawn by those carefully exhibited models.
The young visitor seemed to have found something in the model.
After visiting the two exhibitions, we had some extra time to have a look at the artworks before taking the lunch break.
WHAT CAFE is an art spot in Tennoz Isle that aims to bring the appeal of contemporary art to as many people as possible and to support the emerging artists who will lead the future of the art world.
Having lunch while surrounded by contemporary art pieces is like having a fancy banquet for our senses and souls!
Partial view of the exhibition at WHAT CAFE
WHAT CAFE offers the following menu.
Pasta set with daily specials: 1,000 yen + 100 yen for lunch dessert
Furthermore, the WHAT CAFE barista's signature coffee is available from 400 yen.
* All the shown prices are tax included. This menu may have been changed.
After a two-hour lunch break, the PIGMENT TOKYO workshop "Making Crayons" began.
I’m sure everyone has touched or used a crayon at least once in their life, therefore, in this workshop, we taught our visitors to make their own crayons by using pigments of the three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow).
The workshop was based on a customized kit arranged by our PIGMENT TOKYO art material experts to make it easy for both adults and children to experience.
Young participant was earnestly looking at the workshop schedule.
Kei Saito as a full-time artist, also one of the PIGMENT TOKYO art material experts, will lead this workshop on crayon making.
First, we need to prepare the ingredients for the crayon by adding beeswax and auxiliary agent to a cup and heating it with a heater.
Please note that, if you messed up with the recipe, the crayon may not mix well with the pigment and couldn’t paint the color beautifully, so measure the amount of the ingredients carefully.
Beeswax, one of the main ingredients used to make crayons, is being added. The pigment is added to it afterwards.
>Next, with the help of three primary colors and white, you can create an infinite number of colors. We have also prepared a color recipe chart for both adults and children.
And this is how a melted crayon looks like. The marbling pattern is so beautiful.
Then, we need to observe how the beeswax melts and is blended with the pigments.
And this is how a melted crayon looks like. The marbling pattern is so beautiful.
While waiting for the crayon to fully melt into liquid, we asked the kids to use some oil clay to make molds for the melted crayon. It is so cute and funny seeing the moments when the adults were more focused on mold making than the kids, and there were times when the children gave advice to the parents. Perhaps this is fun part and heart-warning moment of the “ family workshops”.
Once the mold is complete, place it on a cookie sheet and pour in the melted crayon.
And here comes the fun part, will it work???
Pink is used for the piggy's nose!
And this one seems to be a green starfish!
As you can see, he used the three primary colors and white to create the colors he wanted.
When the crayon is chilled and hardened, remove the clay mold from around it.
This workshop is full of fun activities, such as pouring different colors twice to make two different patterns or using ready-made silicone molds for making candy-like crayons.
However, remember to carefully remove the crayon from the clay so that it doesn't break during the process.
Ta-daa! Here are some of the final looks of our participants' works. They also look like sugar-coated cookies, but of course, they are just crayons.
Last but not least, Tennoz Isle plans to hold events that will allow you to take part and enjoy various art spots around.
Therefore, we’re looking forward to having you join us, enjoy and relax on this artsy island of Tokyo!