Where monday is on Sunday
11-18 November 2011
VILLA TOKYO is an international joint project involving ten European contemporary art galleries in cooperation with Japanese partners: the Taka Ishii Gallery, the Tomio Koyama Gallery and New Tokyo Contemporaries - an energetic association of seven contemporary art galleries In the heart of the Tokyo metropolis, in the developing Kyobashi area – a place with great potential to boost the artistic atmosphere – the galleries will share a building for a week-long program of exhibitions and many additional events: concerts, performances, screenings and formal and informal talks by Japanese and European artists and musicians.
VILLA TOKYO is another incarnation of the idea of the international gallery meetings initiated by the Raster Gallery from Warsaw. It is a site-specific project – wherever it transpires, it immerses itself curiously in its context. An essential element of the project is studying the art scene in each edition’s location and engagement with local partners and artists. The prime motive of the project is to gather artists and exhibitors so that they can actively and collectively contemplate different methods of presenting contemporary art. It is an attempt to create a friendly alternative to the primarily commercial atmosphere of art fairs, established as the natural habitat for gallery gatherings. VILLA TOKYO is driven by the desire to reveal the less obvious aspects of gallery work: its social dimension, flexibility and creativity, as well as its risk factor. In line with Villa’s tradition, rather than simply showing off what it knows and possesses, its main aim is to learn and to initiate various forms of stimulating international dialogue.
Villa Tokyo is a continuation of the previously organised Villa Warszawa (2006) and Villa Reykjavik (2010), both conceived and developed by Raster. In the summer of 2006 in Warsaw, ten galleries (the Foksal Gallery Foundation, the gb agency, Hotel, Daniel Hug, Ibid Projects, Jan Mot, Galeria Plan b, Raster and the Joclyn Wolff and Zero galleries) met in an abandoned villa in the city centre, a house owned by the eccentric amateur artist Antoni Moniuszko. Hidden behind wild shrubbery, the building was transformed into an extraordinary exhibition space. The few days of the project were filled with performances, spectacles and contemporary dance presentations, while the evenings were busy with mingling crowds of art professionals and art lovers. (see Villa Warsaw)
In the summer of 2010 in Reykjavik, 14 European galleries established an international art district called Villa Reykjavik. We witnessed a significant geographical shift with the focus on this one particular place on the map. Solo exhibitions or projects involving a few selected artists were organised. A range of private European galleries – from Vilnius and Warsaw to London and Reykjavík itself – made themselves at home next to each other, creating a place of meeting and confrontation. The first week of the international art district was very special – full of openings, concerts, performances, meetings and many other events. Each day had a meticulously planned agenda. The Icelandic part of the entire undertaking was in the hands of I8 and Kling & Bang from Reykjavík. One of the clubs in the city – Bakkus / Venue – became the club of Villa Reykjavík. This was the focal point where everybody had the chance to really interact, giving all the guests and participants in the project – gallery owners, curators, artists and the public – a chance to meet. (see Villa Reykjavik)
Villa Tokyo, located in the Kyobashi area, will consist of over a dozen solo presentations prepared by artists collaborating with the participating galleries. The exhibitions will be open to the public for a week. They will be accompanied by a series of special events, including the exhibition “Film” curated by Lukasz Ronduda from the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the art vending machine presented by the Witryna project from Warsaw who will join us in Tokyo with its special program, as well as events prepared by Japanese artists coordinated by New Tokyo Contemporaries. Performances, screenings, concerts and talks will constitute a program of events lasting a few days. (LINK for detailed information). All the exhibitions and events of Villa Tokyo are open to the public for free. At the same time, there will be a two-day project in Tokyo - artist talks and lectures prepared by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. See LINK for info.
Villa Tokyo was organized thanks to the support of many people and institutions in Europe and Japan. We are particularly grateful to our colleagues from the Tokyo galleries, who not only enthusiastically accepted our invitation for a common undertaking but were of immense help when managing the consequences of the dramatic nationwide trauma due to the tsunami disaster. The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, City of Warsaw.