Friday, February 5, 2010

Kato Emiko (加藤恵美子) - Project-306 Exhibit - (2010/02)

 I walked into room 306 of the Okuno Building - first and foremost - with a sense of reverence for the space itself.  It was formerly occupied by a woman who (I'm told) worked and then lived there for the entire existence of the building - more than seven decades!  She died just over a year ago (at 100 years of age) as the last resident tenant of the building (now it's all either office space or art galleries).  The stories she must have had about living there through everything that happened in that time!  When the building was modern and new (with steam heat, beds that folded down from the walls, a sento in the basement, lounge on the sixth floor, etc.), through the war and the fire-bombing of Tokyo (when the rear of the concrete building suffered some slight fire damage - 306 is in the front of the building, BTW), through the postwar reconstruction, economic boom, and then as the building began to become largely an art gallery building.  I wish I could have talked to her about that history while she was still alive!

In any case, I've not yet introduced Kato Emiko (加藤恵美子)'s art exhibit!  But it's fitting to go into the history of the space, as Project-306, the group renting and preserving the space, is doing so out of respect for the former tenant (I don't remember her name - I'll try to write it down the next time I hear it!), the room & the building, and is as taken with the history of it as I am.
加藤恵美子 / Project-306

The photo above shows one of the group of photos laying on the floor that make up the exhibit - taken sitting on a windowsill in the room.  I wasn't able to meet and talk with the artist, but I've spoken with another member of the Project-306 group several times about the concept of the group.

[100724]: On the subject of the Okuno Building - here are a couple of other posts of mine regarding that fascinating building:

"20-78 - A Look Back in the Okuno Building"

"Ginza Okuno Building Details (July 20th 2010)"

Photos of the Ginza Okuno Building:
奥野ビル -

"Okuno Building - Quick Tour (June 16th, 2010)" (100616-1444)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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