3331 Arts Chiyoda

Artist: Nakamura Masati
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year of completion: 2010
Researcher: Li Pan

Located in a renovated junior high school in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo, 3331 Arts Chiyoda offers a new kind of artistic space. The name 3331 is derived from a folk blessing ceremony in the Edo period of Japan, conveying the idea that “arts make our lives better.

As a public space, this building allows citizens to enter freely. People, especially children and elderly people, can study and find entertainment here. The building’s four floors contain galleries, offices, a café, and restaurants. Many events and exhibitions are held in this building, including workshops and dialogues about art. A special park is located next door. The building is considered a basic city facility, built after the Great Kanto earthquake; therefore, it is also seen as a refuge for avoiding nature hazards.

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Nakamura Masato, a professor at the Fine Arts College of the Tokyo University of the Arts, initiated this project in 2009. He is a modern artist who pays attention to the contemporary elements in daily life. He is also good at incorporating the symbols from pop culture into his artworks. In recent years, he has become concerned about arts education issues, and gives suggestions for traditional education methods and approaches. His thoughts on this topic led to the process of creating this facility, a place that can bring his ideas into form.

In the first year of 3331’s operation, Nakamura Masato received the Awards of Science Minister Prize 2010 for launching a unique public arts activity as an artist and stimulating citizens’ life activities. In 2012 this building was honored with the Awards of Japanese Architecture Academy Prize.

Nowadays, the relationship between public art and society in Japan is becoming more and more close to people’s daily life. Especially since the 3/11 earthquake, the concept and the society mode which surround the relationship between the natural environment and public art has become a new topic in Japan. Increasingly the power of art is used to stimulate the plans of place remaking and place development.

The 3331 art center has a huge impact in Japan and in other countries. More than 560,000 people have visited this place since it opened in 2010. A third of the visitors have come from outside of Tokyo. By 2012, this building had successfully held 12 mega-events, including culture and sports events, family events, and different theme-workshops such as flower arrangement and artistic paper cutting. Meanwhile, this building also offers younger artists a location for holding exhibitions. Worth mentioning also is a specific event in which disabled people work together with artists and create artworks. This event has already been held three times within the years 2011 and 2012. This arts center also founded the Chiyoda Arts Festival, which offers a space of creative freedom for participants.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency