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Address: Kusano Building 1-6 Kiribayashi, Chikusa ku, Nagoya, Aichi
What kind of space do you imagine, when you hear the word gallery? Although it is a space for an artist to exhibit their works, and for us to view said works, it is never a space that can be completed only by this interaction. Opening the door, we can slip into the world of the non-every day, with peace and hushed tones of an art museum like an art museum. There are a great number of galleries dotted around Nagoya.
"Gallery Sawarabi" is in an alley, 5 minutes off the main street, close to Ikeshita station on the Higashiyama line in Nagoya. Sawarabi means young bracken sprouts. The gallery, which on the first floor of the building is a very open space, allowing passersby to view the works through the large windows facing the street. The gallery, opened nine years ago by Noriko Kaneko, and she chose the name "Sawarabi" as a means of expressing "to start from now”. Since then, she has mainly focused on obscure young artists, many of whom are still art school students or recent graduates, and offered her gallery as a place from which they can launch themselves onto the art world. Not all are fresh newbie’s though; several well established artists also exhibit a Sawarabi. Annually around 20 exhibitions are held, featuring works from 30 to 40 artists. The majority of the works are paintings, sculpture and solid piece works.
On my visit, the exhibition was work by Masaki Kojima, from Shizuoka prefecture. His works are all in bronze and iron, and focus on the theme of the circulation between life and death. In this exhibition, he manufactured and arranged the works so that pieces, and the space between them, were used to the maximum extent. Each work is not an independent piece, and neither are the artworks independent of the space in which they exist; all are interrelated. The bronze works, with their seemingly cold textures, bring life through the light falling down the passages, and seem to be emitting light by themselves.
This gallery, with its big windows, means that the changes in the natural elements, the cloudy days, rainy days, sunny days, all affect the space within. This seems to lend vigor to the imagination of artists, and the gallery becomes a completely different space for every exhibition. Ms. Kaneko believes that this is the ultimate charm of the gallery, how the artists alter the space with each installation.
Kusano Building 1-6 Kiribayashi, Chikusa ku, Nagoya, Aichi
Exit 2 from Ikeshita station, cross Hirokoji dori and walk east (towards Motoyama). First traffic lights turn right, then first road on your right.
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays