3331 Arts Chiyoda is a unique community-based multidisciplinary arts center.
It used to be a junior high school but in 2010 the place got redesigned and was converted into exhibitions galleries, workshop facilities, art studios and creative spaces that bring together cutting edge art with the familiar everyday. People of all ages and disciplines, who have an interest in the arts can join 3331.
The small park at the entrance was also refurbished and it’s a great space to hang out.
Right at the entrance of the building there’s a deck where associated artist Hibino Katsuhiko is currently presenting the project “Asatte Asagao Project”, growing morning-glory plants from the deck up to the rooftop. (Katsuhiko was the Artistic Director behind Roppongi Art Night 2013. You can see photos of this event here: http://wp.me/p33tXq-9M). The project involves community gardening and it was a pretty awesome welcome to first time visitors like me.
3331 CHD is also offering small vegetable plots on the school’s rooftop for locals. If you live nearby, check it out!
Having 3 floors above ground and one below, the art space consists of galleries and academic institutions that hold exhibitions, lectures and various events, as well as sharing studios (they have a residence program), offering an open space for people who are involved in artistic and cultural activities.
The main floor has a wide range of spaces for events and exhibition that the visitor can enjoy for free.
I loved the “Kaeru Station”, an open space devoted to the “kaekko” project of artist Hiroshi Fuji where children may exchange their unwanted toys and use them as materials for their own creative activities.
(Find more info about Hiroshi Fuji here: http://www.azito-art.com/topics/exhibition/hiroshi-fuji-where-have-all-these-toys-come-from-at-3331-arts-chiyoda.html)
While walking throughout the arts centre you can feel the new creative energy which makes up 3331 CHD and find pieces of the school that inhabited these walls. The sinks in the hallways, the lockers, even the bathrooms at the upper floors have been kept as they were before…懐かしい!
Once you finished walking around, you can have a lovely break at “Food Lab 3331”, located in the main floor, a very cool café which also holds various events including exhibitions and collaborations with food experts.
3331 CHD is definitely a new and active space where people of all backgrounds and interests are able to come together in a creative environment.
The origin of 3331: The name “3331″ stands for the traditional Edo Ippon Tejime-handclap translated into numbers. This traditional custom, 3 sets of 3 hand claps plus one clap at the end, has been used when people want to show their appreciation since the Edo period.
I’d like to thank 3331 CHD ’s staff that kindly let me shoot inside their beautiful art centre… ありがとうございます!!