Tokyo Art Beat is a non-profit organization that provides raw Tokyo art and design news through a bilingual site. They bring the Japanese art and design scene closer with services such as the Tokyo Art Map, which highlights more than fifty art and design events. TAB Talks is their newest project. The theme of this bilingual talk event, which usually takes place at 5TANDA SONIC, covers anything about people and topics relevant to Art and design.


I went to TAB Talks #11 “The Making of Towada art center” lectured by Nagata Tetsuyuki’s from Nanjo and Associates. Nagata has handled many exhibitions and modern public art projects. The Towada Art Center project in Aomori prefecture marked the biggest project Nagata has ever had. The city began the project in hopes of creating an attraction with Art. In this hour and a half lecture, he explained the concept, background, and process of the project from the director’s perspective.


The lecture had an intimate feel which allowed the participants to ask any kind of question from casual to serious. As the host, Tokyo Art Beat has a desire to “create a freer environment where every participant talks”. Like they said, this was that kind of relaxing event. After the lecture they gave the opportunity for up to five people to make a “30-second Pitch” about their work or current project. Participants could sign up to make the pitch before the lecture started. Following the pitch, was an open opportunity to lounge and have conversations with the lecturer and other participants.

Generally speaking, “It’s a small world!” Especially the Art world is surprisingly small. In the case of the Tokyo art world, it is a tiny plot. However, has there ever been this kind of friendly place to communicate thoughtfully in Tokyo? Tokyo Art Beat is still developing the event, but what they try to provide is that vital place of recreation for the creators. For those who are tired of that the Japanese art scene is typically about ten years behind the global art scene, can either go abroad, or now they can participate in TAB Talks to get excited about alternative opportunities to grow the art scene in Tokyo. The schedule of future TAB Talks are constantly updated on the Tokyo Art Beat website.

TAB Talks #11 “Making of Towada Art Center”
Guest: Tetsuyuki Nagata
Date: April 26th, 2008
Contact: Tokyo Art Beat

Text: Naoko Wowsugi
Translation: Naoko Wowsugi, Sam Boje
Photo: Yuki Nakayama

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.