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Sep. 2, 2011
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Modern art exhibitor booths create “Shin Minatomura – A Small City for the Future”
 
On August 6, a new project called “Shin Minatomura” (New Harbor Town) opened at the Shinko Pier in Yokohama’s Naka Ward, bringing together a variety of artist groups to create a “temporary studio block.” Organized by BankART1929 as one of its experimental programs to encourage creation in the arts, this project is subtitled “A Small City for the Future.” The project is also organized as a special tie-up program with the Yokohama Triennale 2011 arts festival and will run until the closing date of the Triennale on November 6. There is an admission fee of 300 yen that includes the cost of a pamphlet that visitors will receive providing information about the participating artists and serving as a “passport” that enables multiple free visits to the venue through Nov. 6 (however, the cost of admission for some performances will be separate).
The Shinko Pier building that serves as the venue provides a vast space with floor area of 4,400 square meters. It is divided into four distinct sections (A, B, C, D) that are interlinked to form a small cityscape in which the exhibitors’ booths take the form of homes, schools, a zoo, boutiques and more. At the main entrance visitors receive their “passport” and a map to guide them as they explore the small city. In section A visitors find a booth created by the Mikan group that includes an UNDER35 Gallery, a studio for refashioning used clothes, etc., and there is a “Super School” art workshop for small groups of visitors (director: Makoto Tamura). The individual booths are roofless and there is an overhead walkway between the booths and the high ceiling of the building where visitors can look down on the exhibits from above.
In section B visitors will find a tightly packed group of booths take the forms of things like a metal workshop, a post office, beauty salons and food stands. Passing through its streets leads the visitors to section C, where they will find pseudo public facilities including a Shin Minatomura Gallery, a Shin Minatomura Theater and a library (planned). At the gallery will be an exhibition titled “Hachinohe Review” featuring the works of Hachinohe photographers and citizen photos. At the “HH Gallery” visitors will find an exhibition of works by Francis Shingo. The theater will present a Kazuo Ono Festival from Sept. 30 with performances of works by the late Butoh artist.
In section D visitors will see studio booths by architect Boo Hakjoo and the architectural office SPACESPACE as well as a “public square” with sofas and a cafe where visitors can relax. From there you can proceed outside the building to a terrace looking out on the water of the harbor.
On the opening day, August 6, there was an opening ceremony and party attended by some 200 guests. The booths will contain incomplete works in progress at some points and there will be changes in exhibitions during the project’s run, so visitors will probably want to make more than one visit and watch the project’s progress. On the weekends there will be a varied schedule of music, dance and theater performances. Visitors can also take advantage of a special Yokohama Triennale tie-up ticket (General admission: 1,800 yen on day of purchase).
+Shin Minatomura
http://shinminatomura.com/en/index.html
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