Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/08/12 Design Festa, Harajuku

Continuing our express tour of Tokyo, Gary, G.A, Taina and I headed up to Harajuku to see a few more attractions that I had missed on my first visit. I was still looking for contemporary art. Design Festa is a gallery run by local artists, where temporary shows are shown in small quarters. The exterior of the building illustrates the bohemian nature of the art.

20070812_DesignFesta_southeast.jpg

The entry is certainly welcoming to visitors.

20070812_DesignFesta_entry.jpg

The gallery is a warren of small rooms — most smaller than children’s bedrooms — on two floors. A 3-D model on the wall clarifies the layout, which is hardly necessary in the packed building.

20070812_DesignFesta_layout.jpg

I like contemporary, conceptual art, and we certainly had it here. These pieces were probably in the largest room of the gallery.

20070812_DesignFesta_sculpture_GM_GAS.jpg

Other rooms were so small that two people would represent a crowd.

20070812_DesignFesta_chair-tv_TT.jpg

Paper arts are popular in a gallery of this scale.

20070812_DesignFesta_prints.jpg

The pieces didn’t have price tags on them. In fact, many of the exhibits, such as these postcards, encouraged visitors to take them for free.

20070812_DesignFesta_cards_TT.jpg

Continuing upstairs, the walls are covered with a riot of colour.

20070812_DesignFesta_stairs_lower.jpg

The top floor leads to a narrow balcony.

20070812_DesignFesta_stairs_upper.jpg

The gallery is open from mid-morning through the evening. As a way for visiting artists to stretch their funds, they’re permitted to camp out in the rooms overnight.

20070812_DesignFesta_artist.jpg

I enjoyed the visit to Design Festa. I’m always interested in working artists — particularly those starting out, before they become famous. Design Festa provides a centre for the less-than-famous to exhibit their work, and develop their craft.

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