▲●● TANA Gallery Bookshelf

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TANA Gallery Bookshelf
Founded in 2010, in the top-left corner of a bookshelf of Bigakko, a histroical alternative art school founded in 1969, in Kanda, Tokyo, TANA Gallery Bookshelf collaborates with artists to present site-specific exhibitions in its 85x30x15 centimeter space while organizing projects in other venues. Situated in the only and narrow corridor of the school, the gallery resides in an intimate but still semi-public space, facing random people passing there with varying attention.

Initially conceived as a micro-architectural answer to French philosopher Henri Lefebvre's idea that "new social relations demand a new space, and vice-versa," the modest space offers a node to improvise social fabric interwoven with artists, visitors and any linkable elements, mediated through each exhibition that changes its shape along with the exhibiting artist's concept.

The mission of TANA Gallery Bookshelf is to provide a site for art not distorted by two major demands in the local art scene, namely, plausible marketism (financially very weak but conceptually too strong, thus causing benefitless marketing) and, more importantly, art-critic/historian functionalism that rushes to capture diversity and indeterminacy of ongoing activities and (mis)represent them into pre-determined contexts and narratives. We respect fundamental autonomy of art.

The gallery space is often described "small" (or, counterfactually, "smallest in Tokyo"), but we're not selling the idea of smallness associated with Tokyo. The spatial limitaion is not a novelty. Neither does it suppose an alternative to the conventional white cube gallery space. Rather in a "just enough" size, the gallery is designed to expose static and ephemeral spatial conditions, which can be found everywhere but loosely disregarded, and encourage artists to revisit their own creative identity and distil it into an exhibition with an unusual, still coherent output.

- The exhibition venue is usually unmanned, just on display in the school building during its opening hours. If you want attendance of the exhibiting artist or our gallery staff, please join the opening reception or related events, or contact us in advance.

M. Tamura (director)
M. Kaido (photographer)

TANA Gallery Bookshelf
Chiyoda, Kanda Jinbocho, 2 Chome-20, Daini Fuji Building