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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007

ART BRIEF

"SALON — Art Lounge"


Mado Lounge, Mori Hills 52F

Tis the season after all, and art loves a party. But with whom? Event organizers Art Lounge think with anyone creative. Founded this year, the group looks to bring together Tokyo's often isolated creative communities — the fashion, design, music, architecture and art worlds — in ephemeral exhibitions at the city's trend-setting clubs. So far they've presented works by modern nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist Fuyuko Matsui and French 1950s S&M photographer Pierre Molinier at Aoyama's La Baron and French video art collective Colcoz at Roppongi Hill's Mado Lounge.

This coming Sunday night, they'll be giving the Mado Lounge (www.ma-do.jp) on Mori Tower's 52nd floor over to gallerist Shinji Nanzuka, who will install works by veteran painter Keiichi Tanami (currently showing in Nanzuka's Shibuya gallery; www.nug.jp), young artist Hiroki Tsukuda and designer/DJ Alexander Gelman. Other DJs spinning from 9 p.m. till late include DE DE MOUSE, Traks Boys and Fran-Key, and the band Ill — which contains former members of Supercar — will also play a live set.

Philippe Codognet of Art Lounge, who came to Tokyo four years ago with the French Embassy and is now a Keio University professor, is hoping to re-create some of the scene he knows from his home town of Paris, where people from different creative disciplines often mingle at each other's events. He and his partner in Art Lounge, Hiroko Fukunaga, an independent event organizer, find such crossover lacking in Tokyo, though they understand why. "In Japan, you don't have a Hegelian tradition of art as a continuation of philosophy, art as an intellectual endeavor. There are applied arts instead, so craftsmanship is put very high, and practitioners are recognized as Important Cultural Properties," says Codognet, "whereas in the West, artists are the stars." As art openings here can be tame by comparison, Art Lounge looks to turn things around by giving artists their own night and putting hot contemporary works in the mixed club scene. If you like art and a party, then "SALON — Art Lounge" is your Christmas present.



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