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Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012

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Giving the arts a lift: An open studio will be held at Yokohama's Hammer-head Studio, a converted warehouse that is hosting almost 50 artists and artist groups for the next two years. It takes its name from a hammerhead crane that is situated nearby (top).

KANAGAWA

Hammer-Head studio to support young artists in Yokohama


Staff writer

Ever since 2002, when then-Yokohama mayor Hiroshi Nakada lit the fuse on his Creative City plan, Tokyo's southern neighbor has hosted a more-or-less unbroken series of cultural events that have leaped, Chinese firework-style, back and forth between the city's many hitherto-underutilized publicly owned buildings.

This week, the Shin-Minatoku warehouse, which is located on reclaimed land that juts into Yokohama Bay between Minatomirai district and Yamashita Park, comes to life with a celebration of young artists.

The artists in question have actually been given use of the warehouse for two years, through May 2014, and for this period it has been dubbed Hammer-Head Studio, after a giant, 98-year-old hammer-shaped crane that stands between the warehouse and the water. The artists were selected via an open application process and then allocated studio space within the cavernous warehouse at greatly subsidized rents.

What's special about this week is that they are throwing the doors open to the public, so we will all get a chance to see how the artists are making the most of this government largesse.

Painters such as Aya Takano and Shisei Hashimura and sculptors-cum-installation artists such as Risa Sato and Fumio Ohashi will be joined by others from different creative genres, such as fashion-cum-theater company Nibroll and architecture-centric unit PH Studio.

Open Hammer-Head Studio will be held from 1 p.m. till 7 p.m. daily from Sep 7 to 16. Admission is free. For more information, visit shinminatoku.bankart1929.com.


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