March, 2010

Art is essential to society, providing people with time to reflect on and make new discoveries in their daily lives. We respect diversity of expression and thought at the core of art and culture, and we are aiming to demonstrate the important role it plays in society. We are also seeking to link through our activities the regional and the international, traditional culture and contemporary art – aspects of society that appear to be diverging – by creating a place where diversity and exchange can be accepted naturally. While supporting the creative expression of artists who are dedicated to their practice, we hope to contribute, as a member of a local community, to the formation of an open society through a range of art activities. We are working to promote regional communities and international exchange to the world through art and cultural activities from the city of Tokyo, Japan. We hope to have your support and cooperation in our future quest.

Youkobo Art Space
Hiroko and Tatsuhiko Murata

Outline of the Youkobo Art Space's Activities

The building where Youkobo Art Space is carrying out its non-profit activities in the Suginami area of Tokyo was, until the 1970s, a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Serving first as a creative studio and space for art education with the title ‘Studio Youkobo’, Youkobo first started its trial as a metropolitan Artist-In- Residence (AIR) in 1989 when it hosted overseas artists and architects who were supported by the Matsumae Foundation. In 2001, the facility housing two art studios, a gallery space, two long-term residency spaces, and a community lounge and office was reformed and re-opened as ‘Youkobo Art Space’, a place providing opportunities for young motivated domestic and overseas artists to create and exhibit new work, and for dialogue and exchange through art.

While working positively to develop art activities based in the local community, we also provide a place that promotes cross-cultural understanding and a broad range of international exchange. Making serious efforts to develop as an art space, Youkobo became a member of Res Artis, a worldwide network of art residencies based in Holland, and began to proactively organize exchange activities with a wide spectrum of overseas artists and AIR centers. The organizational structure of Youkobo consists of two co-directors, a team of supporters (five advisors, one full-time staff, four part-time staff, and one intern from overseas), and an accounting auditor. It is this small-scale organization that is earnestly developing its activities.