Japan-based self-storage operator Warehouse Terrada Co. Ltd. has opened an art gallery at its facility in Tokyo’s bayside district of Tennozu Isle. The move is a precursor to a full art-complex development that will include rental studios and a residency program for foreign artists, as well as a store and cafe. The T-Art Village studios are scheduled to open in January 2015, while the store and cafe are slated to open in April, according to the source.
The storage company decided to build the art gallery and studios when it realized many of its tenants were storing works of art. “[We thought], if this is so, why not become an expert in art storage,” Masahiro Akimoto, managing executive officer, told the source.
The T-Art Gallery opened this summer with a viewing room, where dealers can showcase artist works, and a bonded room, in which dealers can review imported artwork before it is cleared by customs and assessed import duties.
In conjunction with the art complex, Terrada has also launched an art-rental service for tenants interested in bringing art into their homes and created the Terrada Art Award competition for contemporary artists.
For its inaugural competition this summer, Terrada received approximately 2,000 applications from artists between the ages of 18 and 35. Twenty entries were selected for the award exhibition, with eight receiving award recognition on Nov. 22. A panel of six judges awarded first place to college student Aru Sunaga for her painting titled “Mukogawa Kara,” which translates in English to “From the Other Side.”
Sunaga received ¥5 million in prize money and is eligible for a “year of support” from Warehouse Terrada. Akimoto told the source that details of the support will be decided later in consultation with the artist but could entail use of studio space for a year.
Founded in 1950, Warehouse Terrada was the first self-storage company to earn approval from the Japanese government, according to the source. Today, it operates several locations across the nation and offers specialized storage services for art, data and documents, film and audio archives, and wine.
- The Japan Times: Isnâ€™t It Time to Take Art Out of Storage?