Do you know you can enjoy 109 sculptures by 92 international artists from 36 countries scattered around public area among hotel, department store, cinema, library, and office buildings in Tachikawa, Tokyo? In fact, I’ve been living in Tachikawa and passed by these arts many times. However, it was not until recently I learnt about the full scale of it. And I’m absolutely dying to share the fascinating information about it!!
Tachikawa is a city located approximately 40 km west of the center of Tokyo. Tachikawa Station is 26 minutes from Shinjuku Station and 41 minutes from Tokyo Station. It’s not that far away from the center of Tokyo and yet you can enjoy these awesome public arts walking around the city! Here is the map to FARET Tachikawa Art.
What is FARET Tachikawa Art?
This public art project is called FARET Tachikawa. First of all, here’s the explanation about it from the official site.
FARET Tachikawa, it is a town of 5.9 hectares including 11 buildings such as hotel, department store, cinema complex, library and office buildings, that was born on October 13, 1994 at the site of a former U.S. military base near the north exit of Tachikawa Station. The name of “FARET” is derived from the Italian word “fare” meaning “create”, added the letter “T” for Tachikawa to it. It received the City Planning Institute of Japan’s Planning and Design Award in 1994, and has been highly praised from the viewpoint of urban planning.
Read more about it here: https://www.faretart.jp/
Which artists’ work you can view?
109 sculptures are not only by Japanese artists but also by artists from all over the world! FARET Tachilawa Art is by 92 artists from 36 countries. Some of them have multiple works. Here is the link to view the artists and their work.
Unfortunately, the explanation about the artists and their works are in Japanese only on the official website. However, if you download FARET TACHIKAWA ART NAVI app, you have information available in different languages: Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese.
What is so fascination about FARET Tachikawa Art?
Art works by famous artists
I started to Google the artist and they are famous artists! For example, When I was researching about Marina Abramović, a Serbian performance artist, I instantly realized one of her work called “House with the Ocean View (2002)” looked very similar to what I saw in one of the episode of Sex and the City.
In the season 6 (2003) episode of Sex and the City called “One.” Carrie goes to an art gallery with Charlotte to see a performance piece where a woman lives on three platforms for 16 days without food nor privacy.
Marina did very similar performance and lived on three platforms in the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York for 12 days in 2002 without food nor privacy. She did not speak at all. Three platforms were open to public. So she was seen in her daily routine from sleeping, showering to using the toilet. The ladders leaning against three rooms were made of large butcher knives, so she had no escape.
I am a huge fan of Sex and the City and this fact has particularly made me feel closer to the artist and her work.
Her work for FARET Tachikawa is called “Black Dragon: for family use”. As you can see in the picture below, there are 15 pieces of crystal blocks on the wall that are part of performance art.
Undoubtedly, If I didn’t know this is an actual art, I would just thought they are random blocks on the wall. Whereas, now I know this is an art by Marina Abramović, whenever I pass by her work at FARET Tachikawa, it will also remind me of “House with the Ocean View (2002).”
Arts blending into your everyday life…
Secondly, what makes FARET Tachikawa Art so fascinating is that these arts blend so well into your everyday life, you hardly realize you are among 109 arts when you walk around the city. Yet, the arts make your everyday life “artful“!
For example, when you think of a sculpture art, you may expect a caption to explain about the artist and the work next to the art. However, you cannot find any information about the artist and the art next to the art for FARET Tachikawa Art. That’s probably why I didn’t realize they are actually arts by famous artists. Obviously, there is a reason for it! FARET Tachikawa Art has a concept of “The Town of Wonder & Discovery”, and that’s why there is no caption.
How can you find more information about FARET Tachikawa?
The concept of “The Town of Wonder & Discovery” is very fascinating. Nevertheless, to be honest, for some of the sculptures of FARET Tachikawa Art, it is particularly difficult to notice they are actually arts without any explanation. (After all, I’m not so art person!) Therefore, it would be so much more interesting if you learn more about the arts! Here are several ways you can do that.
App – FARET TACHIKAWA ART NAVI
Firstly, there is an app dedicated for FARET Tachikawa, called FARET TACHIKAWA ART NAVI. Check out this YouTube video.
It’s a free app you can download to your phone. It provides map and navigation feature to show where all the arts are and information you need about each art and the artist. In addition, it has gamification feature as well. So it makes you want to visit all 109 sculptures by visiting every single one and marking the ones you visit. I know I will. 🙂 Check out more information about the app here.
Secondly, there are free maps available in PDF format with pictures of all 109 sculptures and detail information about their locations and explanation. Nevertheless, these PDF files are mostly in Japanese so I recommend you download the app I introduced above for other languages: English, Korean, Chinese.
Guided Tour Program
Last but not least, if you are not so tech-savvy and don’t feel comfortable using an app, don’t worry. There is also traditional format of guided tour program for FARET Tachikawa Art available.
Members of a citizen volunteer group called “Faret Club” who is familiar with FARET Tachikawa Art provide guided tour for FARET Tachikawa Art.
Moreover, go to the following link to find out different types of tours and ways to book the tour. Guided tour is also provided in different languages. Please contact the group directly about more information.
I actually signed up to learn about how to be a volunteer myself to give guided tour. Therefore, maybe next time when you visit Tachikawa for FARET Tachikawa Art, I might be your tour guide. 🙂
- FARET Tachikawa Art Official Site https://en.faretart.jp/
- Faret Club Official Site (citizen volunteer group) https://www.faretclub1997.net/
Let me know if you want to find more about FARET Tachikawa Art! If you leave me a comment for any question or comment, I would be more than happy to give you more information. I look forward to hear back from you!!!
In conclusion, enjoy art!