Praxis of Alterspace

Words are the basis of ideas which can expand unlimitedly. It sometimes strike me at a flash of moment while walking, and daydreams may get bigger and bigger as a conversation goes on. The key is, how I can actually transform these ideas into practice. Asahi Art Square is the place which allowed my endeavour. For more than a year, I’ve visited many places, talked with many people, and expanded this virtual space called ‘Alterspace’ which did not have physical existence.
Until it happens in an actual space, there were times when the dreams collapsed as there were too much flood of ideas. But these ideas, like a travelling circus, or 4-dimensional pocket, will be able to be realised via ‘Alterspace’ at some point. This Project began and moved slowly much before, and even after Alterspace at Asahi Art Square ended, it will continuously and repetitively be migrating and parasitic in someone’s house or inside somebody’s bag. It will sometimes cross the ocean or transferred on paper. In a way or the other, it will connect diverse spaces, change space itself and leave for another space. That’s why I chose ‘Alter’-‘Space’ as the title. The advantage of this new concept is that anyone can start an art space instantly. The 1st series of ‘Alterspace’ consists of diverse events including an exhibition curated by myself, one-day exhibition by NAKAMURA Dokou, 12 months of paintings by KONDO Keiske, which is a new form of exhibition attempted by the artist himself, linguistic endeavour by NAGAOKA Daiske and finally a talk event and lecture series of guest speakers from Korea and China.
In the novel by Miyazawa Kenji “Kenju Forest Park”, the laughing Kenju thought it would be great to pant 700 Japan cedars. When he saw a hawk flying above the blue sky, he leaped up and clapped his hands to let the others know about the hawk. Kenju always laughed out loud whenever he encountered the beauty of the nature as he fully enjoyed it, but the kids treated him like a fool. After that, he just took a deep breath and hid his laughter in the breath.
What I would like to point out is that Kenju, even though people treated him like a fool when he responded the magnificence of the nature with laughter, actually planted 700 Japan cedar for real. When we face with the essence of a thing with sincere practices, even if we are treated like fools, that laughter of people is something that we can take gladly. I hope that the praxis of Alterspace can be like planting of 700 Japan cedars by Kenju. Even if the Japan cedars didn’t grow up tall, even if he cut all the branches by mistake, finally the 700 Japan cedars made a playground for kids. I hope that Alterspace can be a space of practice with manifold implications in the future.


"Alterspace" is aimed at constructing an art space which expands the concept of space for exhibitions and artistic researches, and which presents a space for continuous artistic thoughts and artistic activities. Alterspace, different from an alternative space or an established gallery or museum, creates constantly changing temporary art space not dependent on location or physical space. In other words, this is the first step for designing of an experimental post-alternative space.
This curation of project begins with the objectives to transform a space which can only used for limited duration of time for an exhibition into a temporary art space where constant exhibitions, discussions and experimentation are possible via parasitism of artistic activities, as well as to build up a flexible network of artists and alternative spaces overseas (mainly Asian countries).
During the period of 'Alterspace' at the Asahi Art Square, artists from Japan, Korea and China will be introduced, and the Talk Event among artists and critics from these 3 countries will be held.
As aforesaid, this is the first step to construct 'Alterspace'. Alterspace Project will stitch up diverse breaks, continuously be a parasite on other locations, and transform space itself and continued in the future.


Open Square Project 2014
Alterspace - Constantly Changing Temporary Art Space

Date: 11th January ~ 2nd February, 2014
Venue: Asahi Art Square Super Dry Hall 4F, 1-23-1, Azumabashi, Sumidaku Tokyo
Open: 15:00-21:30 Closed on Tuesday, 26th., Jan.
Entrance fee: Free
Organizer|Asahi Art Square
Sponsor|Asahi Breweries, Ltd.
Inquiries Asahi Art Square Tel. 090-9118-5171 E-mail aas@arts-npo.org

Introduction by Asahi Art Square

The "Open Square Project" opens up the creatively inspiring space of the Asahi Art Square to creative artists. By facilitating their encounter, the project aims to present new possibilities for both the artists and the Asahi Art Square.
The third of the series, "Alterspace - Constantly Changing Temporary Art Space" will be curated by Sayako MIZUTA, an independent curator, selected among distinguished applicants.
On this occasion, which will commence from the 11th day of January to the 2nd day of February, 2014, different kinds of spaces will be presented at the Asahi Art Square, for example, round table spaces where many people can congregate and spaces to appreciate works of art of artists from Asian countries.
The Asahi Art Square, for this project, will experience overall transformation of space design with the help of the Korean artist Daeil Lee, using cardboard procured in Japan and Korea.
An art exhibition, a video screening event as well as events fostering dialogue among independently working individuals in Japan, China and Korea will take place during this period.


Sayako Mizuta

She received a master’s degree in Arts Policy and Management in 2006 from Musashino Art University in Japan. From 2006 through 2008, she has worked as a chief assistant curator at Tokyo Wonder Site, an art center run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to promote and nurture new arts and culture. Since 2009, after finishing her services at Tokyo Wonder Site, she has been organizing exhibitions and art events, as well as writing exhibition reviews on a freelance. After being an independent curator, she has mainly focused on introducing emerging artists of her generation. In summer 2010, her exhibition proposal was accepted by the curatorial competition of the Aichi Triennale 2010, and international art festival hosted by Aichi prefecture in central Japan. The title of the exhibition was “Skin & Map: the study of body and sense by four artists” (2010). After winning the competition, she has curated the series of exhibitions, under the title of “Skin&MAP2: approaching memory and time" (2011), In addition, she also has curated the exhibition series, titled "Voyager in Voyager out vol.1-4"(2012). Since February 2011, she initiated and hosted an Internet-based TV show with artists and critics, called “comos-tv”, which mainly dealt with various issues relating to Japanese art museums and contemporary arts in Japan in the form of talk show among artists and art critics to provide deeper understandings of current art issues to the audience. In 2012, she was selected as one of art critics for an artist/critic-in-residence program of Gyeonggi Creation Center (GCC) in South Korea. During her 3-month stay in South Korea at GCC, she published a booklet, titled “Voyager in Voyager out in Korea” which include results her researches of Korean artists. She was again selected as participating critic of artist-in-residence program of Incheon Art Platform (IAP) in Korea, and continued her research on contemporary art in Korea. While staying in South Korea, she has also participated in various art activities and presented her researches in diverse forums and seminars organized by art communities in South Korea including Community Space LITMUS.