Taking advantage of a recent spur in urban regeneration, a redundant office building in Tokyo provided an opportunity for a new generation of street artists, painters and installation artists to exhibit their work to the public. During the interval between dereliction and demolition, the premises was occupied with the art intervention #BCTION.
Organised by the artist/musician MON (Koutarou Ouyama) and the photographer Joji Shimamoto, no fewer than seventy artists participated in the independent exhibition that took place over nine floors. Happening for about a month at a non-art space, the old fashioned ordinariness of the premises presented a chance to exploit its previous use. Some artists responded to this by using existing office furniture to install sculptures on, but most utilised the space by overwriting the walls with their iconography.
In a statement on their website, the name #BCTION was chosen to represent what follows the first action. Anticipating that many other buildings in the capital will be demolished to make way for the 2020 Olympics, the organisers hope that the DIY ethos that they adopted might be continued by other artists at other sites. They state:
“We believe that transforming condemned and vacant buildings in this urban “dead space” into “art space” will broaden opportunities for artists to take a more active role in society, offer more venues for creative expression, and even allow the art market to expand. We’ve opened “BCTION” with the hope that this idea might also take hold as a movement, and that similar projects will emerge throughout other cities in the world […]”
MON (Koutarou Ouyama) was born in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture (1979). The artist lives and works in Osaka and Tokyo.
Joji Shimamoto was born in Japan (1983). The artist lives and works in Tokyo.
©Nick West 2015