Kazuko Koike x Atsuki Kikuchi
Make What We Need: The Grass Roots of Contemporary Art and Design since the Late 1970s
Over the course of the 17 year-span from 1983 to 2000, Sagacho Exhibit Space organized numerous exhibitions and events at the renovated third floor of Saga-cho Shokuryo Building (completed in 1927) in the Saga neighborhood of Koto-ku in Tokyo. Directed by Kazuko Koike, the space was known as a pioneering alternative venue for artists who refused to conform to commercial pressures. Tokyo Designers Space, cofounded in 1976 by graphic designers Ikko Tanaka, Katsumi Asaba, Koike, and others, was also born out of an impetus to “create a place for exchange between artists in all fields,” and was a rare initiative that appreciated the independent creation of artists. Koike, who has spent her career connecting artists, designers, architects, and other creatives through interdisciplinary projects and supporting their collaborative experimentation, will trace the origins of the spontaneous creative movements she was involved in through the keyword “grassroots.” Iin conversation with Art Week Tokyo’s art director Atsumi Kikuchi, a designer who has collaborated with Koike on many of her projects.