Only exists for 999 days! Cafe & Gallery KONMASA where you can touch contemporary art
Arimatsu is a town of dyeing where the tradition of tie-dyeing continues uninterruptedly. KONMASA, located a few minutes' walk from Arimatsu Station, is a cafe and gallery run by artist KONMASA. The entire building is a work of art, which will disappear 999 days after opening.
In this issue, I will introduce in detail the charm and enjoyment of Cafe & Gallery KONMASA!
*Open until February 23, 2024
*Information is current at the time of the interview.
Please check the latest information of each facility and store.
Table of Contents
A work that embodies the impermanence of all things
What is the KONMASA Building?
The KONMASA building opened on May 31, 2021, just a few minutes' walk from Arimatsu Station. Based on the concept of “tradition” and “contemporary art,” this was created by contemporary artist KONMASA from Arimatsu.
In fact, the entire building is a mandala work created to experience the impermanence of all things.
When you hear the word "mandala," you may imagine geometric patterns painted in extreme colors. However, there are various types of mandalas, and one type of mandala practice that is also valued as an art form is the "sand mandala. In this type of art, Tibetan monks spend about a week drawing mandalas in sand, which they immediately tear down after completion. Just like the mandala, which embodies the teaching of impermanence, KONMASA will disappear after 999 days of ascetic practice.
February 23, 2024 will be 999 days after the opening. If you're interested, why don't you visit the KONMASA building before it's gone?
What is contemporary artist KONMASA?
KONMASA is a contemporary artist born in Arimatsu and based in Nagoya. After working as a photographer in the United States, he was shocked by a work he saw at an art museum in New York and turned to contemporary art. His philosophy of activity is "training," and through the creation of his works, he empties his mind, face himself, and experience the feeling of emptiness.
Masterpiece: "KONMASA The Art Building" mixed media (2021-2024)
Introducing the KONMASA Building!
The KONMASA building has floors 1 to 4, and the contents displayed on each floor are different. This time, I will introduce each floor a little! The exhibition contents of the gallery change depending on the season, and all the works can never be seen again. Please feel the beauty of the moment.
1st Floor: Cafe & Merchandise Space
The first floor of the building is a cafe and product sales space. At the café with the theme of "Zen and meditation", you can enjoy specialty tea, coffee, and delicious ochazuke.
Also, in the private room "Tsuki-no-ma", which requires a reservation, you can experience meditation while drinking three cups of special sencha while watching KONMASA's work in the dark. The experience of drinking tea in the dark in a calm atmosphere is an extraordinary experience. Of course, it is OK to talk without meditating.
If you use a private room, you can leave your name on the floor of the KONMASA building, so it will be part of the mandala work.
A separate admission fee of 500 yen is required to visit the galleries on the 2nd to 4th floors.
2nd floor: Art gallery (special exhibition)
The second floor is the exhibition floor. The content of the project changes depending on the time of year, but until mid-October, in collaboration with the international art festival "Aichi 2022", the works of Mr. Yoshihide Hayakawa, a tie-dyeing craftsman and indigo dyeing artist born and raised in Arimatsu, are on display.
Yoshihide Hayakawa creates a variety of works using a shibori technique that overturns the conventional fixed concept of shibori. His works are displayed on the walls of the corridors and elevators around Arimatsu Station, and he also supervises the production of Ai-ryu, a monument over 13 meters high at Arimatsu Station.
In recent years, Arimatsu's strange dye "Arashi-shibori", which was in a state of extinction, has been revived over many years.
This exhibit was one of the goals that KONMASA had set as something he would accomplish in 999 days. He also has several other goals to accomplish, such as "to create a work of art with junior high school students from my alma mater," and he has already accomplished most of them.
Exhibitions after October will be announced on the official website and Instagram.
3rd floor: MEISO-ROOM
The floor where several of KONMASA's works are exhibited. The work is made by drilling numerous holes in Japanese paper and projecting the scenery by illuminating the paper from behind. The work looks three-dimensional from a distance, but up close you can see the difference in the size of the holes and the precision of the work, and you will find yourself gazing at it for a long time.
The appeal of KONMASA's works is not only that they are beautiful, but that the patterns change depending on the viewing angle. You can enjoy watching the scenery change as you go back and forth many times, such as when people suddenly appear or the scenery changes.
Another major feature is that it has some surprising hidden features, such as letters that appear when exposed to light.
Pleasant sounds and video works are playing on the dark floor, and if you sit on the bench, you can sit down and watch the works.
4th Floor: Photo Gallery
The 4th floor is a photo gallery. The purpose is to explain the concept of "KONMASA" for 999 days, implement it and record it as a photograph.
Over the course of 999 days, the exhibition will be divided into eight themes, and KONMASA will talk about his life and aim for nirvana, such as "What is the concept of KONMASA?" and "How was KONMASA born?"
KONMASA talked about his current activities like this.
KONMASA: "This is a place where I continue to create works that record my existence. First of all, it is a big training to be able to continue the KONMASA building for 999 days. There may be management problems, or there is a possibility that a major disaster will prevent it from continuing. If I cannot continue for 999 days, the concept of KONMASA will die, and after that I will not be able to operate under the name KONMASA. In a sense, I risked my life. Then, on the 1000th day,And on the 1000th day, when I dug out the tank top I buried at the entrance to the building, the work will be completed and gone. It is the embodiment of impermanence. I record the miracles that have happened up to that point and make it into a work.When asked, 'Why are you doing this?', I can only say that this is my reason for existence (laughs).
KONMASA says that once a video work is exhibited, it will not be exhibited anywhere else. In other words, the video works exhibited at the KONMASA Building can only be seen here and now.
Why don't you take a look at these works that you will only have a chance to encounter for a moment in your life?
Cafe recommended menu
The photo is KONMASA✕Lab Signal's collaboration menu, O CHER " " (empty). KONMASA specification herbs are blended with white coffee bean drink ocher. The flavor of lemongrass is felt and the taste is very refreshing, while the nutrients of coffee can also be taken. The pottery that has become one with the polar bear is cute and the colors are cool.
At the café on the 1st floor, you can also enjoy authentic drinks such as coffee, Japanese tea, and herbal tea, as well as ochazuke and sweets.
The townscape of Arimatsu, which retains the atmosphere of the Edo period, is also nearby.
The KONMASA building is a few minutes walk from the station and close to the old town of Arimatsu. Along with sightseeing in Arimatsu, how about spending a special and extraordinary time at KONMASA, where you can meditate and experience contemporary art?