Introduction to the Contemporary Art Factory, Japan, by Takaaki Soga – a visiting curator’s talk

The Golden Thread Gallery is delighted to welcome internationally renowned curator Takaaki Soga from the Contemporary Art Factory, Japan, to Belfast.

Takaaki Soga will discuss the unique and influential role that the Contemporary Art Factory has occupied in the Japanese art scene from its inception in 1997 to the present day, and how he worked to find new ways for artists to engage with society, beginning with the neighbourhoods around the Factory, to create art communities in cities.

He will also talk about his approach to presenting politically engaged exhibitions, such as the ‘Atomic Site’ exhibition the Contemporary Art Factory hosted in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster. He will explore the challenges for contemporary art in Japan in the face of new censorship and the rise of ‘ultra-right wing’ opinion, which have led to an ongoing censorship scandal around the Aichi Triennale 2019.

Takaaki Soga will be introduced by Shiro Masuyama, one of the three co-curators of the Golden Thread Gallery’s current exhibition ‘A Noise of Silence: Japanese Art Now’.

We hope you will join us for this fantastic opportunity to hear from one of the most significant voices in Japanese art today.

About the Contemporary Art Factory

Takaaki Soga founded the original Contemporary Art Factory in 1997 when he inherited a rubber factory in Mukojima, a downtown area of Sumida-ku, Tokyo. He gutted the building and turned it into one of Tokyo’s most unique art spaces. He was committed to introducing national and international artists to local audiences, and provided important artists such as The Group 1965, Midori Mitamura and Satoru Tamura with their earliest opportunities to work in a large dedicated art space.

The Contemporary Art Factory occupied this space until 2016. Takaaki Soga relocated to Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto in 2017 and founded a new gallery together with local non-profit art organisation, called ANEWAL Gallery.

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