▲●● TANA Gallery Bookshelf

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Founded in 2010, TANA Gallery Bookshelf is an alternative space situated in a bookshelf in Bigakko in Kanda, Tokyo, an old private art school acclaimed for its dialogue-based, liberal arts education by leading artists and practitioners in various fields since its inauguration in 1969. With a modest space that measures 85/30/15 centimeters on the top-left corner of the bookshelf in a narrow corridor, we collaborate with a range of artists to present site-specific exhibitions while also organizing projects in other, usually unusual places as well.

Initially conceived as a micro-architectural answer to French philosopher Henri Lefebvre's idea "new social relations demand a new space, and vice-versa," the gallery offers a set of unique spatial conditions for artists and visitors to variously improvise social fabric through the exhibition, as a temporal node of static/ephemeral vernacularities already there and new human and non-human relations brought in through each production of space.

Although often described "small" (or even counterfactually praised "smallest in Tokyo"), we never try to promote the idea of smallness itself as easily associated with Tokyo-ness or reactive anti-establishment politics. Instead, the venue is simply designed to be "just enough" to expose spatial particularities, which can be found everywhere but loosely disregarded in bigger places, and to encourage artists to revisit their own creative identity and enact it into another, different but coherent form.

Our mission is to offer a site for artistic imagination not bound to the immediacy of plausible marketism (plausible as it's too weak in Japan to count seriously), and more importantly, of curatorial functionalism, which tends to rush down to consume complexity and indeterminacy in ongoing art practices into pre-fabricated contexts and set-phrases too easily. With full respect to the (Adornian) critical autonomy of art and its socio-political potentials, we encourage individual aesthetic thought to find its place in reality, and share its fruits in society.


- The exhibition venue is usually unmanned, just on display in the school building during its opening hours. If you want attendance of the exhibiting artist or our gallery staff, please join opening reception or related events, or contact us in advance.
- The gallery does not represent artists. If necessary, please find their contact information from each exhibition detail.


Maas Tamura (Curator / Director)
Masaru Kaido (Photographer)

TANA Gallery Bookshelf
Chiyoda, Kanda Jinbocho, 2 Chome-20, Daini Fuji Building