A Micro-Flexible Arts Community In Tokyo

A Brief Essay of Appreciation by Luis Recoder and Sandra Gibson

What makes Youkobo Art Space unique as an artist's residency is its intimacy of scale - or more to the point: Youkobo Art Space as micro-residency.
In an impromptu presentation at Youkobo, we spoke about what makes this particular residency so extraordinarily different than the others and came to the conclusion that it had to do with "smallness of scale" coupled with "vastness of flexibility."
The "micro" in terms of size coupled with the "macro" in terms of the flexible.
Which goes to say that nearly everything is possible at Youkobo. The artist is completely free to explore, interpret, and personalize what Youkobo offers as "art space."

What is "art space" at Youkobo Art Space?
It is an ensemble or network of spaces in constant flux: studio, gallery, residency.
For example, the studio can also be used as a gallery annex. And/or a residency accommodation can be easily converted into a studio space.
One space drifts into another, is permeable by and through the other.

Question: What accounts for Youkobo's exceptional disposition towards the flexible? Answer: The unprecedented collaborative venture of a co-directorial couple-team - Hiroko and Tatsuhiko Murata-san. Not only do they understand the needs and requirements of each and every artist who arrives at Youkobo but they are also frequently asking the artist-in-resident: How to make Youkobo a better place for artists?
Youkobo is that "better place" partially due to the solicitation of artist's input and suggestion. And this gives the artist a sense that he/she is an active participant in the shaping of a visionary art center.
Micro as the micro-management of operation, with only two directors at the helm.
Micro as a concise, yet poignant, measurement of the social.