The Terrada Art Complex is a free gallery space that features dozens of different local and international artists each month. Exhibition rooms are cycled out, so there is something new and refreshing every time you visit. But that’s not all there is to see: Tennozu Isle (near Shinagawa), the gallery’s home base, is rich with artist destinations. For art lovers, this urban island is a hidden gem worth unearthing.
Terrada Art Complex: The gallery
The Terrada Art Complex is located roughly ten minutes from Tennozu Isle Station, in a large industrial-style building. It is easy to pick out of the crowd, as it is very modern and looks like a giant grey rectangle. A freight elevator is used for both patrons and artworks alike, and is the size of a 1R apartment in Tokyo.
Each floor has designated gallery and office spaces, which flow into one another while maintaining some sense of division. The second floor is reserved for studio work, while the third and fifth floors are labeled as the TAC (Terrada Art Complex) Studio Gallery Space. There are plenty of chairs and tables available in the common area, so there is no need to rush through each gallery room.
These floors are where most of the artwork is on display. Both sculpture and 2D art can be found here, as well as some video work. The staff do a great job in creating variety between the works on display each month. There is just enough of every medium to retain interest and create an impact.
The fourth floor is reserved for the Yokohama College of Arts and Design, and is usually off-limits unless there is a special student show happening.
Admission to the Terrada Art Complex is free, and with different artists cycling in and out, multiple visits are warranted. Presenters display their contact information and pamphlets in each room, with a help-desk employee for any questions or concerns. The free contact cards make great souvenirs, as they often have the best artworks printed on the front.
It is okay to take photos here, whereas more traditional galleries normally do not allow it. The set-up for each room also creates a much more intimate space in comparison to what can be found at a large-scale gallery. Getting to know each artist and taking the time to become acquainted with their art style can be a lot of fun.
The Terrada Art Complex website is in Japanese and English, and outlines which artworks and artists are being featured at any given time.
Also on Tennozu Isle: The Architecture Model Workshop
Another feature worth mentioning is the Architecture Model Workshop, which is run by the same Terrada community. The workshop acts as atelier, gallery and factory space for, yep—architectural models. Conveniently, it is only five minutes from the gallery. You can see and order architectural models in the facility. You can also get up close and personal with the manufacturing process.
The Architecture Model Workshop offers sessions for the whole family to join in on. Their website can be viewed in English, and has information on current projects and upcoming workshops. If you are interested in architecture and the fiddly process of making cool things, the Architecture Model Workshop is a great learning opportunity. Located right by the Terrada Art Complex, it makes a great addition to your trip to Tennozu Isle.
Right next door is the world-famous art supply shop called Pigment, which, you guessed it, sells pigments. With over 4,000 powdered colors to choose from, it is artist heaven. The shop itself is beautifully constructed, with a bamboo ceiling installation and backlit display cases. Pigments range from as little as ¥600 to a whopping ¥8,000 for just a few grams. A word of cheapo advice: go for the artificial colors over more natural shades, as they are usually made of precious gems and stones.
The shop also sells pre-mixed paints for both oil and acrylic painters. They sell ink for calligraphy too, and have a testing area for serious patrons. Another hot item is their wood canvases, which are notably smoother than the ones found at regular art stores in Tokyo.
If you’re looking for some art and color, Tennozu Isle has it all. The Terrada Art Complex is a great, free daytrip with tons more to offer in the surrounding area. For pigment junkies and design enthusiasts, this is the place to be.
For other creative daytrip ideas, check out our list of the 10 Best Free Art Galleries in Tokyo.