1-2-10 Minami-machi, Mito-city, Ibaraki 310-0021 Japan
Open by apointment only.
Keiko Ogane Gallery was founded in 2013 by an avantgarde wife, Keiko Ogane, and an artist, Katsunobu Yaguchi, in the heart of Mito, the capital city of Ibaraki in Japan. It aims to present not only art, but also uncover the beauty within the seemingly mundane moments of our lives. In 2008, Yaguchi renovated a two-storey old-Japanese-style abandoned house in Mito into a café called “Café Washingtown”. On its opening day, he had his fateful encounter with Keiko Ogane who had been a housewife for 40 years, a mother of two children and currently has 6 grandchildren. Her life has changed dramatically, ever since she ran into Yaguchi. She became the “poster girl” for the Washingtown, which stirred up the neighbourhood and earned her avid admirers. She has played a prominent role in many of Yaguchi’s works and projects related to producing his local newspaper, hosting festivals and creating collaborative art with neighbourhood residents. In 2013, when the Washingtown faced its demolition, Yaguchi took over the job and finished disassembling the house by hand. The process was documented by photography and video. They were exhibited at Yaguchi’s solo show at Paris Photo 2017, presented by Keiko Ogane Gallery. The empty lot left with bamboo scaffolding and part of the outer wall has been transformed into a new project space named “The Site of Washingtown”. Since 2018, Keiko Ogane Gallery has been residing within this space showcasing hidden gems that promote both art and local talents.