C/O The Site of Washingtown
1-2-10 Minami-machi, Mito-city, Ibaraki 310-0021 Japan
Open by apointment only.
Keiko Ogane Gallery opened in 2017 in Mito, the capital city of Ibaraki in Japan, as an alternative art space to discover and promote hidden gems including the works of eccentric geniouses and local talents. The gallery was founded by avant-garde wife Keiko Ogane and artist Katsunobu Yaguchi. The pair met in 2008 on the opening day of “Café Washingtown (Washing-Town)”, a neighborhood restaurant refurbished by Yaguchi inside an old abandoned two-story wooden house in Mito. The life of Ogane who had been a housewife for 40 years, a mother of two children and currently has six grandchildren, has changed dramatically since she met Yaguchi. She became the poster girl for the Washingtown, which stirred up compassion among neighborhood residents and earned her avid admirers. She has played a prominent role in many of Yaguchi’s works and projects, which encompassed production of local newspaper, management of festivals and creation of collaborative artworks. The Washingtown faced its demolition in 2013, and Yaguchi disassembled the building by hand. The process was documented in photography and film/video. Keiko Ogane Gallery presented a solo booth of those documentary works by Yaguchi in the Prismes Sector of Paris Photo 2017. After the demolition was complete, Yaguchi managed to prevent the sale of the vacant lot. In 2015, he started to built an alternative performance and art space by reusing construction elements carefully preserved through the demolition. The space has been named “The Site of Washingtown”. In 2018, Keiko Ogane Gallery opened its primary location within this site, continuing to be committed to offering artworks that uncover the beauty within the seemingly mundane moments of our lives.