Mr.Suzuki, Mr. Narita, Ms.Niikawa, Ms.Shimada, Ms.Harada, Mr. Oshima

Life in Art Exhibition Project Members

 We wake up in the morning, have meals, go to work or school, and then go home. The world of art seems to be something unusual, something far away from our noisy daily lives. However, art enriches our space in the same way that interior decorations do in our daily lives. If art becomes closer and more familiar to us, our lives would become richer.
 For this edition, we interviewed Mr. Miyao and Mr. Oshima of the Household Designing, Household Division. They talked about the project on behalf of the project members who organized the Life in Art Exhibition under the theme of "making art more accessible.”

Ms. Miyao

■”Making Art More Accessible”
 Life in Art project was launched in 2011 as a project to promote art under the theme of "everyday art.” It has introduced the works of artists – no matter famous or unknown, ancient or modern, from Japan or overseas – whose creations resonate with us, and has been holding various exhibitions or collaborations at IDÉE and MUJI stores so far. The Life in Art Exhibition, which started from Friday, July 9, is being held in three types of venues with the hope that people would enjoy encountering art without feeling that "art is too difficult”. For the exhibition at MUJI Ginza, it was difficult to formulate a plan based on the requests of the artists, and to set a price so that even customers who were new to art would be able to purchase, because the exhibition is being held in the sales floor, not at a gallery where artists were accustomed to. However, we wanted to make sure that a wide range of customers would enjoy the exhibition, so we negotiated with the artists, and we were able to create an exhibition from B1F to MUJI HOTEL that allows customers to experience a wide range of art possibilities. In addition to the exhibitions and installations of the works of 27 artists, we also offer events such as live painting for customers to enjoy.
 At IDÉE TOKYO, a "Life in Art Auction" will be held to connect works cherishedwith love and affection to the next generation. More than 50 members from different age groups and occupations will participate in this project, including creators and handicraftsman who have close connections with IDÉE and MUJI. This is a project that conveys the joy of diverse values.
"Life in Art Satellite Gallery" aims to bring art closer to people and connect people with familiar places in the city. Despite the short preparation period, the satellite gallery staff has been very effective, and thanks to their hard work, more than 30 coffee shops and galleries agreed to participate in the project and present art works.
 In addition, we did not only display the works, but also carefully introduced the personalities of the artists. Not only customers who come to the store for the art, but also those who visit the store casually are interested in the art. I feel that by holding the exhibition in a store rather than a gallery, we were able to create an opportunity for customers who were not interested in art to become interested in it.

Mr.Ito, Ms. Naito, Ms.Oiso, Mr.Imai, Ms.Nakajima, Ms.Honda, Ms.Yamaoka, Ms. Amano, Ms.Okamoto, Ms.Miura, Mr.Hiyama

■Life in Art Exhibition Completed through Connections
 In order to deepen and broaden the activities of Life in Art, we have introduced an open recruitment system for store staff. This is because we thought that if we could challenge ourselves together with store staff who are interested in art and develop connections with people, we could create a synergy effect and make our activities even better. I was taught how to collect qualitative information about customers and disseminate information from a store perspective, which helped me to improve my customer service and communication skills. In addition, the combined strengths of each member of the team were successful: the MUJI GINZA staff's operations, the IDÉE staff's good footwork and boldness, the wisdom and past exhibition experience of the Household Designing team, and the careful customer service cultivated at ATELIER MUJI: without any of these, I don't think it would have been possible to hold an event of this scale.

Ms.Nagata, Ms. Kobayashi, Ms. Awaya, Ms.Tagawa, Mr.Sakami, Ms.Igarashi, Mr.Kataoka, Mr. Nagata, Mr. Nishioka, Mr.Maeda, Ms.Kataoka

■If Your Sense of Beauty Changes, the Quality of Your Life will Change
 Unlike design, art is a personal thing. No matter how others value it, as long as it moves you, it is, in the extreme, art. Therefore, I would like us to encounter a lot of art. By choosing the best of them and living with them, I believe that we can develop a sense of beauty in our lives. If our sense of beauty changes, the quality of our lives will also change. If the quality of life changes, we will be able to think carefully about what is a better life for ourselves, our families, our communities, our society, and our environment.

【What Sparked Ms. Miyao and Ms. Oshima's Interest in Art】
・Ms. Miyao: The woodblock print works by Mr. Umetaro Azechi, a mountain woodblock artist
・Mr. Oshima: A poster for the 1950s French film "My Uncle" that I came across as a student

■What does Art Mean to Ms. Miyao and Mr. Oshima?
(Ms. Miyao) I consider "art" as something that is close to our daily lives and touches our heartstrings. In this exhibition, I am attracted to art that has warmth. I think that even in today's stagnant environment, art can help us to find peace of mind.
(Mr. Oshima) It's everyday life. I listen to music, drink coffee, and think while looking at art.

Life in Art Auction IDÉE TOKYO
Life in Art Exhibition MUJI GINZA
Life in Art Satellite Gallery

■Life in Art related sites
Life in Art Official Website (in Japanese)  
Life in Art Instagram (in Japanese)
※ This event will be held until Sunday, September 5th.