Interactive Program Motif Trekking : a journey through “motifs” in the careers of pioneers
motif 01 “Altanathives“
In 2001, KAJIHARA Noriko reclaimed the closed Koguchi Elementary School in Nakagawa Town (formerly Bato Town), Nasu District, Tochigi Prefecture, and opened the MOB museum of alternative-art as an exhibition space. As the name suggests, the museum has been a trailblazer in Japan as an activity and exhibition space for art genres in opposition to mainstream art such as outsider art and Art Brut. Upon opening the museum, Kajihara decided to make it a gallery devoted mainly to exhibiting works by people with disabilities. This episode interviews Kajihara about her intentions behind opening the museum and the over-20-year trajectory of her career, focusing renewed attention on the motif of “alternatives.”
motif 01 "Alternatives"
KAJIHARA Noriko(Director, MOB museum of alternative-art)
Video Production｜RAKUDA STUDIO
Film Director｜TAMURA Hiroshi
Camera assistant｜NISHIDE Yui
Title design | SAKO Kazunari (hickory03travelers)
MOB museum of alternative-art
Planning & Production
Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery
(Director, MOB museum of alternative-art)
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Noriko Kajihara was drawn to the art of Kazuo Yagi and decided to study ceramics. She enrolled in the Department of Inorganic Materials Engineering in the Faculty of Industrial Arts, Kyoto Institute of Technology, where her interests expanded to architectural spaces while living in a machiya (townhouse) in Kyoto and touring temples in the city. After returning to Tokyo and graduating from the Department of Architecture in the College of Art and Design at Musashino Art University, Kajihara worked part-time at a jazz café while working on a book about the late architect Kiko Mozuna. She also worked at the architectural design office of Toshihiro Tanaka. She has two sons. The fact that her second son is autistic is one reason she got involved in the alternative art scene.
Kajihara moved to Nakagawa Town (formerly Bato Town) in Tochigi Prefecture when her first son entered elementary school in 1998. In 2001, she opened the MOB museum of alternative-art in an abandoned school building built in the Meiji-Taisho period (1868–1926) as the first museum of its kind in Japan, introducing art that is not bound by conventional frameworks, mainly works by people with disabilities. The museum held the Nakagawa Town ART FORESTA, an exhibition of artworks selected from entries submitted from across Japan, in 2008, 2011, and 2014, supporting the artistic and creative activities of people with disabilities and connecting them to community development.