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The Mass

An Unassuming Independent Gallery Space in Harajuku, Tokyo designed by Japanese architect Nobuo Araki

June, 2017
The Mass, Harajuku, Tokyo. Photo: Ben Hosking

It’s easy to miss the The Mass‘ unassuming concrete box-like structures, located just behind Harajuku’s bustling Cat Street and Omotesando Street. As a private gallery and exhibition space, it is completely unlike the rest.

The minimalist design was created by Tokyo-based architect Nobuo Araki / The Archetypemerging concrete with bold steel doors and detailed key brass with wood features. Each of the gallery’s entry points showcase protruding overhead eaves and entrance steps, a key signature design feature by the architecture providing protection from seasonal weather.

The Mass’ visual identity was created by revered Japanese typographer and artist Fumio Tachibana, whose own sculptural artworks can be found positioned in various locations around the exterior it is a subtle touch to the restrained yet creative space.
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Without an appointed curator or gallery director, The Mass is private and independent in the way it holds its exhibitions led by owner Masayuki Nishimoto. Championing art and culture-based exhibitions, past exhibitions include New York photographer Henry Leutwyler’s Document to Hiroshi Fujiwara’s 71-84 punk archive exhibition on display.

The Mass's brass detailing complements the whole concrete structure. The visual identity was created by artist Fumio Tachibana. Photo: Ben Hosking
Located in the backstreets of Tokyo's Harajuku, the concrete box-like gallery spaces are a hidden gem for independent art and culture-based exhibitions. Photo: Ben Hosking
Architect Nobuo Araki's overarching eaves for protection from sun or rain fall are a key design feature.
The Mass is minimalistic with grey and bronze tones, here in the Gallery 2 doors' square handle. Photo: Ben Hosking
The Mass' unassuming concrete exterior and steel doors with bronze detailed features. Photo: Ben Hosking
Inside, the white walls provide a blank canvas for exhibitions at The Mass. Photo: Ben Hosking
The gallery's entrance, a dominant cedar wood door with overhead eaves, complementing the concrete structure. Photo: Ben Hosking
Fumio Tachibana's sculptural artworks feature around the exterior of the gallery. Photo: Ben Hosking
The concrete box-like structure. The Mass, Harajuku, tokyo.
Architectural photographer Ben Hosking captures the Tokyo gallery space, The Mass. Designed by Nobuo Araki (The Archetype) it is an unassumingly pivotal cultural space in the heart of Harajuku in Tokyo.
Look closely for the small sculptures by Fumio Tachibana, that can be found located around the exterior. Photo: Ben Hosking

The Mass
5-11-1 Jingumae
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Words: Joanna Kawecki
Photography: Benjamin Hosking

June, 2017