What is FARET Tachikawa Art?
FARET Tachikawa is an art project launched on October 13, 1994, as part of the redevelopment of a former US military base. It is now regarded worldwide as a stellar example of art-based urban planning.
Aiming to transform Tachikawa’s image from“military base city” to “city of culture,” the project made art the cornerstone of urban planning. The goal was a city unified by art. FARET Tachikawa’s name is derived from the Italian word fare, meaning “to create,” to which the letter “T” for Tachikawa has been added.
Much of FARET Tachikawa’s art has practical urban functions, providing buffers, benches, and ventilation for the area. The 109 works by 92 artists from 36 countries range from late twentieth century to contemporary and are distributed among the buildings to create an integrated urban fabric.
FARET Tachikawa’s art is presented in art textbooks as a prime example of public art. Since 2008, its art has been included in the curriculum for fifth-year elementary students in Tachikawa city, serving as “live” instructional material. In 1994, this now world-renowned project received the City Planning Institute of Japan’s Planning and Design Award.
The FARET Club is a volunteer organization established in 1997 and composed primarily of Tachikawa citizens. Its members offer guided art tours, participate in trash pickup events, and organize workshops with artists. Guided tours have been provided to 18,600 visitors since the club was formed.
20 Years of FARET Tachikawa
FARET Tachikawa Art Director, Furamu Kitagawa
Twenty years have passed since FARET Tachikawa was launched.
This redevelopment project was a full-scale public art initiative, and the enthusiasm and support that citizens, businesses, and government have all brought to this project is still a miracle to me. It is now the model for “regional art-based revitalization” movements in locations all around Japan. It is wonderful that the project is held in such high regard and seen as an example to follow by urban planners in cities worldwide as well as in Japan.
The idea for this art project was suggested in 1992 by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation. The Berlin Wall had fallen in 1989, the Soviet Union had collapsed in 2001, and the Internet had begun to spread all over the world. Globalization, global homogeneity, and an obsession with efficiency were spreading everywhere. (We still believed at that time that the world would stabilize after the Cold War.)
At that time, the concept behind the “FARET Tachikawa Art Project” was to take the truth that underlies all art—that the world’s peoples are different and diversity is both beautiful and terrible—and implant it deep in the heart of the city. That is why the art is so varied, with 109 pieces by 92 artists from 36 countries, reflecting the world’s diversity. Another important point is that, instead of enshrining this art on pedestals, we transformed these works into buffers, ventilation ports, benches, and passages, turning them into functioning components of the urban landscape. We also arranged them so that they can all be enjoyed during a walk around a 5.9-hectare area in a city now filled with surprising discoveries.
As cities stretch their limits, the environments in the regions that surround them suffer and both homogeneity and standardization become rampant, art is more important than ever.
Art brings people and place together. It connects very different people. Tachikawa has become a living, breathing art museum of twentieth-century and contemporary art, a rare treasure not only for Tachikawa residents but for people everywhere.
FARET TACHIKAWA ART NAVI
This App introduces 109 artworks and artists of the FARET TACHIKAWA ART group using Guide Tour, Audio Guide etc.. And it is available in Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified・Traditional), and Korean. (Only Japanese and English voices available)
*For more detailed information, please see the Japanese language website.
１．Urban Art Labyrinth“FARET TACHIKAWA”
Taking a train from Tokyo Station, you can arrive at Tachikawa in 40minutes. Walking down the pedestrian deck from the north exit of Tachikawa Station for about 7 minutes, you will find “FARET Tachikawa Art”.
２．FARET TACHIKAWA ART NAVI
This is the video just has been published about free application “FARET Tachikawa Art NAVI” which guides you FARET Tachikawa Art.