Ajiki Roji is a 100-year-old nagaya (traditional housing complex) shared by a collective of young Kyoto craftsmen. After selection through omiai (“match-making” meeting), ateliers and shops joined the complex and the artists live there. (Roji usually means “back alley,” but in Kyoto, it refers to a private pathway through the premises.) In this interview, several resident artists from Daruma Shokai discuss their participation:
1. What is Daruma Shokai?
We create vibrant artwork using a combination of writing brushes and computer graphics. We design anything from kimono, partitions and sliding door paintings to the exterior of train cars.
2. Working process
The director takes a job, does research and prepares material for design. The painter works freely within the boundaries set by the director. Then the director checks the work to make sure that the design meets the client’s intentions.
3. Why Ajiki Roji?
We were looking for a space where two of us could work and live. We chose this place because it is close to the entertainment district so we could have the direct influence of Kyoto culture.