Friday, April 8, 2016

Hotel rooms with museum quality art: Tokyo's Park Hotel gives artists room to explore

Artist Aki Narita calls her room design "Geisha Goldfish" incorporating two favorite elements of the Japanese culture.

Art floor celebrates Japanese culture -- book a hotel room to enjoy the view of your own art show


The approach to Park Hotel Tokyo leads
one through lovely gardens. 
A plaque in each art room gives
details about the artist, here
Aki Narita (see above).
STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

ONE ROOM feels like an underwater hideaway, with red geishas and floating koi -- giving the geisha's role in Asian culture an aquatic-laced nod.
Artist Kazuki Mizuguchi's "Castle" room is underway, celebrating
earlier  days of Tokyo's famed Royal Palace in shogun time.
Down the hall, an artist labors over an elaborate homage to the Edo Dynasty. His feudal Tokyo of the 1700s shows stately shogun castles with gold and glitter.
The Aki Kondo room, "Ota fuku Face," cleverly incorporates
the room decor, including mirror and lights, into the artwork. 
Another room celebrates the carp, while nearby the fleeting beauty of Japan's fabled cherry trees is transformed to walls and ceilings. Down the hall, the "LuckyCat" chamber celebates the feline's charm.
STILL OTHER artful rooms feature dragons, sumo wrestlers, the horse, the bath house, Mt. Fuji, the ocean's bounty -- all revered in Japanese culture, and all artfully presented.
Park Hotel Tokyo's unique art floor -- high above the city -- features 18 rooms created  by individual craftsmen and women.  The project is unique to Tokyo, and the world, as it celebrates the diversity, vision and excellence of a thriving city's artists.
From tasty east-meets-west breakfast
to evening cocktails, the Park Hotel's
lobby is a relaxing gathering place.
Hiroko Otake's "Cherry Blossoms" celebrates the culture's love of the tree. 
Park Hotel Tokyo opened in 2003 and several years ago took a daring, expensive step. It shows art in its lobby, on walls and in guest rooms.
AS THE FIRST Japanese hotel affiliated with the international Design Hotels group, Park Hotel Tokyo integrates refined architecture and quality hospitality with unique interior design, sculpture, displays and huge digital, high-tech projected art shows. Each Design Hotel reflects its culture and place.
Yuko Matsubra and Emi Sotome work with the project, initiated in 2012, and are proud of its unique charm, popularity and evolution.
THE HOTEL'S  in-house design committee reviewed applications, choosing artists whose work celebrates nature and the culture's gift for integrating it into life.
"All four seasons are present in the rooms, with a variety of color and emotion," says Matsubara.
"The rooms touch the beauty of the soul, and we hope refresh mind and body much as a museum visit does," adds Sotome.
THUS FAR, 18 rooms on the 31st floor are completed. The entire floor will be done, attracting businessmen, and both Asian and western tourists to bustling Shiodome Media Tower in which the hotel is located (from the 25th-floor lobby, on up, up, up.)
 "Yokai" by artist Nobuo Magome celebrates folklore. We enjoyed the figures
of supernatural powers, which are well known elements of Japanese culture.


The art floor isn't the only attraction. Regular art shows are held in the hotel's lovely lobby, and the bar's and restaurant's presentations are artworks in themselves.   (We enjoyed both Japanese and western breakfast with visitors from France, Ireland, Australia and other Asian countries.) We met a delightful Italian bartender at the chic, internationally popular bar, and sampled delectable Japanese pastry in the bakery. There's also a business center, gym and spa.
PARK HOTEL is a quick walk from Shinbashi Station, and close to both the famed Tsukiji Fish Market and much admired Tokyo Tower, which we watched from our room designed by artist Nobuo Magome.  That is when we weren't studying the whimsical ghosts, phantoms and apparitions in this charming art floor room.
Marlee Cluff sings at Purple Martin Farm near Point Arena.  The gifted
child died April 7, and whereiscookie pays tribute to her life and legacy next.
COMING UP:     Sudden death is difficult, but when a young person is taken unexpectedly, the pain is both severe and shocking. Nine-year old Marlee Rebecca Cluff passed away during our visit this week to Mendocino County. We enjoyed our short time with this "old spirit" musical muse who sang big band tunes and knew the constellations.  We knew Marlee through our nephew, James, and his partner, Kelle, who live on Purple Martin Farm near Point Arena, Marlee's home.  She died after a heroic lifetime struggle with congenital heart problems.  After many surgeries, her valiant little heart gave out. We pay tribute to Marlee and family next Friday. Our specialty is travel with a twist -- as we put a personal stamp on each situation we visit.

6 comments:

  1. Western WanderersApril 11, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Art for art's sake -- or art for a hotel's brilliant idea's sake.
    Bravo, Park Hotel Toyko. May many other properties worldwide have the guts and deep pockets to follow suit!

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  2. How fabulous is this? I'm an artist in Chicago, and am going to show this story to all the waterfront properties! Who knows? Crossing fingers and readying my paintbrushes.

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  3. We just booked a room. Wonderful concept. Win win creativity.

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  4. How interesting. Gives new meaning to the phrase, "A room with a view."
    I picture myself in the Mount Fuji room, calm and serene and happy.

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  5. Wow. Dazzling artwork, delightful idea. I think the cherry blossom room will delight me

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  6. Miami ten million milersApril 15, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    We are looking forward to our visit late next month. The Edo Dynasty room looks intriguing. Hope it will be completed.

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