In Osaka 2002 - frustrated by a lack of galleries and venues sympathetic to new sounds and art Café Q was opened in the infamous Sennichimae building - Misono. Dance studio by day bar/gallery/club by night. Café Q soon became the home to Japan's vibrant underground art/freak scene opening for business at 9pm nightly and only closing early the next morning so staff could get to their day jobs on time!
In early 2003 inspired by the support for Café Q and a desire to indulge other interests Disco Beans was founded. Disco Beans began in a small dilapitated 2 storey house in downtown Osaka to provide an exhibition space for young Osaka artists unable to afford commercial galleries. Originally gallery/bar/café downstairs, photographic darkroom upstairs. (The darkroom died a digital death and was swallowed up by the gallery - enlarger and trays still intact!) Discobeans became the first 'free to exhibit' gallery in Osaka (maybe all of Japan). Rent was subsidized by the bar/cafe sales and the artist were encouraged to bring as many friends as possible. Exhibitions ran from a 2 week minimum to a month and weekly events were scheduled with live acts and djs to get as many people involved as possible. Within a year Disco Beans was exhibiting the work of artists from all over Japan as well as artists from Europe, Asia, USA and Australia. Many of the Japanese artists who debuted in Disco Beans have gone on to exhibit throughout Japan and overseas.
Tabiya by Discobeans - a Japanese sock shop was opened mid 2008 on High St Northcote in Melbourne, Australia. Upstairs Discobeans Art Space was opened shortly afterwards.
For a pictorial history of Café Q and Discobeans in Osaka go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/baboo_mcfoo/sets/1193271/
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