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‘Llove’

by Jae Lee

Daikanyama i Studio

Closes Nov. 23

Celebrating 400 years of trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands, artists from both countries have come together to open a three-story “love hotel” in Tokyo’s trendy Daikanyama area. For artistic director Suzanne Oxenaar, of Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam, Japan’s love hotel concept of “freely selecting a room according to your mood” was one of the major influences when she was creating Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam in 2004. Oxenaar then collaborated with Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka and invited artists to help create “Llove Hotel.”

The temporary hotel contains 14 guest rooms, both double and single, a public bath house containing art from various Tokyo galleries, a restaurant and an entertainment room. Each of the eight double rooms were created by a different designer. For example, Hideyuki Nakayama (room 301) made an exact paper replica of the original room with slightly bigger measurements — when the oversized copy was squeezed into the room, the paper was left creased and crumpled against the wall.

While the Japanese designers seemed to have focused on creating a modern habitat, Dutch designers took a different approach based on what Nagasaka calls a “misinterpretation” of the term “love hotel.” For example, for Scholten & Baijings (room 306), fertility was the biggest concern, believing that many Japanese children are conceived in love hotels. And Pieke Bergmans explains that in her “in LLOVE!” (room 308), “Everything has fallen in love!”

As for the single rooms, Nagasaka collaborated with young artists under the theme of interconnection — closets may become a gate to the next room or a built-in bookshelf may reveal a window between neighbors as books are taken out. Nagasaka comments that for one month only the hotel will offer a “dreamlike theatrical space,” and that seems just long enough to enjoy all the entertainment that “Llove” can offer.

Daikanyama i Studio is in Shibuya-ku, 1 minute walk from Daikanyama Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line; admission is free although an appointment is required to stay; tours are also available. For more information, call (03) 3461-8813 or visit llove.jp