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Communicating in a Cave
By Grant Moser

Naoki Iwakawa
I walked through a small door into a large, high-high-ceilinged room in the center of which sat an oversized couch made of tire retreads. It was like Alice entering Wonderland. But to fall through this rabbit hole, I only had to journey down Grand Street, almost to the water, to Cave.

The gallery has flourished for 6 years in this corner of Williamsburg under the direction of Shige Moriya. He looked through Manhattan for space, but couldn't find one that fit his price range, so like most of the early pioneers of Williamsburg, Moriya came because it was affordable.

He had previously worked in a Soho gallery, but wanted to do his own thing: increase communication between creative people. Communication is very important to Moriya, especially since he is still learning the English language. "Speaking English is hard for me, but art allows me to communicate. It is a language everyone can understand."

Cave allows for varied alphabets in its large space. After the first room, there is a hall area, in the back is an exhibition room with a sitting area, and to the left and right are two working artist studios that are open to the public. There are pieces stacked against the walls, and cans of paint, cups of brushes, and piles of rags in the middle of the floor; as if the artist had just left for lunch. Which they just might have. "When I went to artist's studios, I realized I liked being there more than perfect galleries. So those two rooms are open to the public so they can see how they work, so they can see the process."

Moriya features artists from all over the world, as well as from Brooklyn. He looks for work that shows the artist's heart, shows that they put themselves into it; he wants to feel their passion. And he wants viewers and other artists to feel it too, which is part of the reason the gallery has so much space. "More space means more interaction."

The future is a mixed bag at this point for Moriya. He is glad the neighborhood is growing, that the number of galleries in increasing, because it provides exposure to the artists. But he recognizes that rents have risen and some artists have had to leave already. Five years from now, "most artists probably will have left because of the rents. You can look at it like Soho: it was the center of the art world, now fashion town. When more people come in, others have to leave."

Let's hope Cave isn't one of those people.

Cave is located at 58 Grand Street and is open Friday to Sunday from 1pm to 6pm. For more information, visit, or contact Moriya at [email protected] or 718.388.6780.

Cave's next show is "Landscape", a sculptural installation by Hisayasu Takashio. It opens June 29 with a reception from 7-11pm and runs through July 28. Also showing: Studio S: "Pray" - Installation by Mary Minieka; Studio N: "Truth" - Paintings by Naoki Iwakawa; Studio D: Paintings by Dai; Performance by Doro; Corridor: Paintings by Daniel Pendino; Air: Sound Installation by Kenta Nagai.

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Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | June 2002 | Issue 27
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