In a changing retail landscape, a rare breed of shop has opened in Tokyo. “Over 4200 colors of pigments, more than 200 antique ink sticks and 50 kinds of animal glues.” Represented in numbers, that’s Pigment, a new art supply store that has unexpectedly set up shop in Shinagawa, Tokyo. And in addition, the store also stocks inkstones, washi paper, frames and canvases, making it as much a museum as it is a retail shop.
“Over 4200 colors of pigments, more than 200 antique ink sticks and 50 kinds of animal glues.”
But what’s an arts supply store without a beautiful frame of its own? The stunning interior is the work of architect Kengo Kuma, who has paneled the ceiling with an organic, undulating design comprised of bamboo slats. The multitude of lines visually reference the paintbrush handles while creating a home for equally plentiful art supplies.
But what makes Pigment different is how it positions itself as hub for artists and a repository for knowledge and tradition to be passed on to younger generations. The store retains expert professionals with fancy PhDs that hold workshops on how to use their materials. By combining shop + lab + museum Pigment, which is operated by an art warehouse and storage company, attempts to connect the past with the present.