Gallery commune / commune Press

We were delighted to have the opportunity to feature Gallery commune / commune Press for our first Spotlight interview with JELLY. We added some prints and books from commune Press to our online collection earlier this year, and we were very excited to learn more about their program in Tokyo.

Commune opened as a gallery space in 2009, then in 2013 they established their own independent press, "commune Press". 

gallery Commune install shot

install photo from SHINKNOWSUKE's exhibition, "Opaque Matters" from Gallery commune instagram.

Can you tell us a little more about Gallery commune and commune Press?
How did you start out and what does your team at commune look like now?

Actually, my friend who used to work as a photographer started gallery commune. But she felt like focusing on her photo work, so she was looking for someone who could take over and I did since I had no job at that time. That was almost 11 years ago.

Gallery commune and commune Press are basically run by me and my husband now. And sometimes our 2 lovely friends; one is a great photographer and another is a musician-- they help take care of the gallery and shop.


Inside of the shop at Gallery commune photo of the shop from Gallery commune instagram.

What do you enjoy most about running an independent press that also functions as a gallery space?

Working and communicating with the artists we love. We make a zine or a book with an artist who has an exhibition at the gallery because we know that the art piece is expensive, but people would be able to afford to purchase a zine or a book to enjoy the artist's work even at home.

We have a few screen prints and risograph prints/books from commune Press at Jelly.
Do you often work with local printers or do most of these projects in house?

We wish we could have done it ourselves but it’s hard to have the space to do that in the middle of Tokyo so we usually work with local printers or printers or factories in Japan.

You work with a diverse range of international artists and designers on art exhibitions as well as print/book projects.
How do you go about making these connections? How do artists and designers pitch their projects to you?

We basically approach the artists from our side though now we have many good artist friends and they introduce their friends who are also artists to us. Or sometimes we meet good artists at art book fairs or through instagram.
But we only work with those who we actually meet in person because we would like to know whether we have something in common to enjoy together.

Is there anything new coming up you are excited to release/exhibit?

We are launching a new art book and having a show of Colin Sussingham, called “BE L’EAU”. We printed this beautiful book in Japan, using some special ink. We are extremely excited to show this book to the world soon.

Be L'eau book by Colin Sussingham Cover of Be L'eau by Colin Sussingham

Lastly, who are some other publishers/galleries that you admire?

V1 gallery in Copenhagen.

Sannah Kvist, Untitled, 2018 Risograph Print

Lilian Martinez, Coco, 2021 Screen Print

Lilian Martinez, Balcony, 2021 Screen Print

Ancco, Welcome To The Dollhouse, 2020 Risograph book

Shop all commune Press


Back to blog