Hannah Bambra

Sunday Issue

Refined drinks, reading and art in busy central Tokyo

Hannah Bambra
Hannah Bambra   - 3 min read

Sunday Issue describes itself as an art/lounge space, but it can feel more like a time capsule with its mix of refined, old-fashioned style and provocative new-age art.

The main gallery space is filled with post-modern photography, drawings and mixed media which confront sexuality and taboo topics in contrast with the distinguished early 20th Century style of the room's lounge wing. Moving from one to the other, you will find a large rich mahogany bookshelf, old-school librarian's ladder and colour scheme of black, dark brown and forest green which create the ambience of some scholar's secret dwelling.

Sunday Issue got its name from the notion that a Sunday paper delivers a weekly dose of culture and intrigue to subscribers. The lounge area's rare and vintage books are mostly in Japanese but there are a few English texts throughout and half are picture-based anyway with a focus on art history, typography and retro advertising.

Although it's a small collection, the little library holds quite a diverse range of topics from Italian Art Deco to The Giraffe: in History and in Art.

On this visit, I sip a Suntory whiskey, which comes with a bowl of salted nuts, and flip through a coffee table book filled with artistic shots of dogs with discerning looks on their faces, a very old copy of Alice in Wonderland which looks to be hand-written and printed and an illustrated guide to making 1950s cocktails

The one-woman bar also offers a cocktail of the day, spirits and other basic alcoholic beverages. The gallery also sits above cafe 'On The Corner' where you can pop down and get a coffee or snack if peckish.

The exhibition I attended was named Diary of a Thief with the caption 'we steal because we love'. The theme was explored quite loosely, with a small collection of French artists responding to the topic with glittering figures of spiders, the view up a girls skirt drawn on a doily, a man's body covered in snails and dream-like paintings of worshipping a naked woman on a beach.

Sitting back here and absorbing culture while having a drink, or just popping in to see fantastic local or international art, definitely manages to pluck you out of the middle of a busy week and put you in a Sunday state of mind.

Hannah Bambra

Hannah Bambra @hannah.bambra

An Australian looking to write, explore and discover.