The Original True Store and Gallery

Tokyo, Japan, 2005

To celebrate and promote the Japanese release of his film "A Letter To True," Bruce Weber directed a team of people in the construction of a pop-up gallery and retail space in downtown Tokyo. The gallery presented a variation of Bruce's "Filmography" exhibition, including stills from his film and shorts as well as portraits of notable actors and directors. The store offered a wide array of goods: limited-edition posters, the complete library of Bruce Weber and Little Bear Press titles, special t-shirts (including a Paul Smith collaboration) and a full selection of his eponymous Weberbilt clothing line. A small on-site cinema showed a program of Bruce's short film work on a rotating schedule. To round out the experience, the space between the two structures was converted into a grassy dog run and park, where Bruce's canine fans of Tokyo could chill out while their owners enjoyed snacks from an on-site Airstream cafe. While the architecture of the Original True Store and Gallery was modular, contemporary and sleek, Bruce added a myriad of interior details to impress visitors with a very casual, down-home feeling. Antique furniture was sourced from local vendors for the gallery space and cashwrap, and old army cots were used to present merchandise. The playlist for the space took its inspiration from the soundtrack to the film "A Letter To True," and vintage books and albums emphasized a consistent clubhouse vibe. Bruce also took an active hand in the massive pre-event press push by constructing exclusive editorial layouts for Brutus, Figaro and numerous other publications and art-directing a special website dedicated to the project. The opening weekend crowds – which at times ran the length of a long city block – attested to the appeal of his film and the unique space and experience Bruce created as a way to welcome a new audience into his world.