Royal/T is a playful collision of spaces—café/shop/art space—presented in stunning fusion. An eclectic mix of retail and contemporary art reimagined in the surrounds of LA's first Japanese-style cosplay café.
When approached by art collector Susan Hancock to envision a space for exhibiting her contemporary art collection, Takaya Goto and Lesley Chi of Goto Design, NY arrived at a unique concept. In a 10,000 square foot building in Culver City, Royal/T opened its doors in December 2007. Inspired by the meido kissa (maid café) phenomena of Akihabara—Tokyo's electronic district—the highly conceptualized space of Royal/T reflects the interior realm of fantasy that strongly influences the artists included in Hancock's collection. Recontextualizing the underground otaku (geek) culture of Japan that celebrates cosplay (costume play) servers dress in Akihabara-style maid uniforms, with a Lolita-esque touch; the art space showcases curated exhibitions from Hancock's collection; and an inventive concept store emulates the collections' sophistication—a fusion of pop culture and high-end design.
Susan Hancock opened Royal/T, a new concept space in the gallery district of Culver City merging art, café and shop, in April 2008.
A philanthropist and an avid collector, Hancock has served on both the Chairman's Council and Painting and Sculpture Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She currently serves on the Producer's Council of the New Museum, the Board of the International Collector's Committee in New York, and the Board of Trustees at the Independent Curators International. Hancock is also a member of the patron group at MOCA, North Miami Beach, and the Internationals Director's Council for Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She has lent support and sponsorship to several exhibitions including Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture, organized by the Japan Society in collaboration with the Public Art Fund.
The Susan Hancock Collection
Susan Hancock's collection of contemporary Japanese art includes works by Chiho Aoshima, Chinatsu Ban, Yayoi Deki, Mitsuhiro Ikeda, Izumi Kato, Hideaki Kawashima, Mahomi Kunikata, Yayoi Kusama, Mr., Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Mitsuhiro Okamoto, Aya Takano, Yuken Teruya, and Keisuke Yamamoto. Other artists represented in her collection include Ghada Amer, Stephan Balkenhol, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Tracy Emin, Tom Freidman, Mark Grotjahn, Jim Hodges, Mike Kelley, Chris Ofili, Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Prince, Wilhelm Sasnal, Fred Tomaselli, Piotr Uklanski, Lisa Yuskavage.
Concept & Design
Takaya Goto and Lesley Chi, Goto Design
Kulapat Yantrasast, wHY Architecture