It’s been almost five months since denizens of the city’s creatively entrepreneurial set would trek several blocks east from the Morgan L stop to head to the 3rd Ward space at 195 Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg, to take classes ranging from stop-motion animation to jewelry design. While the reasons for 3rd Ward’s demise still remain a little murky, daylight photo space Shio Studio has emerged from the floor above the old 3rd Ward to provide a photo and production studio for the neighborhood’s collection of fashion designers and aspiring directors in need of a comfortable, sun-drenched venue to execute their creative vision.
20-something, William Wang in the equipment area of the Shio Studio space.
“We signed [our lease] when 3rd Ward was still here, and three days after we signed, they closed,” explains Will Wang, a Taiwanese native by way of Hong Kong who graduated from Parsons, The New School for Design this past May. Although Wang was initially worried about how the lost drawing power of 3rd Ward would affect his space when it opened in January, he also reasoned that there was a niche in the Bushwick/East Williamsburg area for a space with access to both high-end professional equipment and post-production services, and creature comforts like an espresso machine, lounge and catering area for those on the client-facing side of the fashion and entertainment industries.
While the lounge area complete with couches, refrigerators and espresso machine is designed for the clients…
It’s the south-facing light and solid hardwood floors that are the real draw of the Shio Studio Space.
“It’s just a more intimate space,” says Wang about Shio Studio (“Shio” means “waves” in Japanese and Wang has always been inspired by seascapes). “Having it be 2,000 square feet isn’t huge, but it’s not tiny, which makes it a very comfortable environment for the creatives to be on the creative side and the clients to be on the client side, and people love that.”
So far, the space has been the home for look books for Creem and Interview magazines, and was also the set for a beautifully shot collaborative video between Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker Jessica Yatrofsky and the model Shaun Ross for fashion week. Two weeks ago, the space hosted its first-ever live television production as the site of the second season premiere of sketch comedy and talk show, Late Night New York.
For Wang however, the biggest appeal of the Shio Studio space for the the enterprising director and photographer isn’t just its hardwood floors, but what he says are very competitive rates, and he sees Shio Studio (which he says is booked up to 60-70 percent through the month of March) occupying a space that supports other photo-centric venues like CSI rentals and Bushwick Community Dark Room.
“Whether it’s a three-hour shoot or a full-day shoot for [your] fine art piece, if it’s something small, something collaborative, something experimental, this is a photo studio where people can try that out,” says Wang. “Just because you can’t rent for the whole day doesn’t mean that we don’t want you here.”