Art fairs play a central role in the art market. Bringing international art galleries together in one venue, an art fair allows visitors to compare prices and artworks, and enhances the fluidity of the art market.
GALLERIES is something unique to Art Fair Tokyo: it is a place where galleries of a wide range of genres come together. Find antiques, crafts, Nihonga, modern, and contemporary art from Japan and further afield. GALLERIES has larger booths than last year, and even more visually impressive displays. There is a diverse range of galleries in each genre from around Japan and abroad. Japanese antiques, the foundation for modern Japanese aesthetics, are well represented. There is also modern art which was a particularly brilliant period in Japanese art history, craft made with Japanese-style technical mastery, and contemporary art that reflects the connectedness and diversity of modern society. Enjoy the direction each exhibitor takes in GALLERIES as they give a sense of the current state of Japan’s art scene within the art market platform that is Art Fair Tokyo 2019, encompassing a wide range of high quality Japanese art.
The entrance to Art Fair Tokyo 2019 will feature a new section called Crossing, hosted in the area of the Tokyo International Forum venue that is open to the general public. At this “crossing” where a wide range of art intersects, visitors can experience the very latest trends from the art scene in Japan, which is formed by a great variety of types of art. Highlights include booths organized by the department stores that play a significant role in the Japanese art market alongside their function in daily life, regional crafts bodies that convey the current state of culture around the country as well as traditions hundreds of years old, and outsider art and celebrity artists’ work expressed through diverse values.
PROJECTS is a series of solo shows developed by exhibitors each selecting a single artist or artist unit. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, there will be 11 contemporary art galleries participating, with a focus on up-and-coming artists who have a promising future in the domestic and international art scene.
New for AFT2019, Crossing is a gathering of exhibitors that exist outside of galleries and museums yet are an indispensable part of Japan’s art scene. The exhibitors will cross over one another with their sometimes unique, sometimes overlapping concepts and characteristics in this section.
The exhibition will feature many different approaches. There will be works from three of Japan’s major department stores, examples of street art, multi-media works, contemporary art that incorporates traditional techniques, and more. Craft associations from around Japan that keep culture, techniques, and hundreds of years of tradition going to the present day will present exhibits that preserve the distinctive qualities of their regions and histories into the contemporary world, and present possible visions of Japan’s culture going forward. There will also be pieces that aren’t bound by preexisting methods of expression, such as outsider art by people from a range of backgrounds as well as pieces by celebrity artists. In Crossing, visitors will be able to experience artistic expression from many viewpoints in the lobby gallery, which will act as the face of ART FAIR TOKYO 2019.
In 2011, Seibu’s Shibuya branch began a store concept called Art meets Life, which has become a place of creative expression, for not only cutting-edge fashion but also for art, design, and lifestyles. At ART FAIR TOKYO 2019, the department store will present three artists that have been represented at Seibu since the 1980s with their unique expressions of street culture. Street culture is closely related to such post-painting techniques as American contemporary pop art and graffiti art, and it is the genre that is getting the most attention in the fashion and art worlds today. The exhibit will feature the art of three artists: calligraphy legend Faust, LA street new style artist Joshua Vides, and Meguru Yamaguchi, who is based in New York and works with a unique brush stroke technique.
Meguru Yamaguchi / Joshua Vides / Faust
Mitsukoshi's art department was established in 1907, and now over a hundred years have passed. The department store has been used as a venue for countless exhibitions since that day. For the coming century, Mitsukoshi plans to respect its historical background, discover cutting edge contemporary art, and present art that will become a legacy for the future.
This theme is PRISM, and it features four contemporary artists who consider the possibilities of abstraction using color as a keyword. A prism reflects and refracts light. Come take a look at the abstract prism-like expressions made using a variety of methods and media.
Ayako Inoue、Satoshi Uchiumi、Ryoichi ujisaki、Yukiko Yanagida
studio COOCA is an atelier and welfare facility where people with disabilities do what they enjoy and what they are good at. See Taro Ito's collage work and kumade (lucky bamboo rakes) that are imbued with prayers for the prosperity of marine life, Yoshio Iwamoto's series of blond women with increasingly prominent noses, Sayaka Yokomizo's detailed worlds full of stories, and Tomoya Takahara's charming antics. Their creations made through dedication to their work is truly art without a doubt.
Taro Ito、Yoshio Iwamoto、Tomoya Takahara、Sayaka Yokomizo etc…
Yoshimoto Arts Entertainment (YAE) was founded in 2018 as a platform to cross over to the art world using Yoshimoto Kogyo's know-how of the entertainment industry. The company has built a system to create a variety of art content through link-ups with other organizations and experts, organizing art events, with a focus on artist management and agent services. In January 2019 at Osaka Namba, the LAUGH & PEACE ART GALLERY opened as an art entertainer and artist base for the company’s activities. Every month, a variety of exhibition events are to be held. ART FAIR TOKYO 2019 will present an introduction to the activities of YAE, and show some of the artwork by their roster of artists and art entertainers.
Razor Ramon ＨＧ、Kazuyuki Sakuma、Tenjikunezumi Katsumi Kawahara
This organization was founded in Kanazawa City in order to promote business creation for Kanazawa's crafts. At this exhibition, work will be featured from thirty-three craftspeople with a connection to Kanazawa. Each artist has made a piece with the theme of a treasure box to store something special. In the present age when lifestyles are diversifying, traditional craft techniques such as lacquerware, ceramics, metalwork, weaving, glass, and woodworking are used with high levels of technical skill to make unique works, with contemporary Japanese aesthetic forms.
AZUMA Hideo、IKEDA Terumasa、KUROKI Sayo、NAKATA Mayu、ANAKA Wakaba、FUJINO Seiichiro、FUJIHARA Chika、MATSUMOTO Yui、YAMAMURA Shinya、YOSHIDA Mayu、OHI Chozaemon XI、UCHIYAMA Mayumi、KAMBATA Shinya、SAITO Mayu、HANDA Atsushi、URANAKA Kotarou、KISE Hiroshi、SAKAI Naoki、ADACHI Daigo、KAWAMOTO Nobuhisa、KITAMURA Saki、YASUI Miboshi、SAKAI Yukana、SASAKI Rui、DEN Satomi、NAKANO Yuji、MATSUDA Sonoko、FUKUSHIMA Norio、KAKUMA Yasunori、LEE Ilryul、KIM Jeeah、Jang Dayeon、YANG Yuting
The Kanazawa Craft Council began in 1925 when it was established as the Kanazawa City Design Research Group and over the past 90 years it has contributed to the continuation of tradition and the development of craft. It holds the Kanazawa City Craft exhibition and creates opportunities for craftspeople within Japan and abroad to meet one another as part of its wide range of activities.
This time at ART FAIR TOKYO, there will be a range of quality artistic works with a high degree of diversity by a selection of artists belonging to the association, with everything from impressive craft techniques by living treatures and recipients of the Order of Culture to young and up-and-coming artists who make innovative works of art.
Ohi Toyasai(ChozaemonⅩ)、11th.Ohi Chozaemon(Toshio)、Nakagawa Mamoru、Uozumi Iraku、Naoki Sakai etc…
Kanazawa Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo was established with the goal of developing Kanazawa's traditional craft techniques through skills development that contributes to promotion of the crafts. There are five studios: ceramics, lacquerware, dyeing, metalwork, and glass, where technical trainees can both learn and freely create, cultivating sophisticated techniques and excellent sense of form, with which they are able to use to express the possibilities of craft to Japan and the world. This is the sixth time the studio will exhibit at ART FAIR TOKYO, and interest in craft within the art world is increasing year by year. This studio has selected work by ten people for the exhibit. Come see the diversity of expression and the aesthetic sense of young creators interacting with their material.
TANAKA Yoko、TSURI Mitsuho、JANG Dayeon、UKAI Kohei、FUWA Anzu、MITSUO Ruri、ODA Tshiki、NAKAMURA Aoi、SUGANO Yukiko、YONETSU Marina
This gallery opened in April 2017 on the 5th floor of Ginza Six. It is operated by Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Store Co., Ltd. and has new exhibitions every 1-2 weeks.
At ART FAIR TOKYO, Artglorieux will display some pieces by Hiroto Rakusho, based on the theme of the moon. The work, which uses foil technology passed down from Nishijin in Kyoto, offers a sense of Japan's traditional culture while also encompassing universal themes such as the power of life and the providence of the ancient natural world. The contemporary art pieces are sure to be understood intuitively by Japanese and non-Japanese alike.
For ART FAIR TOKYO 2019, the T.A.G. Gallery booth will feature artists with a connection to Toyama, who were selected in a competition. Some are established artists, while others are still emerging. It's a good balance and makes for a very appealing show.
This project is a cooperation between Toyama City, sponsor companies, and art dealers to provide opportunities for artists with a connection to Toyama to show and even sell their work. For eight years starting in 2011, the program has been mainly a domestic endeavor, but from 2019 it will begin expanding distribution channels overseas, so that artists with a connection to Toyama can dream big, and create art with the expectation that they will be supported in this international program.
KOTERA Akihiro、KOSOGAWA Runa、MATSUFUJI Koichi、KOMIYA Takashi、MIYAMOTO Takaki、KISHIMOTO Kohei、SASAKI Hikari、SASAKI Nobuyoshi、MAKIDA Emi、HIRAI Chikako、KIYOKAWA Hokuto
The Urushi Lacquer Ware Institute in Kagawa prefecture was established in 1954, a step ahead of the rest of the country. It transmits Kagawa's traditional lacquer techniques such as choshitsu, kinma, and zonsei, training successors and improving technology. There are over 400 people who have completed the program, and many of them are active as lacquer ware artists and craftspeople today.
The institute offers two programs; one for trainees and one for researchers, and offers basic courses in design and modeling as well as comprehensive lacqueur techniques for doing all steps in the making of lacqueur ware: the base form, lacquering, and decorating.
The biggest appeal of the institute is that it teaches not only lacquer ware techniques but also modeling and color theory, as well as the attitude towards lacquer craft, from a group of instructors, some of whom are actual living treasures from whom students are able to learn everything directly.
The exhibiting artists are both graduates of the institute who have gone on to win the Japanese Crafts Art Association Newcomer Award at the Japanese Traditional Crafts Exhibition. Genichiro Ando finished in 2004 while Natsuko Kamigaki finished in 2010. Ando uses handmade washi paper and lacquer to make vessels in a method called shitai, while Kamigaki makes woven bamboo vessels using the rantai technique. Both use kinma techniques to decorate their work with a fresh and contemporary sense of style, creating boxes and trays, tea utensils and art objects.
ANDO Genichiro、KAMIGAKI Natsuko
Projects is a section of Art Fair Tokyo where up-and-coming galleries from the Japanese art scene exhibit artists in the style of solo shows. Twelve galleries with a dynamic presence on the domestic and international scenes will create impressive exhibition spaces that condense the highly individual visions of the respective artists into booths of six square meters. These twelve notable artists’ work includes a wide range of art, from the conceptual to installations, from works infused with a sense of the contemporary, physicality, and virtuosity to works that employ such original materials and media as origami cranes, terracotta, laser-cut stencils, giclée prints, and beeswax. With its solo shows of young artists presenting relatively affordable exhibits, the Projects section is also recommended for visitors looking to purchase a work of art for the first time. Enjoy these exhibitions brimming with worlds created by the future leaders of the Japanese art scene.
Dan Isomura is a young artist who works across disciplines both in and outside Japan. His recent projects include residencies at the Kuandu Residency Program in Taiwan and at the Wat Phai Rong Wua temple in Thailand, a collaborative event marking 60 years since the birth of Keith Haring, and participating in Shingo Katori’s “NAKAMA de ART” exhibition. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, Isomura will exhibit paintings exploring the themes of new divisions and transference, created on metal panels curved and turned into mirrors.
Born 1993 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Moe Nakase was influenced by her sculptor father and started working as an artist from 2015. She creates encaustic works employing beeswax. She exhibited at BROOKLYN BEAUTY FASHION LABO in 2017 and won the Grand Prize at the J-Collabo Annual Exhibition that December. In September 2018, she held her first professional exhibition in Japan at CLEAR GALLERY TOKYO in Roppongi. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, Wooly magazine, a long-time supporter of Nakase, will partner with CLEAR GALLERY TOKYO to exhibit a set of Nakase’s latest work.
Syujinko (literally, “protagonist”) is a project launched about half a year ago by an artist already working under a different name. Syujinko’s output features anime characters, which are all fictitious figures with the title of Watashi (“I”). At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, Syujinko will express “I” as a medium of dependency, similarly to Natsume Soseki’s I am a Cat. Our world today is inundated with media of dependency, like how a player selects a protagonist in the game Dragon Quest. The exhibit will comprise an installation of such fragments.
Kohei Yamada started working as an artist from 2015, while he was still a student at Hiroshima City University. He has achieved success at art fairs in Asia, including in China, South Korea, and Taiwan, establishing himself as a young oil painter with overseas clients. In 2016, he also completed his graduate studies at Hiroshima City University. At his first solo show in Tokyo held at Kinosho Kikaku Contemporary Art in 2017, over 80 percent of the exhibits were sold, indicating his value for Japanese collectors. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, Yamada will exhibit pop art paintings in a range of sizes, employing an original technique that is careful and delicate.
Born in 1994, Yu Seto started studying sculpture at Tokyo University of the Arts from 2014 and then working as the assistant of the sculptor Akio Ohmori from 2015. Searching for sculptural forms for bringing out the vitality of nature to the full, his practice endeavors to extract part of massive cycles of power such as earth and water. His terracotta pieces made with unglazed clay bring out the artist’s texture and traces directly on the surface, resulting in dynamic works of art. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, he will exhibit richly individual lion, rabbit, phoenix, and other animal sculptures on the theme of water.
Naoki Onogawa’s art uses tiny cranes made from folding paper that he combines into trees. The resulting set of folded cranes, which can vary from several hundred to over a thousand per individual work of art, conjure up a majestic aura, further captivating the viewer with its overwhelming attention to detail. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, Onogawa will construct a meticulous world across the entire exhibition space that also incorporates new approaches.
Keisuke Koizumi’s sculptural practice explores the relationship between bodies and objects through painting, drawing, and plaster. The image of the body that appears in his work is an architectural construction from beams and pillars as well as a vessel for accommodating human vigor and sexual love. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, he will exhibit abnormally shaped canvases that resemble a body as well as drawings and sculptures.
Born in 1978, Shunsuke Imai’s compositions feature highly colorful stripes and overlapping circles, based on his inquiry into the fundamental elements of painting that are color and form. He explores the possibilities of the painting space and the essence of “viewing.” His recent practice has broadened his output beyond just the canvas, encompassing collaborations with fashion brands, large-scale murals, and film works shot using cloth on which an artwork is painted. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, he will present new paintings that reveal a fresh approach.
Born in 1977 in the United States, Alex Dodge is based in New York. His practice involves using laser-cut stencils to press paints onto the canvas. His work is part of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, and more. He will hold a solo show at Maki Fine Arts in Tokyo from March 23, 2019. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, which will mark his first exhibition in Japan, he plans to present new works from a series employing the New York Times as a motif.
Tamaho Togasaki portrays a Tokyo that repeats a cycle of investment and return by the power of capital. Time marches on, whether we wish it or not. The accelerating attitude of scrap-and-build continually renews things, leaving the past behind to be quietly forgotten. Observing Tokyo from a young age, Togasaki picks up these forgotten things one by one to record and commit them to memory. He creates his art so as to confirm his own existence and the landscape of his gaze. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, he will exhibit work with a focus on the surface of the metropolis that is Tokyo.
Born in Osaka Prefecture in 1991, Daichi Miyamoto is 27 years old. He graduated from Kyoto Seika University in 2013. In his practice, he constructs a highly original yet impossible “trans-world” out of unique diorama filled with machines from the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, Miyamoto will present a pop-up-style booth comprising some 20 pieces from the various hyper-real locations envisioned by the artist.
Ai Sano is a sculptor who uses marble to make animals and mythical creatures like dragons. At Art Fair Tokyo 2019, she will present a set of ten exhibits that intensely fuse the time encapsulated within the material of marble with the vision of the artist, exploring the theme of dragons that are born into a world of white and then return, repeating this cycle unnoticed over a long period of time. The appeal of Sano’s work lies in its ability to reset our preconceptions about marble sculpture as something indeterminate and distant. She will exhibit works that convey the attraction of a new generation of marble sculpture.