Welcome from the committee. Just before the opening of Art Fair Tokyo 2023!
■Mitsuru Uragami (Uragami Sokyu-do)
The important points to consider when choosing a piece of art are aesthetic sensibility, knowledge, and information. But most of all, “looking” at the work is important. You can just start there.
When purchasing antiques, there is the issue of identifying whether it is an imitation, but even if it is the real thing, there can be a broad range of prices depending on the workmanship of a piece. Where to find value? We experts are here to help you with such questions.
An art fair is like mixed martial arts. The fair venue is the stage, and the artworks are arranged there. Exhibitors have their own sense and responsibility, from contemporary to antiques, they put good pieces on display. Customers also look for things that are appealing and have value to them personally. In this competitive environment, both sides might as well enjoy themselves. And if someone finds an artwork they are interested in, I hope they will enter that booth and talk to someone from the gallery. Depending on the situation, you might actually visit the antique store or gallery afterwards and spend a quiet day looking.
■Kota Imatsu（Shunsei Gallery）
Art Fair Tokyo has many participating galleries and displays many works. If you find a work you’re interested-in, I hope we can talk about it so you can learn more about the work and have many discoveries. Even if you think you might want to buy it, you don’t have to decide during the fair period. Some people get in touch after the fair is over to say, “I just can’t forget about that piece.” A true love at first sight. The fair is meant to be an opportunity to get to know about galleries, so please take the full several days of the fair period to make conversation and get to know a range of galleries.
There’s nothing wrong with reaching out online or by telephone, but coming to the store, seeing the appearance of the shop and the works by other artists helps to understand what the gallery is all about. The work of a gallery is connecting works of art to their futures. Building relationships with galleries increases the possibility of encountering a work that fits you. I hope you enjoy this process of entering this cycle and expanding your world beyond that of the art fair.
■MAKI Gallery | Masahiro Maki
This year, seven galleries from overseas are participating, including Pearl Lam Galleries, and I think the number of visitors from overseas who were either unable to come during the pandemic or have taken a new interest in Tokyo will continue to grow. There was a noticeable increase at Art Week Tokyo and Art Collaboration Kyoto (ACK) in 2022. Because of this change in visitor demographics, the fair will inevitably be compared not only to other domestic fairs but to overseas fairs as well. We must prepare for this eventuality. How to display, engage with visitors, and promote; all of these things will be met with ever higher expectations in the years to come. A useful asset of Art Fair Tokyo is that people can see Japan’s art history flowing continuously from antiques to modern and contemporary art, which is why it is important to carefully select works for this critical moment where we have the opportunity to measure up as an international fair.
I agreed to be on the fair committee because I wanted to work with all the galleries to aim to achieve an even better-quality fair in a capacity beyond my status as a single gallery. If we can build the sort of fair that anyone can look at and think, “what an amazing display, there are good works here” then that will naturally raise the status of all participating galleries and artists’ brands. I want to work towards raising the position of the fair from a global perspective through constructive discussion with participating galleries and everyone in the community.