The inaugural edition of the major new international art fair Tokyo Gendai opens its door today for the VIP Preview at Pacifico Yokohama. Organized by The Art Assembly, and with SMBC Group as Principal Partner, the fair is open to the public from 7-9 July 2023. For its first ever edition, the fair presents a world-class showcase of art from 73 international galleries and a special program celebrating contemporary Japanese culture.
Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder, Tokyo Gendai says: ‘Japan has a global reputation as a leading destination for culture and the opening of Tokyo Gendai provides a vital new focal point, putting the spotlight firmly on the creative scene here. Tokyo has an exceptional opportunity to become a leading art market capital in Asia and a major annual meeting place for the global art world. Working together with our partners, Tokyo Gendai convenes all elements of the art scene from the artists and galleries, to the collectors, curators, institutions, companies and government agencies who share our vision of the exceptional potential of Japan.’
Eri Takane, Fair Director, Tokyo Gendai says: ‘Tokyo Gendai celebrates the variety and complexity of the art scene in Japan. Despite its compelling culture and world-renowned museums and galleries, it has been several decades since Japan had an art fair of this scale and caliber, and we are excited to host visitors from all over the world and show them everything that Japan has to offer. We have built a program throughout the fair week which explores many different facets of local creativity, and we welcome everyone to dive in and make discoveries.’
Jun Ohta, President and Group CEO of SMBC says: ‘As the Principal Partner of Tokyo Gendai, SMBC Group is delighted to witness the successful opening of the art fair. We look forward to welcoming many visitors and having them experience world-class art.’
The fair program features the programming sector Tsubomi ‘Flower Bud’ showcasing a special exhibition entitled ‘life actually: the work of contemporary japanese women artists’, curated by Michiko Kasahara (Deputy Director, Artizon Museum) and Yuri Yamada (Curator, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum) and presenting works by some of Japan’s leading women artists including Leiko Ikemura (ShugoArts), Tomoko Yoneda (ShugoArts), Ayaka Yamamoto (amanaTIGP), Kunié Sugiura (Taka Ishii Gallery) and Yurie Nagashima (MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY).
The Art Talks program centers engaging conversations around contemporary culture in Japan and beyond, hosting discussions about key trends, topics and developments in today’s art world with cultural thought leaders from the Japanese art world including Mami Kataoka (Director, Mori Art Museum), Takeo Obayashi (Chairman, Obayashi Corporation; Chairman of the Board, The Obayashi Foundation), Fumio Nanjo (Senior Advisor, Mori Art Museum; General Advisor, Towada Art Center; Senior Advisor, Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art; Executive Director, Arts Maebashi), acclaimed sculptor Kohei Nawa, Carol Yinghua Lu (Art Historian/Curator, Director of Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum), Liu Ding (Artist/Curator, Artistic Director of the 8th Yokohama Triennale 2024), Kuraya Mika (Director of Yokohama Museum of Art, Executive Director of Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale), architect Yuko Nagayama, Michiko Kasahara (Deputy Director, Artizon Museum) and Yuri Yamada (Curator, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum), and celebrated artists Noboru Tsubaki, Shinji Omaki and Takuro Kuwata.
Artist Ryuichi Ohira unveils a new large-scale installation created specially for Tokyo Gendai. Entitled The Circuit, the installation alludes to the many different definitions of the term ‘circuit’: race tracks; electrical circuits; the philosophical concept of a non-hierarchical, decentralized, and interconnected system; as well as a synapse in neurology.
The fair additionally includes the Ne ‘Root’ section presenting several leading local foundations who host special showcases of their work including: The Obayashi Foundation; Fukutake Foundation; The Yoshii Foundation and KIYOHARU ART COLONY; Odawara Art Foundation and Taguchi Art Collection.
The week around the fair features a series of special events, exhibitions and gallery evenings that invite Tokyo Gendai visitors to explore the local culture of Japan including exhibitions at The National Art Center, Tokyo, the Mori Art Museum, Artizon Museum, and a special gallery night on the evening of 5 July ‘YUKATA ART NIGHT’ inviting visitors to enjoy the buzzing galleries of Roppongi, a district in Tokyo known for its exciting cultural scene.
TERRADA ART COMPLEX, one of Japan‘s most significant art complexes and home to numerous leading art galleries, will host a special Gallery Night on 7 July, for which 19 galleries will open their doors to the public including MAKI Gallery, SCAI PARK, Taka Ishii, ANOMALY, ShugoArts, and Tomio Koyama Gallery. WHAT MUSEUM, a collectors’ museum of contemporary art operated by Warehouse TERRADA, hosts two exhibitions and elsewhere CADAN : Gendai Bijutsu 2023 is the second in an ongoing series of exhibitions organized by the Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon (CADAN).
Tokyo Gendai is supported by a grant from the Japan Tourism Agency which goes towards a bespoke VIP program of unique experiences highlighting cultural havens around Japan including special events within the city of Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, including a visit to the Sankeien Garden, and the BankArt Station + KAIKO, as well as Kanagawa’s Odawara Art Foundation Enoura Observatory. This marks the first step in Tokyo Gendai’s collaboration with the Japan Tourism Agency, to warmly welcome the global art community and support the development of cultural tourism in various regions of the country.