by Vatsala SethiOct 08, 2022
Tokyo, one of the most significant art towns in the world, is an origami of simplicity, one that has managed to define new geometric laws for interactive art with a rich and intriguing history. Throughout the year, the city hosts some of the world's most spectacular art festivals and events. Art Week Tokyo, is an annual event that features a wide range of art exhibitions, from antiques to cutting-edge contemporary art. With COVID-19 restrictions relaxing and Japan's borders finally reopening to travellers, Tokyo is seeing an explosion of cultural activities. Annually, on November 3, Japan celebrates Culture Day, a national holiday instituted in 1948 to encourage the art and culture scene of the region. The expanded edition of Art Week Tokyo begins on Culture Day itself and is a citywide project organised in cooperation with Art Basel, combining 51 of Tokyo's major art galleries and institutions.
Atsuko Ninagawa, the director of Art Week Tokyo, stated in an official release, “Conceived as an alternative to existing international art fair and biennale models, Art Week Tokyo is a citywide initiative that brings visitors not to just one type of venue but to an array of sites where contemporary art takes place. In celebrating the diversity and vitality of the local Japanese art scene, Art Week Tokyo is also inspired by the great capital of culture, fashion, and innovation that is Tokyo. We have produced an event that is simultaneously networked and de-centred, communal and individuated, and accessible from any point. I believe that through the sustained efforts of our participating venues, our stakeholders, and, most importantly, an expanding art-viewing public, Art Week Tokyo will continue to grow as a platform for experimenting with new forms of exhibition-making and for fostering exchanges among art professionals from across the Asia Pacific and beyond.”
The exhibition schedule for Art Week Tokyo exhibits a thrilling blend of instinctive experimentation and thorough contemplation characterising the best of Japanese modern and contemporary art. One of the key attractions is a large-scale retrospective exhibition of Mono-ha visual artist and philosopher—Lee Ufan, and renegade multimedia artist and writer—Shinro Ohtake. Presenting a combination of new media techniques are—Taro Nasu gallery's exhibition of works by media art pioneer Ryoji Ikeda. Kana Kawanishi Gallery's latest display of Post-Internet photographer Hideo Anze, and other galleries and artists including—Takashi Ishida, Yuko Mohri, and Yuichiro Tamura shows, as well as a two-person show by photographer Ryudai Takano and media artist Chikako Yamashiro.
The art fair will also feature recent works by photographer Rinko Kawauchi, a survey of emerging artists working with photo-based methods at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, a solo exhibition by contemporary artist Kozo Miyoshi at the PGI, and much more. Exhibitions range from veteran Mitsuko Miwa's debut solo display at SCAI The Bathhouse to mixed-media artist Emi Otaguro's maiden excursion into oil painting at Kayoko Yuki, demonstrating the country's strong and vital heritage of female painters. This edition of Art Week Tokyo includes the debut of a new video program, the inauguration of a new commission to promote rising architects, AWT Bar, and the return of Arts Initiative Tokyo's online lectures series.
Platforming emerging artists along with established artists of the Tokyo art scene, the three-day-long exhibition was a celebration of the contemporary art scene of Tokyo, opening up a new world of artistic mediums and perspectives to visitors from across the globe.
The art exhibition is on display till November 6, 2022.
Text by Vatsala Sethi (Asst. Editorial Coordinator (Arts))