The 12th edition of Art Fair Tokyo takes the theme Art is Alive as the central focus. This ethos has two pivotal values: firstly, to narrow the distance between artworks and people, and secondly, to help visitors to get closer to the essence of one another. The event, which has been running alongside Japan’s market since its inauguration, not only extends the reach of Asian practice into the global trade, but also nurtures a worldwide dialogue on the region and the issues facing the contemporary craft today.
Visitors are welcomed into the Tokyo International Forum through the Lobby Gallery, a space filled booths embodying the central theme, collectively conveying a sense that art is an extension of life. The main area includes 150 leading organisations representing countries from across the world, galleries featuring a diverse spectrum of creativity from across all mediums. Alongside some of the biggest names in the industry, the Hopin’ Pocketful exhibition showcases 60 young, innovative practitioners, selected from the participating bodies, highlighting a selection of the most recent and pioneering work of the generation.
A range of other events continue the fair’s premise. Visitors are invited to a live experience with Ron English, an American-born street art pioneer, who will generate a live painting on the main stage testifying to the programme’s defining concept. The finished piece will be auctioned, the proceeds donated in support of earthquake recovery. PROJECTS provides audiences with fresh encounters with the creative disciplines through the inventive use of materials and methods; 12 solo exhibitions – from figures such as Yoshitoshi Kanemaki, Teppei Kaneuji and Katsuo Tachi – offer a rich cultural tapestry innovative practice. In Female Hero, the festival collaborates with Tokyo Girls Collection, celebrating the connection between art and fashion as one that links generations; exploring the possibilities of the market by sharing and diversifying the values of the two mediums. Lastly, the results of the Japanese Art Industry Market Research Report 2016, a large-scale survey designed to estimate the size of the market, will be released. This survey offers the most recent and in-depth knowledge of the contemporary Asian trade, the data shedding light on information that has previously been unknown.
Art Fair Tokyo, Tokyo International Forum, 16-19 March, for more information and the full programme, visit: www.artfairtokyo.com
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1. Standing, pe lang, color | nº 10 (2016). Courtesy of Art Fair Tokyo.