Meanwhile, the newly re-named Tobin Ohashi Gallery headed to Bakurocho, keeping with the trend of things in Tokyo moving eastwards.
Misa Shin stepped down from heading Art Fair Tokyo and opened her new eponymous gallery in Shirokane, a stone’s throw from the Yamamoto Gendai and Nanzuka Underground building. Her inaugural exhibition was a glitzy Ai Weiwei installation.
The other major new venue was 3331 Arts Chiyoda, opening as a permanent arts community centre, also in the east of Tokyo. The place was famously the site of 101Tokyo’s first edition and is a former school building. It now hosts multiple micro shows in each of the classrooms and the occasional large-scale event.
What to say of a whole twelve months of shows?
Some of the highlights of the calendar include a blockbuster at Mori, “Sensing Nature” (photo report by Maurizio Mucciola), and some hits for SCAI the Bathhouse were a solo show by Kohei Nawa (photo report by Maurizio Mucciola), major international artists like William Egglestone, Anish Kapoor and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, as well as a comeback for Tatsuo Miyajima.
101Tokyo was sadly not held this year but Art Fair Tokyo of course was, and attracted more visitors than ever before (though the number of exhibitors was slightly down and some major galleries did not participate). Zine’s Mate, the art book fair, returned for a second year, this time at laid-back 3331.
A major new event appeared as well, G-Tokyo, a select and distinctly curated art fair at Mori in Roppongi. It is also confirmed for February 2011.
My favourite example of public art this year, though, was probably the light and music installation ‘Hikari no Tokei’, at Ikebukuro’s Seibu department store.
We’ve already mentioned 3331 but even more original was the venue for the mini art fair “Art Tengoku 2010”, a public bathhouse (sento). Fingers crossed something similar happens next year too!