Tokyo Frontline 2012 & G-tokyo 2012

Two venues. Two art fairs. One weekend.

poster for G-tokyo 2012

G-tokyo 2012

at Mori Arts Center Gallery
in the Roppongi, Nogizaka area
This event has ended - (2012-02-25 - 2012-02-26)

poster for Tokyo Frontline 2012

Tokyo Frontline 2012

at 3331 Arts Chiyoda
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2012-02-24 - 2012-02-26)

poster for

"F.E.S. Yoshiaki Kuribara's Fantastic Eccentric Show with Dokuro All Stars"

at 3331 Arts Chiyoda
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2012-02-23 - 2012-03-04)

In Photo Reports by William Andrews 2012-02-25

Following its debut last year, Tokyo Frontline has returned to 3331 Arts Chiyoda. The theme this year was 'emotional material' and featured a selection of exhibiting young galleries and 'project' collaborations with units, organizations and corporations.

Smaller than last year, nevertheless the self-proclaimed 'new concept' art fair occupies the whole of the ground floor of the former school building.

Much of what makes Frontline different from other Japanese art fairs is its 'exhibition sales area': open spaces and installations rather than dreaded booths.

'ECTOPLASM' (2010-2011) by Takahiro Komuro

A member of Kohei Nawa's Sandwich 'creative platform for contemporary art' unit, Aihara Beads Store presented bizarre baby furniture.

Guests crowd round the jewelry store-style drawers that held gallery deux poissons' miniature exhibits.

Hanging characters from Takuya Yamashita, also part of the Sandwich unit, were installed at various spots throughout the art fair.

Last year Tokyo Frontline also used the gymnasium upstairs but for 2012 instead it was being occupied by a separate event, Fantastic Eccentric Show. The circus-cum-installation-cum-performance-art-cum-theme-park certainly lived up to its name and left at least this reporter pretty baffled.

Tokyo Frontline opened on Friday in Akihabara, while G-tokyo 2012, following two previous incarnations, opened on Saturday at Mori Arts Center Gallery in Roppongi.

Again proving that less is more, it features 'just' a select sixteen galleries exhibiting in large booths, most of which focus on solo artist installations. At the Mizuma Art Gallery space visitors admired the large wooden Koji Tanada sculptures, 'Namikaze'.

Playful Simon Fujiwara works at the Taro Nasu booth beg for vistors' coins.While new work by Chihara Shiota weaved a spell at Kenji Taki Gallery.

William Andrews

William Andrews. William Andrews came to Japan in 2004. He first lived in Osaka, where he was a translator for Kansai Art Beat. Arriving in Tokyo in 2008, he now works as an writer, editor and translator. He writes a blog about Japanese radicalism and counterculture (ThrowOutYourBooks.wordpress.com) and one about Tokyo contemporary theatre (TokyoStages.wordpress.com). He is the author of Dissenting Japan: A History of Japanese Radicalism and Counterculture, from 1945 to Fukushima. » See other writings

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