Last Updated:Apr 16, 2009

Art Fair Tokyo 2009

Japan’s biggest art fair was just that, a really big art fair. Almost impossible to navigate without getting exhausted, there was at least something for everyone. TAB offers a selected handful of the most interesting booths…

The Fair was held at Tokyo International Forum.
The Fair was held at Tokyo International Forum.
Photo: William Andrews

It was a rather formal affair at the preview, including an opening ceremony. Cutting the ribbon were dignitaries such as the Norwegian Ambassador and, here, politician Seiko Noda.
It was a rather formal affair at the preview, including an opening ceremony. Cutting the ribbon were dignitaries such as the Norwegian Ambassador and, here, politician Seiko Noda.
Photo: WA

With over 140 participating galleries, it was hard to know where to start.
With over 140 participating galleries, it was hard to know where to start.
Photo: WA

At times it just felt like row after row of booths and aisles.
At times it just felt like row after row of booths and aisles.
Photo: Kaori Sakai

The powerhouse contemporary galleries were all present, including Mizuma Art Gallery.
The powerhouse contemporary galleries were all present, including Mizuma Art Gallery.
Photo: KS

Ai Yamaguchi's beguiling large-scale work.
Ai Yamaguchi's beguiling large-scale work.
Photo: KS

Tomio Koyama Gallery's booth. The sculpture is by Stephan Balkenhol.
Tomio Koyama Gallery's booth. The sculpture is by Stephan Balkenhol.
Photo: KS

SCAI the Bathhouse had selections from their recent shows, including Darren Almond and, here, Jeppe Hein.
SCAI the Bathhouse had selections from their recent shows, including Darren Almond and, here, Jeppe Hein.
Photo: KS

Photo: KS

Vincent Fournier's photographs at the Marunouchi Gallery booth.
Vincent Fournier's photographs at the Marunouchi Gallery booth.
Photo: WA

At the WAKO WORKS OF ART booth, some pieces needed a close inspection.
At the WAKO WORKS OF ART booth, some pieces needed a close inspection.
Photo: KS

Live painting from Ayu Rokkayu.
Live painting from Ayu Rokkayu.
Photo: KS
An exhibit at the OUT of PLACE gallery booth.
An exhibit at the OUT of PLACE gallery booth.
Photo: KS


OUT of PLACE gallery's works.
OUT of PLACE gallery's works.
Photo: KS

Richard Stipl's impressive busts at the Christopher Cutts Gallery booth.
Richard Stipl's impressive busts at the Christopher Cutts Gallery booth.
Photo: Rie Yoshioka

Amongst the crowds there were some familiar faces. Here artist Teppei Kaneuji talks with a friend.
Amongst the crowds there were some familiar faces. Here artist Teppei Kaneuji talks with a friend.
Photo: WA

Due to the increased number of galleries this year, a second nearby venue, TOKIA Galleria, was employed for a single packed strip of booths.
Aoyama Meguro's contribution was very striking.
The unseal contemporary gallery's dazzling sculptures attracted attention.
The unseal contemporary gallery's dazzling sculptures attracted attention.
Photo: WA

One of the overseas participants, Korean Gallery Hangil and these works by Jungpyo Hong.
One of the overseas participants, Korean Gallery Hangil and these works by Jungpyo Hong.
Photo: WA

The pieces on display at Yamamoto Gendai's booth were rather unusual.
The pieces on display at Yamamoto Gendai's booth were rather unusual.
Photo: WA
Visitors were invited to sit in this furry dentist's chair and be strapped down.
Visitors were invited to sit in this furry dentist's chair and be strapped down.
Photo: WA

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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 (<a href="https://throwoutyourbooks.wordpress.com/">ThrowOutYourBooks.wordpress.com</a>) and one about Tokyo contemporary theatre (<a href="http://www.tokyostages.wordpress.com">TokyoStages.wordpress.com</a>). He is the author of <em>Dissenting Japan: A History of Japanese Radicalism and Counterculture, from 1945 to Fukushima</em>.

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