Last Updated:Sep 22, 2014

Art Fair Tokyo 2011

After being postponed due to the March 11th earthquake, Art Fair Tokyo finally kicked off

As usual the venue was the Tokyo International Forum, not so busy during the First Choice session of the preview.
As usual the venue was the Tokyo International Forum, not so busy during the First Choice session of the preview.
Photo: William Andrews

In the main ground floor hall, Ichiro Endo was decorating a wall display for the 'Artist for a day' (ichiji-gahaku) project, which runs art workshops for children.
In the main ground floor hall, Ichiro Endo was decorating a wall display for the 'Artist for a day' (ichiji-gahaku) project, which runs art workshops for children.
Photo: William Andrews

tokyo-art-fair-2011-3

Japanese TABlog Editor Rie Yoshioka was initially shocked by what she assumed were gallery staff hard at work installing the booth for Kobayashi Gallery. In fact the 'people' were two untitled works by Taiyo Kimura intended as stools. Inside there were speakers playing the familiar 'the next station is...' ramblings that society's alienated chant on trains.
Japanese TABlog Editor Rie Yoshioka was initially shocked by what she assumed were gallery staff hard at work installing the booth for Kobayashi Gallery. In fact the 'people' were two untitled works by Taiyo Kimura intended as stools. Inside there were speakers playing the familiar 'the next station is...' ramblings that society's alienated chant on trains.
Photo: William Andrews

There was the usual array of weird and creaturely offerings in many of the booths, turning a tour into a kind of freak show. Tsubaki Modern Gallery's booth was particularly crowded, including the red 'Eight legs elephant' (2010) by Hiroo Amano in the centre.
There was the usual array of weird and creaturely offerings in many of the booths, turning a tour into a kind of freak show. Tsubaki Modern Gallery's booth was particularly crowded, including the red 'Eight legs elephant' (2010) by Hiroo Amano in the centre.
Photo: William Andrews

Takashi Yamauchi's 'on the summits' at Gallery Hirota Fine Art.
Takashi Yamauchi's 'on the summits' at Gallery Hirota Fine Art.
Photo: William Andrews

Nagoya's Gallery APA delivered some startlingly detailed wooden sculptures by Takeshi Haguri.
Nagoya's Gallery APA delivered some startlingly detailed wooden sculptures by Takeshi Haguri.
Photo: William Andrews

Despite his un-nerving name, artist U-die proved very hospitable as he explained his work at the booth for Osaka's Yoshiaki Inoue Gallery.
Despite his un-nerving name, artist U-die proved very hospitable as he explained his work at the booth for Osaka's Yoshiaki Inoue Gallery.
Photo: William Andrews

With many major names like Mizuma Gallery, Wako Works of Art, Koyanagi Gallery and Taro Nasu not participating, there was an undeniable lack of oomph to the early part of the preview.
With many major names like Mizuma Gallery, Wako Works of Art, Koyanagi Gallery and Taro Nasu not participating, there was an undeniable lack of oomph to the early part of the preview.
Photo: William Andrews

Tomio Koyama was as always the beaming social animal.
Tomio Koyama was as always the beaming social animal.
Photo: William Andrews

In a break between guests Taka Ishii and his team keep up to date with outside developments through their digital devices. In the background is 'Another day', a new series by Marijke van Warmerdam.
In a break between guests Taka Ishii and his team keep up to date with outside developments through their digital devices. In the background is 'Another day', a new series by Marijke van Warmerdam.
Photo: William Andrews

A radiant Kei Imazu in front of her new offerings at Yamamoto Gendai.
A radiant Kei Imazu in front of her new offerings at Yamamoto Gendai.
Photo: William Andrews

Unfortunately there was no guidance or staff on hand at the hiromiyoshii booth to tell us the name of this delicate artwork that was in danger of being trampled on. Behind, former Art Fair Tokyo director Misa Shin greets guests at the large booth for her new gallery.
Unfortunately there was no guidance or staff on hand at the hiromiyoshii booth to tell us the name of this delicate artwork that was in danger of being trampled on. Behind, former Art Fair Tokyo director Misa Shin greets guests at the large booth for her new gallery.
Photo: William Andrews

Tucked away behind some pillars was a special booth for the 'more trees' eco project, displaying designer penguins by Takashi Kuribayashi.
Tucked away behind some pillars was a special booth for the 'more trees' eco project, displaying designer penguins by Takashi Kuribayashi.
Photo: William Andrews

Upstairs in the Projects section of younger galleries, most of the booths were much tighter. However, a new addition was this special area called 'Artistic Practices'. Here Tadasu Takamine exhibited his 'super-capacitors' explorations into technology and energy.
Upstairs in the Projects section of younger galleries, most of the booths were much tighter. However, a new addition was this special area called 'Artistic Practices'. Here Tadasu Takamine exhibited his 'super-capacitors' explorations into technology and energy.
Photo: William Andrews

For Nanzuka Underground Yuji Honbori created cardboard versions of Buddhist sculptures.
For Nanzuka Underground Yuji Honbori created cardboard versions of Buddhist sculptures.
Photo: William Andrews

Another Nagoya space, gallery N, and lacquer deer sculptures by Ichizo Ino.
Another Nagoya space, gallery N, and lacquer deer sculptures by Ichizo Ino.
Photo: William Andrews
'Are you tired when I am tired?' by Goro Murayama took over the whole of Aisho Miura Arts' booth.
'Are you tired when I am tired?' by Goro Murayama took over the whole of Aisho Miura Arts' booth.
Photo: William Andrews

Chaos at Mujin-to Production where they showcased the work of Tsubasa Kato.
Chaos at Mujin-to Production where they showcased the work of Tsubasa Kato.
Photo: William Andrews

Along with some talk events, one of the nods towards the recent catastrophe in Japan is a charity stall selling fans decorated by artists.
Along with some talk events, one of the nods towards the recent catastrophe in Japan is a charity stall selling fans decorated by artists.
Photo: William Andrews

It's revealing, though, when the best art is displayed on the visitors' clothing! Here artist Junichi Kusaka models what he claimed was a genuine Tatsuo Miyajima installation of LED numbers.
It's revealing, though, when the best art is displayed on the visitors' clothing! Here artist Junichi Kusaka models what he claimed was a genuine Tatsuo Miyajima installation of LED numbers.
Photo: William Andrews

AD

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>.

AD

AD