101Tokyo 2009 Opening Night

Despite the recession, 101Tokyo, the satellite event to Art Fair Tokyo, got off to a loud and bustling start in Akihabara.

poster for 101TOKYO Contemporary Art Fair 2009

101TOKYO Contemporary Art Fair 2009

at Akiba Square
in the Chiyoda area
This event has ended - (2009-04-02 - 2009-04-05)

In Photo Reports by William Andrews 2009-04-04

Akiba Square, this year's venue for 101Tokyo.
The weather was miserable but that didn't affect the party mood. Minglers in the foyer included Donald Eubank (Japan Times).
Man about town, and father of Tokyo Art Beat and 101Tokyo, Kousuke Fujitaka.
Writer and blogger Jean Snow.
Business transactions seemed to be far from gallerists’ minds. Rather, they were keen to introduce their work to whoever was passing. Though perhaps not as successful as last year’s interconnecting booth layout, the venue was still organized in an effective and fun way. Variety gave the different sections character and prevented you from getting lost. Some booths were huddled together like a mosh pit, meaning you couldn’t but help moving amongst the art works themselves.
Artist Sesamespace of fabre8710 gallery shows off her photographs 'girl girl girl #2' (2008). The wig the sheep are sporting is actually the artist's hair.
Nakaochiai Gallery's booth.
Striking nudity at the Yumiko Chiba Associates/viewing room GINZA booth.
Koen Vanmechelen's arresting work, represented by Berengo Collection.
A booth by sponsor Sony Digital Entertainment.
One of the best works at the Fair. Striking sculptures by Housaku Shibata at the Gallery Q booth. The Buddha's head is a giant brain.It wasn't just galleries exhibiting. This booth was by Zine's Mate, the Tokyo Art Book Fair taking place in July.

Osaka's ARTCOURT Gallery staff show visitors some of their collection. It included Poh Wang's video work 'Water Flows' (2007), where you crouch down and put on headphones to watch a ceramic swan find its way through Dutch streets to its aquatic home.
An opening night wouldn’t be an opening night without some strange, unexplained performances. 101Tokyo’s choice was eclectic but eschewed pretentiousness for sheer spontaneous inanity.
Yellow risotto performance.  The standing girl was orally feeding mashed sweet potato to the other, who then regurgitated the yellow mush into a black pot.
Experimental music performance feat. daikon.

Shintaro Miyake's 'Path to Egypt', part of the Tomio Koyama Gallery booth. An achaeological gesture towards Takashi Murakami.
Akuma no Shirushi (Devil's Sign) navigated and stumbled their way around the corridors at various points in the evening.
Kazuhito Matsumoto.
Yusuke Komuta's work greets visitors near the entrance.The Fair features a series called “101 Discoveries”, individual exhibits by up-and-coming artists, which did much to break up the monotony of booths you often experience at an art fair.

The Fair has also organized an accessible series of talk events on a range of themes, running throughout the April 4 and 5 weekend.
Akira Kamo's mural.
Yu Sato's work felt like it might suck you into its lair.
Guests steer around organic art on the wall by Tohru Matsushita.

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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