• Ideas
  • Mar 23, 2015

Highlights From Art Fair Tokyo 2015

At the 10th edition of Art Fair Tokyo (3/20–22), more than 140 exhibitors from 30 countries presented art and antiques throughout two wings of the Tokyo International Forum. A dedicated section for contemporary art saw participation by key players from Japan and a handful of international galleries. It also housed “Artistic Practices,” a curated exhibition sector, which showcased works by 24 Japanese artists under three distinct themes. “Rimpa Pop” featured contemporary works inspired by the 17th-century Rimpa School of art; the second section displayed 20th-century postwar Mono-ha pieces, and the third part showed an assemblage of works by artists who have exhibited at the Japan Pavilion of the Venice Biennale from 1988 to the present day. Somewhat oddly, jewelry was also exhibited in the contemporary sector of the fair.

Crowds were strong on the first two days of the fair. On opening night, red stickers cropped up on works priced as high as JPY 3 million (USD 25,000), while several big ticket items (including a landscape by Liu Wei for JPY 30 million [USD 250,000]) had yet to be picked up. Among the art-world regulars who made the trip to Tokyo from Hong Kong, on the heels of Art Basel, were Magnus Renfrew, deputy chairman of Bonhams Asia, and Alexander Montague-Sparey, curator and director of Photo Shanghai. Several loyal galleries exhibited back-to-back at both fairs, including Tokyo’s Arataniurano, Shugoarts, SCAI the Bathhouse, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, Yamamoto Gendai, Ota Fine Arts and Kobe’s Gallery Yamaki Fine Art, making March a true marathon art month in Asia.