Art Fair Tokyo aims to make modern art more accessible to the public by taking it out of small, cliquey galleries and bringing some trade-fair razzmatazz to the proceedings. It’s a great idea, since all too often the art lover in this city, having spent an hour trekking to some obscure location, is rewarded with a “show” of a dozen works that can be viewed in a few minutes. The Art Fair is unique in that the 80 participating galleries offer a wide range of contemporary and traditional art, from modern avant-garde paintings to antique woodblock prints. The galleries are predominantly Japanese, with a large contingent from Tokyo including many that are regularly showcased here, such as SCAI, Mizuma, Roentgenwerke, Taguchi, Taro Nasu, Taka Ishii, etc. There are also a sprinkling from Kansai, and a handful of international entries from New York, Milan, Amsterdam, Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong. John Szoke Editions from New York specializes in fine contemporary prints, Inouye Oriental Art from Tokyo offers various modern pottery, and Keumsan Gallery from Seoul offers paintings by contemporary Korean artists. The Art Fair is unabashedly commercial, there’s even a friendly seminar series entitled “Let’s Go Buy Art,” and unlike a museum, the curators will be there hawking their artists and their works. With 80 galleries showing 1,500 works, Art Fair Tokyo sounds like a great day out – and a better show than many of the museum exhibitions (which generally average about 150 pieces). Art, now more than ever! [RJ]
It happens August 6-8, with tickets going for 1000 yen (800 yen in advance).