On Jan 27, a press conference for “Art Fair Tokyo 2014,” the largest art fair in Japan, was held at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, the main partner hotel of the event.

Being held for the 9th time, this year’s event will introduce 145 galleries from 28 cities, of which 13 are from overseas (as of Jan 27). At the press conference, three members of the board talked about the highlights of the upcoming fair.

Mitsuru Uragami, the founder of Uragami Sokyu-do, talked about the antique section at which artworks from 20 galleries will be showcased. Aside from antiques and Ukiyo-e wood block prints, the latest collections selected by each gallery will be introduced. Uragami Sokyu-do will present Hokusai Manga, the best seller by Katsushika Hokusai. Hokusai Manga celebrates its 200th anniversary this year since the issue of the first edition. Uragami said that the artwork was a must-see item as Hokusai had an impact on world famous artists such as Edouard Manet and Andy Warhol. The Uragami Sokyu-do’s collection is said to be the best in the world.

The Artistic Practices section will introduce great artworks and projects under the concept, “There are artistic experiments at any age and in any genre.” Themed as “modern times created by Japan,” modern arts created by Japanese painters including Ryuzaburo Umehara, Yasuo Kazuki and Tsuguharu Foujita will go on display. Hozu Yamamoto, the representative of Tokyo Gallery+BTAP, said, “Modern paintings are the ones created by Japanese artists. After World War II, western artists who were influenced by Japanese artists during the Neo Japonism period in turn affected Japanese artists, and artworks which can only be created by Japanese were born. Japanese modern arts are the object of attention from overseas museums including the MoMA. This time, we will focus on the transition period from modern to contemporary art. We want people to feel the unique Japanese sensitivity.”

Yuko Yamamoto, the representative of Yamamoto Gendai, talked about the new section G-plus, which will introduce artworks from domestic galleries of contemporary art. “We will center on collaborated exhibits by several galleries, overstepping the genres of contemporary art and old art. We will entertain people with show-like projects.” The line-up will include the artworks by Noe Aoki, Kohei Nawa, Simon Fujiwara and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

In addition, Tokyo Limited will introduce artifacts, jewelry and fashion referred to as “contemporary objects,” Discover Asia will introduce the works of galleries from Manila and Jakarta and Covered Tokyo will introduce the team of four up-and-coming galleries. For the collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo, Tokyo brand matohu will present an installation of its 2014 SS collection under the theme “Tsukushi.”

Takahiro Kaneshima, the executive director for Art Fair Tokyo said, “The fair is divided into many sections, however, people can circulate from one to another, enjoying various artworks and collaborations. We aimed to create an art fair which could only be realized in Japan. We want people to appreciate art freely.”

Masayoshi Kodaira of FLAME inc. handled the key visuals this year as well. He collaborated with Teppei Kaneuji to create visuals including alphabets, paints and a decorated car in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz.

During the event period, talk shows, seminars, workshops and parties will be held. The Japan Media Arts Festival partners with the event from this year to hold talk shows by awarded artists including Daito Manabe of Rhizomatiks.

【Event Information】
Date: Mar 7 to 9
Venue: Tokyo International Forum, B2F Exhibition Hall
Address: 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Public Exhibition:
March 7, 11:00 - 21:00
March 8, 11:00 - 20:00
March 9, 10:30 - 17:00
Admission: 1-Day Passport 2,000 yen, 3-Day Passport 3,500 yen