Art Fair Tokyo 2016

First established in 1992 as Nippon International Contemporary Art Fair (NICAF), Art Fair Tokyo is now the biggest fair of its kind in Japan. Originally focusing on contemporary art, the fair has now branched out to showcase a variety of artistic styles and disciplines from a range of eras across its 5,000 square metre site. Taking place from 12-14 May, the fair will welcome 157 exhibitors from 19 countries and territories, all of which will have the opportunity to present a unique selection of pieces within Tokyo International Forum, Hall E & Lobby Gallery. In 2016, the fair will be comprised of five diverse sections. We take a look at this year’s highlights.

Following the 2015 alteration in Japanese corporate legislation, which states that artworks purchased for less than one million yen are to be treated as depreciable assets, Art Fair Tokyo has organised 100 KIN; a platform that introduces 30 new pieces of art covered by these rules.  The aim of 100 KIN is to give corporations the opportunity to purchase these pieces and to take advantage of the reformation. Galleries featured in this section include Nukaga Gallery, Taguchi Fine Art and Gallery Tomura.

Meanwhile, in Artistic Practices, Face Up!, exhibitors such as Mizuma Art Gallery and Yuka Tsuruno Gallery will present artistic practices that focus on the theme of identity and people. Established in 2011, Face Up! encourages visitors to question how they perceive and experience the world around them within today’s digitally-saturated and internet-orientated way of life.

The Projects sector sees a revamp in 2016: it moves away from a focus on contemporary art galleries, to instead introduce the work of emerging artists under the theme of Don’t Think, Feel!. Artists including Nami Shibata, Chiho Yamagishi and Rachel Adams will represent the vibrant energies exuding from new practices today. Accompanying section Mercedes-Benz Art Car Collaboration invites artist Kohei Nawa to create a new car design, while a new sponsor booth by Pola Art Foundation will display a new project by Kentaro Yokouchi, who received a grant from Pola to study overseas as an emerging artist.

In addition, visitors are invited to attend the Tokyo Art Summit on 12 May. The collective name for three international conferences, Tokyo Art Summit is a meeting place for chairmen/representatives of gallery associations around the Asia-Pacific region, as well as directors of art fairs in Asia and media industry peers, to discuss the art market in Asia.

Art Fair Tokyo, 12-14 May, Hall E and Lobby Gallery, Tokyo International Forum, 3 Chome-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo-to, 100-0005, Japan.

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1. Jong Yong Yang, Moss, 2015, oil on canvas. Eugene Gallery.