Tokyo Gendai today announces the list of 79 participating galleries and is delighted to welcome SMBC Group as Principal Partner for the inaugural edition. Organized by The Art Assembly, the Fair takes place at Pacifico Yokohama from 7-9 July 2023 (VIP Preview on 6 July).

Comprising galleries from Japan, the wider Asia Pacific region, and across the globe, Tokyo Gendai is a major new platform for commercial, artistic, and intellectual exchange and a nexus of cross-cultural discovery. As one of the world’s most exciting destinations, Japan is home to a dynamic contemporary art scene and a rich tapestry of cultural offerings, providing a strong draw for international exhibitors and visitors.

Tokyo Gendai is delighted to additionally announce the support of a grant from the Japan Tourism Agency. This government grant goes towards a bespoke program of unique experiences highlighting cultural havens around Japan including special events within the city of Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, and Kanagawa’s Odawara Art Foundation Enoura Observatory, founded by Hiroshi Sugimoto. This marks the first step in Tokyo Gendai’s collaboration with the Japan Tourism Agency, to warmly welcome the global art community and support the development of cultural tourism in various regions of the country. Tokyo Gendai looks forward to further building on this partnership, creating future opportunities to enrich Japan’s already thriving art ecosystem and to together champion Japan as an unmissable art destination.

The Fair invites international audiences to engage with and discover Japan’s long-established gallery scene and to explore its rich and varied cultural offerings through its renowned public institutions, private museums, and foundations. At the same time, Tokyo Gendai will help to nurture the domestic collector base by welcoming leading galleries from around the world. Tokyo Gendai will be accompanied by an extensive VIP programme of exhibitions and museum openings, studio visits, and cultural experiences celebrating the very best that Japan has to offer.
© Janaina Tschäpe, Pale Dawn, 2022, Courtesy of Nichido Contemporary Art Gallery
© Masato Mori, Obake House, 2022, Courtesy of Nanzuka
Magnus Renfrew Co-Founder, Tokyo Gendai says: ‘We are grateful to the Japan Tourism Agency, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and our Principal Partner SMBC Group for their support in the launch of this exciting inaugural edition. With its celebrated art history and a cultural reach far beyond its borders, Japan represents a significant opportunity and we are deeply committed to engaging with the art community who share our vision for the exceptional potential of its art scene. As organizers, we bring a track record of establishing and developing audiences and adhering to international standards of practice, and we believe strongly in the catalytic role that an art fair of this caliber can play in helping to put the spotlight on art and create a new focal point on the art world calendar.’

Tokura Shunichi, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan says: ‘Japan is home to a wonderful art scene which fascinates art lovers from around the world. There are a great number of artists creating new work, and a rich history and culture inspire their creations. We hope that Tokyo Gendai will serve as an opportunity to introduce and broadcast Japanese art and culture both domestically and internationally and that Japan will grow into a vibrant hub for the international exchange of art.’

Jun Ohta, President, and Group CEO of SMBC says: ‘SMBC Group is delighted to have the privilege of supporting Tokyo Gendai as a Principal Partner. We hope that Tokyo Gendai will act as a bridge between the Japanese art scene and the wider world, allowing for the Japanese art market to develop even further.’

Mr. Koichi Wada, Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency says: ‘I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on organizing the forthcoming Tokyo Gendai here in Japan. Contemporary art is one of our most vital tourism resources. Hosting an international art fair in Japan should prove a catalyst for Japan to attract attention domestically and internationally. This fair offers an opportunity for many people to see first-hand a variety of cultural arts and values. I hope this opportunity allows visitors as well as exhibitors from abroad to experience Japan’s charms and visit its regions.’

Eri Takane, Fair Director, Tokyo Gendai says: ‘We were very pleased with the list of galleries both locally and internationally who applied for Tokyo Gendai and I'm excited for us to all be brought together under one roof for the first time in Japan. For local audiences, it will be the first time in decades that they are able to interact with such a broad span of the global art world on their own soil. We are creating a variety of enticing programming elements unique to Japan and its culture, working closely together with the art community towards a bright future. The response from international collectors in addition to local and regional collectors has been very positive, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the fair.’
© Toyin Ojih Odutola, Homeroom Transfer, 2022-2023, Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery
Fair Highlights

Tokyo Gendai presents a world-class showcase of international contemporary art, from established names to cutting-edge emerging talent presented by galleries from across the world. The main Galleries Sector showcases the work of galleries from Japan and internationally including Blum & Poe (Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo), presenting celebrated artists Yoshitomo Nara, recognized for his stylized portraits of children and Tomoo Gokita, whose painterly recreations of found imagery accent light and shadow. Sadie Coles HQ (London) presents multidisciplinary British artist Sarah Lucas, whose bold and candid telling of contemporary living through sculpture has been a point of interest since the 1990s, and Kati Heck whose figurative painting branches into literary, folklore, and contemporary narratives. Meanwhile, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE (Tokyo) presents a thematic showcase exploring light and materiality, including Biomatrix, an installation of eruptive cell bubbles, by Kohei NawaTaka Ishii Gallery (Tokyo, Hong Kong) highlights the works of Adam PendletonOscar MurilloJadé Fadjoutimi, and Nobuya HokiAlmine Rech (Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai) presents Tom Wesselmann, a key figure of the pop art movement, and Thu Van Tran, an interdisciplinary artist examining the role of memory, history, and the collective imagination.

Three other dedicated sectors include Hana (meaning ‘flower’), which features presentations of one or two artists at an early or mid-stage in their careers and will include the participation of MISAKO & ROSEN (Tokyo) presenting Naotaka Hiro and J. Parker Valentine, both taking on complex investigations into the body, and The Drawing Room (Manila) presenting Dominic Mangila’s vibrant, striking painterly explorations of the aftermath of a natural disaster. Gallery COMMON (Tokyo) showcases the works of Shohei Takasaki and Alex Anderson, constructing questions and interpretations on the theme of identity, and Carl Kostyál (London, Stockholm, Milan) exhibits works by Marria Pratts, who documents quotidian life in her home city through painted figures and motifs.

Eda (meaning ‘branch’) is dedicated to a solo or two artist presentations by established or historically significant figures in Asia or to a thematic exhibition. This includes Gajah Gallery (Singapore, Jakarta, Yogyakarta) which spotlights the work of Indonesian artists I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih and YunizarWada Fine Arts Y++ (Tokyo) hosts an immersive presentation recreating the studio of the late painter Tetsuya Ishida; and The Columns Gallery (Singapore, Seoul) gathering the work of four women artists spanning genres and disciplines: Eisa JocsonHan YaJuanJeong Myoungjo, and Ai Kijima.

Tane (meaning ‘seed’) focuses on digital media including NFTs, animation, film, AR, VR, and gaming; it includes NowHere (New York) presents exonemo’s Metaverse Petshop, an installation of kennels populated with virtual pets for sale, and The Hole (New York, Los Angeles) who will showcase a group presentation highlighting some of the artists at the forefront of new digital media including Jonathan Chapline and Ry David Bradley.

Tokyo Gendai looks forward to working closely with its partners including  Japan Airlines, the official airline, and Warehouse TERRADA, the official fair partner, to create an exciting program for audiences. 

Further fair highlights and details of public programming will be announced in due course.

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