Art Show Tokyo Gendai Announces Inaugural Editon

Akio Kondo, I Wanted to See You, ShugoArts

Tokyo Gendai has announced details of highlights and programming for its inaugural edition. Organized by The Art Assembly, and with SMBC Group as Principal Partner, the Fair takes place at Pacifico Yokohama from 7th-9th July 2023 (VIP Preview on 6th July). Tokyo Gendai is a major new platform for commercial, artistic and intellectual exchange, and a nexus of cross-cultural discovery. The Fair presents a dynamic program including talks, curated exhibitions, new commissions and satellite events highlighting the very best of the vibrant Japanese art scene.

The program will include the world premier of a new commission by Tomoko Mukaiyama, a special exhibition spotlighting the work of major Japanese women artists, a talks programme of conversations with leading lights from Japan’s creative community, satellite exhibitions at renowned local institutions such as the Mori Art Museum; The National Art Center, Tokyo, and Artizon Museum, and dedicated gallery evenings. The program complements the world class showcase of international contemporary art brought together by 74 galleries from across the world.

Tokyo Gendai is delighted to additionally announce that it will become the first ever international art fair in Japan to be granted bonded status for the duration of the event.


Eri Takane, Fair Director, Tokyo Gendai, says: ‘Through its programming strands Tokyo Gendai invites visitors to engage with the extraordinary arts scene here in Japan, presented alongside the exceptional international art showcased by leading global galleries. Across the special exhibition, commissions, talks and satellite events, audiences will have a chance to discover and interact with some of the most exciting culture happening in Japan today, and for our local visitors it will be the first time in decades that they are able to enjoy such a magnificent span of international art.’


Acclaimed Dutch-Japanese musician and artist Tomoko Mukaiyama presents the world premier of her installation performance figurante, commissioned specially for the Fair by Tokyo Gendai and Warehouse TERRADA, which will be performed on 7th, 8th and 9th July. Mukaiyama is known for her cutting-edge and multidisciplinary theater pieces, video works and installation performances focusing on themes such as physicality, gender, memory and ritual. This new work, figurante, (meaning ‘non-speaking role’ or ‘extra’), transports the viewers into a space where the line between the stage and audience becomes indistinct.

A new programming strand entitled TSUBOMI (meaning ‘flower bud’) showcases a special themed exhibition curated for the Fair. This year the fair presents Life Actually: The Work of Contemporary Japanese Women Artists, curated by Michiko Kasahara (Deputy Director, Artizon Museum) and Yuri Yamada (Curator, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum). Presenting works by some of Japan’s leading women artists including Leiko Ikemura (ShugoArts), Tomoko Yoneda (ShugoArts), Ayaka Yamamoto (amanaTIGP), Kunié Sugiura (Taka Ishii Gallery) and Yurie Nagashima (MAHO KUBOTA GALLERY), the exhibition explores how these artists are re-examining their relationship with themselves and their wider position within society.

Artist Ryuichi Ohira unveils a new large-scale installation created specially for Tokyo Gendai, entitled The Circuit. The work consists of a large slot car racetrack and includes an array of objects and sculptures.

The ART TALKS program centers engaging conversations around contemporary culture in Japan and beyond, hosting discussions about key trends, topics and developments in today’s art world, with cultural thought leaders from the Japanese art world including Mami Kataoka, Takeo Obayashi, Fumio Nanjo and acclaimed sculptor Kohei Nawa.

The fair additionally includes the NE section (meaning ‘root’) presenting several leading local foundations, who host special showcases of their work including: the Obayashi Foundation, the Fukutake Foundation, the Yoshii Foundation, the Odawara Art Foundation, and the Taguchi Art Collection.


The week around the fair features a series of special events, exhibitions and gallery evenings. Exhibitions at the National Art Center, Tokyo, the Mori Art Museum and the Artizon Museum will be on view, alongside gallery shows across the city. The VIP program will include visits to the acclaimed Japanese artist Eugene Kangawa’s EUGENE STUDIO and on the evening of 5 July ‘YUKATA ART NIGHT’ invites visitors to enjoy the buzzing galleries of Roppongi, a district in Tokyo known for its exciting cultural scene.

TERRADA ART COMPLEX will host a special Gallery Night on 7 July, for which 19 galleries will open their doors to the public. WHAT MUSEUM, a collectors’ museum of contemporary art operated by Warehouse TERRADA, hosts two exhibitions. Elsewhere CADAN : Gendai Bijutsu 2023 is the second in an ongoing series of exhibitions organized by the Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon (CADAN).

Tokyo Gendai is supported by a grant from the Japan Tourism Agency which goes towards a bespoke VIP program of unique experiences highlighting cultural havens around Japan.


Tokyo Gendai is pleased to announce that it will become the first ever international art fair in Japan to be granted bonded status. This announcement follows the revision of the notification on Japan’s Customs Act in Dec 2020 and Feb 2021 which allows for the introduction of bonded areas to enable the trade of artworks without the advance payment of the customs and 10% sales tax by international exhibitors. This offers a significant opportunity, removing the need for sales tax to be held as a deposit ahead of any potential art sale, and thereby greatly improving the accessibility and efficiency of the Japanese art market for international gallerists. Tokyo Gendai will become a customs display area for the duration of the fair (6th-9th July 2023).

Magnus Renfrew Co-Founder, Tokyo Gendai says: ‘We are grateful to the Ministry of Finance and Yokohama Customs for their support in designating Tokyo Gendai as a bonded status holder, and for the exceptional opportunity this provides to our galleries. This announcement will help Tokyo Gendai over the coming years to open the doors to international exhibitors and demonstrates Japan’s dedication to deepening its engagement with the global art world, and to further developing its local art market.’

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