At “Agnes Hotel and Apartments Tokyo”, a permanent residential hotel in Kagurazaka, the 4th annual art fair took place from Jan 11th to the 13th with about 2,500 art lovers flocking in. Among the participants were 33 contemporary galleries, from Japanese art scene leaders to emerging young bloods. Jumping from a white cube into a bed or bathroom, a contemporary art piece that is set up on purpose (or incidentally) gets closer to the context of our daily lives while showing the other side.
Frankly speaking, I am not that familiar with the Japanese art scene, therefore, it was my first time to see a few of the galleries for the first time even though I had heard their names before. Upon entry, Nezumi-Pikachu by Chim↑Pom greets you at Koenji’s hot gallery, from the Mujin-To Production section.
It gives you a gasp of surprise to see the millions-worth of art work by HELMUT NEWTON quietly in a case at a must see exhibit at, Gallerie SHO.
In the basement, Gallery Countach represented by the youngest gallerist, Toshiki Yagisawa, provided an unforgettable and fine tone that is neither wet nor dry reflecting young creators. You can feel close to all the gallerists, listen to their souls, and take them at face value.
magical ARTROOM cuts a conspicuous figure that stood out. In an imaginary construction site, the HOTEL magical, imaginations eroded from the bathroom to the bedroom and from the floor to the ceiling in the minimal lay out of the room. Then, I become a witness to the epitome of Tokyo- exhibits such as Yamamoto Gendai, Tomio Koyama Gallery, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, NANZUKA UNDERGROUND, to name a few. From then, I started to gain a better appreciation for the current art scene; vaguely.
Overall, this is a really fantastic scenery with each individual room connected with the hallways at such a peaceful hotel. A visit to these rooms is just like a journey to another world- it’s a profound art fair that brings you a flutter excitement, and yes, you cannot afford to miss this annual event at the beginning of the year from now on.
Agnes Hotel Art Fair 2008
Date: January 11th – 13th, 2008
Place: Agnes Hotel and Apartments Tokyo
Address: Kagurazaka 2-20-1, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Text and Photos: Yoshihiro Kanematsu
Translation: Yoshitaka Futakawa