Tokyo Art Beat / Round-up 2014


Tokyo Art Beat’s writers share their highlights of Tokyo exhibitions and events for 2014

2014 was a fantastic year for exhibitions and installations in Tokyo; my personal favourite being the huge #BCTION installation with 50 street artists putting their stamp on a building that was soon to have a date with the bulldozers.

You can read my annual round-up below, as well as the thoughts of the others writers here.

“It’s only now that I sit down and try to recall everything I’ve seen this year that I realise how many solid exhibitions there were in Tokyo in 2014. Recognition has to go to some of the shows put on by smaller galleries: notably Tsuyoshi Hisakado’s subtle kinetic installation, Quantize (2014), at Ota Fine Arts and Fiona Tan‘s photo works at the neighbouring Wako Works of Art. Not forgetting, David Lynch had a welcome return to Tomio Koyoma’s Hikarie 8/ Art Gallery in Shibuya.

On a larger scale, Trans Arts Tokyo was back in Kanda, with a number of events spread out over the area. For me, Skywhale (2013) – a hot air balloon designed by artist Patricia Piccinini – was a highlight, but I feel this year’s Trans Arts lost the underground vibe that made it so interesting when it debuted in 2012. This year’s event felt too organised and, well, too safe. Thankfully, whatever Trans Arts seemed to lack in spontaneity, #BCTION made up for in spades – with 50 street artists taking over a soon-to-be-demolished building in central Tokyo.

The “Go-Betweens: The World Seen Through Children” exhibition at the Mori Art Museum showed what can happen when the real world blurs with that of imagination – and contemporary artist Shinji Ohmaki continued this notion when he released massive amounts of sparkling soap bubbles and transformed a small urban playground in Kita Senju into a dreamland.”

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