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Curator Yung Ma has organised a programme of art performances for special buses that will deliver art enthusiasts to 50 sites around the city.

Art Week Tokyo Launches With Backing From Art Basel

Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Are we capable to speak to multiple thoughts of a person at once? Perhaps yes. (2019). Copyrighrt Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Courtesy Mizuma Art Gallery.

Art Week Tokyo today announced plans for its inaugural edition, scheduled for 4 to 7 November.

Organised by Japan Contemporary Art Platform in cooperation with CADAN (Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon), the event will take place at 50 venues across the city, including the Mori Art Museum and commercial galleries such as Blum & Poe, SCAI The Bathhouse, ShugoArts, and Taka Ishii Gallery.

'As a communally-driven and inclusive platform for collaboration between artists, galleries, museums, and other contributors, Art Week Tokyo will be a unique celebration of the creativity and diversity of contemporary art in Japan,' said Atsuko Ninagawa, owner and director of Take Ninagawa gallery and founding director of Art Week Tokyo.

A programme of performance art is planned for special 'Art Mobile' buses that will link more than 50 sites around the city on four different routes.

Yung Ma, who also curated this year's Seoul Mediacity Biennale, is organising the programme, entitled Moving Voices. The participating artists and collectives are Group Ongaku, Yuko Mohri, Akira Takayama, and Mieko Shiomi.

Brian Alfred, LA Reflect, 2021.

Brian Alfred, LA Reflect, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Maho Kubota Gallery.

Shiomi will also speak in Tokyo Art Week's online talks programme, along with Mori Art Museum director Mami Kataoka, Tokyo-based art writer Andrew Maerkle, and Roger McDonald, deputy director of Arts Initiative Tokyo.

Art Basel is lending its support to the event, which Ninagawa said would strengthen ties between Japan and the international community.

'We're honoured to be part of this exciting and timely effort to bring the world's attention to Tokyo's dynamic contemporary art scene, home to some of the longest-running and most respected galleries and institutions in Asia,' said Adeline Ooi, director Asia at Art Basel.

'This project reflects Art Basel's belief in collaboration as well as our long-term commitment to strengthen and help develop infrastructures across Asia's growing art scenes,' Ooi said.

Building art scenes around Asia has become more urgent as the situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated. A number of art professionals and artists have fled Hong Kong this year as the Chinese Communist Party strangled free expression in the city.

While China remains by far the largest art market in the region, Frieze chose to open its first Asia fair in Seoul next year.

A spokesperson for Art Basel said strengthening art scenes in Asia was 'complementary to our core business of running our show in Hong Kong.'

'Hong Kong is firmly the home of our Art Basel show in Asia and we have no plans to launch Art Basel in Tokyo,' they said. —[O]

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