H.C. Wilp

hv-B-89/103, 1989, acrylic / synth. polymer. / gouache on canvas, 170 x 170

H.C. Wilp

hv-B-89/101, 1989, acrylic / synth. polymer. / gouache on canvas, 170 x 170

Upon Ending the First Tokyo Art Expo / Tokyo Art Expo Representative   Fumio Morita

The first art fair of its kind in Japan, the Tokyo Art Expo was actualized and successfully ended as one of the world's largest art fairs ever.

The first international art fair ever to be held in Japan, namely "Tokyo Art Expo" was attended by 165 well-known galleries from 22 countries around the world. The successful event ended on April 2nd and the estimated viewers at this four-day affair reached almost 50,000. From abroad, prominent galleries leading the contemporary art market, such as Leo Castelli and O.K. Harris exhibited top artists and artworks they represent. Domestically 71 galleries including Fujii, Umeda, and Nakamiya exhibited many classical and present Japanese works.

To all fans and people concerned in the art world "The Tokyo Art Expo" was launched with high expectations. In fact, the scale of the exposition far surpassed that of art fairs held in New York, Paris, Köln, Chicago and Basel. The name "international" Tokyo Art Expo is appropriate for the remarkable quantity and quality of the exhibited artworks. In addition it was certainly an epoch-making event finally opening up the Japanese art market.

The total area of the east and west halls was 16,000 square meters where 800 booths were set up. Each participating gallery demonstrated its unique characteristics in its set-up and the lay-out of its booth. Each booth was busy handling inquiries from viewers as well as negociating business transactions. The public was able to see the current trends of the international art market
from 22 countries.

Despite the unfavorable weather in the beginning of the exposition, the number of visitors totalled to 48,352 people! Sunday was the peak with 16,230 viewers crowding the gigantic dome. On that day, Mr. & Mrs. Yoshio Sakurauchi (the speaker of the House of Representatives), Mr. & Mrs. Shintaro Ishihara (a member of the House of Representatives) and Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Nothomb (His Excellency Ambassador Baron of Belgium), were among the celebrated guests.

The exhibited artwork totalled 30,000 pieces, spanning over a period of 3000 years from ancient Egyptian art to most recent contemporary art works by Johns, Warhol and Koji Kinutani. The exhibited categories were various, including paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, art books and folkcraft. In all respects, contemporary art took on much popularity, and it seems that Japan finally caught up with the worldwide trend. Of course, Picasso and Chagall drew big crowds as expected.

Foto: Alexander Koretzky

mirjam lehnert & ralf roszius (Galerie paranorm)
Tokyo, 1990