E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 2022



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

E-05++
Fall/Winter 2022-23


Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023 
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
TYO
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX



E-Issue 04 –– IST 
Spring 2022

March 15th, 2022



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO


E-04++ 
Spring/Summer 2022


Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
HK 
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
UAE
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
DXB 
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
IST
 Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

E-Issue 03 –– TYO 
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo 
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

E-03++
Fall/Winter 2021-22


Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 5th, 2021
DXB
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

E-Issue 02 –– NYC 
Spring 2021

February 21st, 2021



  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City 
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

E-02++
Spring/Summer 2021


Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020 

August 1st, 2020



  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

E-01++
Fall/Winter 2020-21


Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020


AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
DXB
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React


Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Map August 16th, 2020
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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5. Rapport: Tokyo


By Global Art Daily Editorial Board

Published on October 1st, 2021

︎ Rapport is a section dedicated to reflecting on a city’s current cultural scene. Written collaboratively by our Editorial Board, this section aims to take a snapshot of the city at the time of writing.

       Tokyo is often mentioned as an unmissable art world capital. A hub for fashion designers, architects, interior designers, filmmakers, playwrights, photographers, painters, and sculptors, Tokyo is respected by both tourists and purists of the creative economy. Tokyo carries the heritage of its cinema and postwar avant-garde movements, but is also under the magic spell of anime’s global popularity, millennial retro-futurist aesthetic, and the Japanese fashion pulse – all these factors combined help to create a certain mysticism around Tokyo’s artistic appeal amongst younger and older generations alike.

1. SUPER WALL ART TOKYO Drill Inc. Courtesy of Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13.

One caveat is that Tokyo is not necessarily the center of the global art market. Tokyo Art Fair, despite its efforts to attract global attention, is nowhere near Art Basel Hong Kong in its gravitas and appeal to the international art audiences. Despite the fact that Tokyo is home to thousands of art galleries, real estate structures make it difficult for dealers and artists to open larger spaces and studios in the city center. While Roppongi, with the Mori Art Museum and its neighboring galleries, and Tennozu Isle, with its new Terrada Art Complex, presents some hope to become new gallery hubs, Tokyo lacks the infrastructure to sustain an art market of the likes of other art world capitals. The fact that Japan often suffers from insularism and language barriers does not help open up the scene to foreign art enthusiasts, collectors, curators, and artists.

This Rapport will touch on some recent trends affecting 2021 Tokyo’s contemporary art scene and aims to be a companion to anyone considering moving to the city to pursue their artistic practices in the near future.

The Tokyo 2021 Olympics


2020 was supposed to be Tokyo’s golden year. The Tokyo Olympics were set to open right at the eve of the global pandemic crisis. By spring 2020, the decision to delay the Olympics to 2021 was rapidly taken by Japanese authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This caused a lot of stress on the art scene: many public art installations and urban spaces activations were put on hold. Many major exhibitions found themselves opening to an empty audience. However, a glimpse of hope emerged in the summer of 2021. Alongside the Olympics, Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13 organized multiple public art installations leading up and during the Games. Highlights included Rhizomatiks’ Light and Sound Installation “Coded Fields,” SUPER WALL ART TOKYO, a pair of large-scale mural art installation, approximately 150m height and 35m in width, appearing on the glass wall of landmarks Marunouchi Building and New Marunouchi Building, and [mé]’s masayume, a gigantic floating face sculpture made of submissions of faces from all nationalities, genders, and age ranges.

2. [mé], masayume, 2021. Photo: KANEDA Kozo. Courtesy of Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13.

One has to note that the general consensus was one of confusion and disillusion towards the government’s decision to carry on a major tourist event in the middle of a pandemic. In a July 2021 poll, only 37% of the population surveyed reported that holding the Games with no spectators was an appropriate decision. Many expressed their frustration to the government’s decision to serve the interest of corporate sponsors rather than the interest of public health.

This state of affairs is illustrated in Masahide Matsuda’s Ripples installation, which the artist completed in August 2021. Matsuda placed a half-logo of the Olympics in one of Tokyo’s iconic garden ponds, and the resulting water reflection suggests the alternate reality which the Japanese public never got to experience. Holding the Olympics in a state of emergency was a bold decision, which will be remembered for years to come.

3. Masahide Matsuda, Ripples, 2021. Team: LED: Yuki Shimizu. Cooperation: Atsuhiro Miyake, Yu Takag. Advisor: Yoshida Yamar. Photo: Hidemasa Miyake, Noriko Nakazato. Courtesy of the artist.

Keep Calm and Carry On


Despite the pandemic, Tokyo’s contemporary art scene stood out for its resilience and active pace. Even in states of emergencies and museum closures, youth-driven exhibitions and pop-up happenings were very much alive. This enthusiasm and perpetual activity is a signature of the Japanese art scene. Tokyo never stops working. Curators and artists were active during this period – not only with digital initiatives but also in planning future physical exhibitions. A special mention has to be given to The 5th Floor, a new curatorial space devoted to experimental exhibitions and its satellite residency space, HB.Nezu, also open to curatorial projects. Both The 5th Floor and HB.Nezu had full programming throughout 2021, with back-to-back exhibitions since January 2021. A nexus for artistic community, these new East Tokyo spaces – ran by curator and artist duo Yuu Takagi and Jukan Tateisi – present a breath of fresh air for the future of Tokyo’s contemporary art scene.


Tokyo never stops working.




4. HB.Nezu, spring and summer 2021. Above: CCP Gallery pop-up exhibition, spring 2021, HB.Nezu. Photo: Akimi Ota. Below: “East-East Vol.4: The Curio Shop”, June 2021, installation view at HB.Nezu. Photo: Naoki Takehisa.

Other larger galleries also opened their doors in 2021, including the much-awaited grand opening of the new NANZUKA Gallery. Previously underground, the mega-gallery – incredibly popular with young international audiences – opened a new space with Tetsuya Nakamura’s custom paint facade and Hajime Sorayama’s design emblem, in the heart of Harajuku’s fashion district. This is the third space NANZUKA operates in Tokyo, in addition to a fashion, accessories, and art toys shop in Shibuya’s PARCO mall, and 3110NZ, a sushi restaurant/gallery in Naka-Meguro. NANZUKA’s fresh business model is notable for its inclusion of audiences outside institutional contemporary art. By firmly establishing itself in Harajuku, NANZUKA will cater to the same sneakerheads and hypebeasts who travel to Tokyo to “cop” the latest “drops” from their favorite artists and designers.

5. Nanzuka Gallery’s new exhibition space in Harajuku. Christian Rex van Minnen, “It Comes In Waves”, August 2021. Installation view. Courtesy of Nanzuka.

ANB Tokyo also stands out as a new space open to youth-driven exhibitions, favoring experimentation and academic interpretations. The space has had a promising line-up of exhibitions. Their asset comes from their large multi-purpose and multi-level space, which consolidates activities and projects which would otherwise be spread and divided throughout the city.

6. ANB Tokyo (Alternative Box Tokyo), front facade. Courtesy of ANB Tokyo.

Finally, as previously mentioned, the rise of Tennozu Isle and Terrada Art Complex including the WHAT Museum, as Tokyo's gallery hub is worthy of consideration. Spearheaded by the giant warehouse company Terrada, Tennozu’s location next to Haneda airport and dominantly postmodern architecture is the closest Tokyo’s art scene has to a Dubai or Hong-Kong flair. Talks about constructing a freeport adjacent to Tokyo’s Haneda airport come as no surprise in this line of commercial development.

7. Distance from Haneda Airport to Terrada Art Complex. Courtesy of Google Maps.

Looking Beyond Borders


As mentioned in the introduction, risks of insularism are rampant in Tokyo’s art scene. Because of coronavirus travel restrictions, Japanese borders remain closed to tourists to this day. Japan’s geographic isolation carries the risk of deterring art collectors and enthusiasts from purchasing Japanese art outside of Japan. However, the 2021 edition of New York’s Art on Paper fair stands out as an example for the international demand for Japanese art.

8. Art on Paper, New York, 2021. Photo: Insun Woo.

Focusing on modern and contemporary paper-based art, Art on Paper brought together nearly 75 US-based and international galleries this year. Two galleries from Tokyo, with spaces in New York, participated: SEIZAN Gallery and the Tolman Collection of New York. SEIZAN Gallery presented 7 works by the Shiga-based artist, Toshiyuki Kajioka. Using sumi ink and graphite pencil, Kajioka depicts the surface of a flowing river, which has been his sole subject matter for the past twenty years. At the fair, his paintings exerted a soft yet powerful presence with their dark surfaces shimmering and undulating under the light. The Tolman Collection of New York presented prints made by various Japanese artists, including Shinko Araki, Shinichi Nakazawa, Toko Shinoda, Kazutoshi Sugiura, Yoshikatsu Tamekane. With their gently glowing surfaces and traditional subject matter, the works at the Tolman Collection imbued the space with elegance.

Allison Tolman commented, “of course the crowds are different, but I am pleased to say that in each case the work that I showed by contemporary Japanese printmakers was well received. Many people of course know about famous woodblock artists from bygone days like Hokusai or Hiroshige and I feel it's imperative to let people know about the technical skill of today's great masters like Toko Shinoda, who just passed away this March at the venerable age of 107.”

While Japanese contemporary art continues to appeal to a global audience, it is usually a handful of so-called “star artists,” such as Yayoi Kusama, Yoshimoto Nara, and Takashi Murakami, who receive much of the attention. It is encouraging to see galleries in Japan participating in art fairs—despite COVID restrictions—to introduce other artists, including printmakers, to an international audience.

9. Toko Shinoda, Harmony, 2003. Courtesy of Allison Tolman.

The NFT Craze


Finally, we cannot write a Rapport about any art scene today without mentioning its digital transformation. NFTs are on the rise, and it is surely felt in the Japanese capital. Tokyo’s blockchain movement, lead by a few notable start-ups – including Startbahn – can be felt throughout the art and fashion scenes. Early adopters include manga publishing houses and tech-driven fashion brands, that are issuing NFTs to consolidate the status of their rare manga prints and haute-couture garments as artworks. The recent Sotheby’s NFT-only sale “Natively Digital” featured the work of Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese visual and sound artist. Haroshi, an acclaimed sculptor known for his use of recycled skateboard decks, launched an NFT sale in August 2021. NANZUKA, who also represents Haroshi, presented Midas α, a series of woodcarvings from artist Ryuichi Ohira showcasing the “B” currency sign, short for Bitcoin at Art Basel Hong Kong 2021. Finally, the British Museum has recently announced a collaboration with NFT start-up LaCollection for an auction sale of ukiyo-e prints coinciding with a Hokusai exhibition entitled “The Great Picture of Everything.”

10. Ryuichi Ohira, Midas α, 2021. Burned wood, gold plate. Courtesy of Nanzuka.

Concluding Thoughts


As we have mentioned, Tokyo’s current art scene is not free of issues. International artists find it very hard to settle in a city which mostly caters to Japanese collectors. Artistic production is pushed to meet strong domestic market demands, yet language and cultural barriers present obstacles to entry for most foreign artists, collectors, dealers, and curators. This does not mean foreign artists are not moving and settling in Tokyo. We have met numerous non-Japanese artists based in Tokyo, but most agree their practice is isolated. Some artists create works in Tokyo and sell overseas to neighboring Asian collectors – especially to South Korean and Chinese buyers. Others have fully integrated into Tokyo’s gallery system through a series of self-started projects, group exhibitions, and tendencies to cater to a commercial demand.

From the Japanese side, gallerists and museum professionals agree that Tokyo is behind many of the art world capitals because of its commercial focus and fragmentation. The lack of cohesiveness in the Tokyo art scene leads to an unbalanced pyramid, dominated by a few commercial galleries and major museums at the top, and an incredible number of smaller operations at the bottom. That said, new consolidated “umbrella” spaces and neighborhoods, such as ANB Roppongi, Terrada Art Complex, The 5th Floor, and HB.Nezu provide great solutions to counter that effect.

Despite these issues, most people agree that Tokyo remains one of Asia’s key cultural capital. Even though it does not have Hong Kong’s international transactions, Singapore’s freeport, or Beijing’s massive capital, Tokyo is – and will remain to be – an incomparable source of contemporary art production and inspiration for artists around the world. The Japanese working ethic and diligence, especially during catastrophes such as this pandemic, is admirable and will continue to propel Tokyo to the forefront of the creative economy, especially in the next-gen NFT age.