Appendix A: Terms

A style of painting that emerged during the 1940s and ’50s, pioneered by artists based mainly in New York. The term covers the dynamism of ‘action painting’ as typified by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the calm of ‘color field’ works by Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.
A term coined by Italian art critic and curator Germano Celant in 1967. Literally meaning ‘poor art,’ the artists associated with this group explored the unrestrained use of media other than painting.
The French term for ‘advance guard’ or ‘vanguard,’ meaning to be ‘at the forefront.’ Avant-garde art refers to work that pushes conventional boundaries of mainstream social values.
Operating from 1919 to 1933, a German school of art and crafts founded by Walter Gropius. Its aesthetic became highly influential in the fields of architecture and furniture design in Western Europe, Israel and the United States.
Japan’s bubble economy of the 1980s was characterized by rampant speculation and banks issuing risky loans, which drove Japanese equity and real-estate markets to astronomical price levels. The bubble burst at the turn of the decade, leading to severe recession during the 1990s.
Also known as Ankoku Butoh (Dance of Complete Darkness), butoh is a style of dance pioneered by Tatsumi Hijikata in the late 1950s as an exploration of man’s primal energy and a criticism of society and culture. Usually characterized by dancers performing almost nude and wearing white body make-up, butoh can range from jerky, visceral bodily expression to almost imperceptibly subtle movement.
Formed in Tokyo in 2005, this collective is made up of six artists: Ellie, Ryuta Ushiro, Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, Toshinori Mizuno, and Motomu Inaoka, They have achieved notoriety for their anarchic, sometimes politically engaged performative artworks. In November 2008 they sparked a media outcry in Hiroshima after writing the word PIKA [meaning 'flash' and a clear reference to atomic explosions] in the sky over Hiroshima. This resulted in the cancelation of their scheduled exhibition at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. In April 2011 they protested the government’s handling of the Fukushima nuclear crisis by modifying Taro Okamoto’s The Myth of Tomorrow (1967). Installed in Shibuya Station, this massive multi-panel painting depicting people in a post-apocalyptic landscape but is missing two small panels. Chim↑Pom inserted their own painting of mushroom clouds emanating from destroyed reactors into one of the empty slots in Okamoto’s piece.
A broad range of artworks produced during the 1960s in which the ideas behind the work are primary in conveying their message to the viewer, in rejection of the conventional art object. Key conceptual artists include Joseph Beuys, Yves Klein, On Kawara and Yoko Ono.
Emerging simultaneously in Europe and the US during World War I, the Dada artists had a cynical attitude towards bourgeois social values and ridiculed culture and traditional forms, believing them to be the root causes of the war. Artists associated with the movement include Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and Man Ray.
Formed in Kyoto in 1984, this artist collective's work spanned visual arts, dance, theater, architecture, music, and computer programming. Their work has a social and political activist character, confronting themes such as AIDS, civilization, nationality, identity, communication. Core members of the group are Teiji Furuhashi, Toru Koyamada, Yukihiro Hozumi, Shiro Takatani, Takayuki Fujimoto, and Hiromasa Tomari. Founding member Teiji Furuhashi died of AIDS in 1995, age 35.
The Latin word for “to flow.” Founder George Maciunias used it to describe a loose network of artists, poets, composers and designers who were engaged in experimental forms of art, music, poetry and performance art in New York and West Germany during the 1960s and ’70s. Key figures include John Cage, Yoko Ono and Shigeko Kubota.
GROUP 1965
Active from 1954 to 1972, the Gutai Art Association (Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai) was a group of artists based in the OsakaKobe region. Led by Jiro Yoshihara, their work was as diverse as it was unusual: Kazuo Shiraga wrestling with mud, Saburo Murakami running through large layers of paper, and Atsuko Tanaka’s dress constructed out of fluorescent tubes are some of the group’s most well-known works. In 2013, a major survey exhibition, "Gutai: Splendid Playground," was held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
A term initially coined by American artist Allan Kaprow in 1959 to describe actions and theatrical events performed by artists with audience participation. Like the PERFORMANCE ART that developed after it (focusing less on theatricality and more on artists’ actions), it is usually documented through photography and video.
Formed in 1963 and active until 1964, this Tokyo-based avant-garde group was made up of Jiro Takamatsu, Gempei Akasegawa, and Natsuyuki Nakanishi. The group's name derives from the first character in each of the artists' last names (Taka, Aka, Naka), which translate as High, Red, Center. The artists staged spontaneous, Neo-Dadaist public installations and performances that questioned social homogeneity and consumerism, such as their 'drops,' in which they would drop various consumer goods from the roofs of buildings, then put them in a locker somewhere and give someone the key.
A painting movement begun in the 1860s, made up of artists such as Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Auguste Renoir who paid close attention to subtle changes in light and went against convention by painting with small, opaque daubs of paint rather than thin, translucent layers.
‘Art Informel’ was a term used by French art critic and dealer Michel Tapié to describe a wide variety of abstract painting spanning several countries during the 1940s and ’50s and emphasizing the use of ‘material’ and ‘gesture.’
Founded in Tokyo in 1951, this group of 14 artists, musicians, choreographers, set designers and poets was active until circa 1957. Inspired by John Cage's compositions, Martha Graham’s choreography, and the sculpture of Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi, Jikken Kobo staged interdisciplinary ballets, recitals, and 'sensory' experiences of art.
Kyushu-ha (known as Group Kyushu in English) was active in Fukuoka and Tokyo from 1957 until 1962. Its members fluctuated in number but included approximately 25 in total—among them notable figures such as Yasuyuki Ishibashi, Osamu Ochi, Mokuma Kikuhata, Takami Sakurai, Mitsuko Tabe, Kenichiro Terada, and Mamoru Matano. With few of the artists formally trained in art and all hailing from Kyushu, the group adopted an Anti-Art strategy to oppose the rigid, master-disciple structure of Tokyo-centric art institutions. Influenced by INFORMEL, Kyushu-ha's works included assemblages of ripped and burned canvasses, stapled cardboard, works covered in tar, and some pieces covered in urine and excrement. They were the first group to be forbidden from exhibiting at the Yomiuri Independent exhibition.
Projects, often large in scale, undertaken by several US artists since the late 1960s. Most prominent was Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), a fifteen-hundred-foot-long coil of rock, earth and algae protruding into the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Particularly large works such as this are also known as ‘Earth Works.’ By making works outside of the gallery, which were often eroded by natural phenomena, the Land Artists attempted to counter the perception of art as an acquirable commodity.
New-media art incorporates the use of new technologies, including the Internet, computer graphics and animation.
Works of art, music and design that are stripped down to their bare essentials. Developed in the United States in the 1960s, minimalist artworks are typically simple geometric two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes and are considered in part a reaction against ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM. Donald Judd, Carl Andre and Robert Morris are some of the movement’s most well-known artists.
Modern art began with Gustave Courbet and Pablo Picasso in the early 20th century and had the connotation of ‘contemporary art’ at the time. After World War II, there emerged a need to distinguish ‘modern art’ from ‘contemporary art’ for aesthetic as well as institutional reasons. Definitions of contemporary art can vary from post-1945, to post-1960, sometimes even post-1980.
An approach to art, architecture and design that rejects past art forms in favor of constant innovation. The term has been applied to the succession of art movements from the mid-19th century to the end of the 1960s.
Literally meaning ‘School of Things,’ this group of artists was active from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. They sought to challenge pre-existing perceptions of material and space by juxtaposing a wide range of natural and manmade materials — left as far as possible in an unaltered state — to allow materiality to speak for itself, almost entirely free of artistic intervention. In 2012, "Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha," the first major survey exhibition of the movement to be organized in the United States, was held at BLUM & POE in Los Angeles.
Developing Anti-Art activities inspired by the DADA in Western Europe, this group of artists showed at the Yomiuri Independent exhibitions of the late 1950s. The group formed, dissolved, and reformed several times, but the core that formed in March 1960 included Genpei Akasegawa, Shusaku Arakawa, Sho Kazakura, Ushio Shinohara, Soroku Toyoshima, and Masunobu Yoshimura. Later Shintaro Tanaka and Shin Kinoshita joined. Two other Anti-Art practitioners, Tetsumi Kudo and Tomio Miki, were associated with the group but never joined.
Nippon Hoso Kyokai, the Japan Broadcasting Corp., Japan’s public television and radio broadcasting corporation founded in 1926.
Literally ‘Japanese painting,’ it is in effect ‘Japanese-style painting’ developed after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to counteract the emergence of Western-style YOGA. It follows conventions and techniques of traditional Japanese painting, using mineral pigments or ink bonded with animal-hide glue on Japanese washi paper or silk.
Originating from HAPPENINGS, the use of the body by an individual artist or group of artists to create an artwork as an action at a particular time at a particular place. During the 1960s, key performance artists included Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys and Yoko Ono.
Made famous by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Peter Blake, Pop art was a 1950s and ’60s US and British movement that took imagery from popular and commercial culture — be it celebrity icons, action hero comics or multicolored targets. Their works were a reaction against ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM and MODERNISM and heralded the onset of POSTMODERNISM.
An intellectual climate in which it was felt that new, original AVANT-GARDE work could no longer be produced. Postmodernism was a reaction against MODERNISM and applies to art, literature, philosophy, architecture and criticism. It rejects the notion that reality can be subjected to objective, scientific categorization, positing instead that it is constructed by human understanding and interpretation.
The market that handles the first sale of an artwork, composed mainly of commercial galleries that represent artists’ interests.
A contraction of 'Sejima and Nishizawa Associates,' SANAA is an architectural firm founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. Among their most famous buildings are the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; the Christian Dior flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. In 2010, Sejima and Nishizawa were awarded the Pritzker Prize, and Sejima was the first woman to direct the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The market for the reselling of artworks after their initial sale, including auction houses.
Showa 40 is the year 1965 in the Japanese calendar. Showa 40 nen kai (pronounced showa yonju nenkai) is a loose collective of artists, formed in 1994, who happen to share 1965 as their year of birth. Original members included Makoto Aida, Chie Kaihatsu, Parco Kinoshita, Hiroyuki Matsukage, Oscar Oiwa, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, and Yutaka Sone. Respectively, the artists use widely varying media and approaches, but as a group their work during the 1990s reflected their frustration by the limitations of the Japanese scene—especially the dominance of the rental gallery system—to which they responded with neo-Dadaist absurdism, including guerilla interventions in public space. Among their most famous works is Tsuyoshi Ozawa's Nasubi Galleries, small milk boxes that acted as miniature, portable white-cube exhibition spaces in which other artists in the group showed their work.
A term that gallery owners use to refer to the artists they represent.
The great majority of exhibition spaces in galleries and museums are white-walled, boxlike spaces, designed to be as neutral a display environment as possible.
Literally meaning ‘Western painting’, yoga was an art form that made use of the Western oil painting techniques that poured into Japan following the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Western-style painting that predates the Meiji Restoration is known as yofuga. Yoga continues today, largely emulating the work of the IMPRESSIONISTS.
A group of artists recognized since the late 1980s for their diverse range of multimedia works. Iconic works such as Damien Hirst’s shark in a tank of formaldehyde, Tracy Emin’s dirty bed and surrounding detritus, and Chris Ofili’s images of the Virgin Mary incorporating elephant dung were both highly controversial and commercially successful.

Appendix B: Places

Located in the former Rensei Junior High School in Akihabara, this alternative art venue was established in March 2010 by artist Masato Nakamura (of the collective commandN). The center houses a variety of institutions and initiatives, ranging from galleries to universities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and cafes.
Founded by Ai Kowada, this gallery opened in HIROMIYOSHII's former space in the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING in 2011. Represented artists include Taro Izumi, Keisuke Maeda, and Futoshi Miyagi.
Part of the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES group of young galleries, Arataniurano was founded on July 14, 2006, by Tomoko Aratani and Mutsumi Urano, both former employees of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE. The gallery's artists include Izumi Kato, Tatzu Nishi, and Tadasu Takamine. Originally located in Shintomicho, Arataniurano relocated to the SHIROKANE GALLERY BUILDING on April 11, 2012.
Established in 2001, AIT is a nonprofit organization that offers courses on curating, art history and media. It runs an artist-in-residence program and organizes experimental exhibitions and events as well as artist and curator talks.
BankART 1929 and BankART Studio NYK are two buildings in Yokohama used for artist-in-residence programs and exhibitions that are supported by Yokohama City.
Following several years living and working in Tokyo, Timothy Blum founded Blum & Poe with Jeffrey Poe in Santa Monica in 1994. The gallery is known for introducing the work of Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami to US audiences since the mid-1990s. In 2003, Blum & Poe relocated to a larger space in Culver City, which subsequently became a major gallery district in Los Angeles. In 2009, the gallery moved across the street to its current 22,000 square-foot building. In February 2012, Blum & Poe held "Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha," the first US survey of the MONO-HA group. Coinciding with its 20th anniversary, in 2014, Blum & Poe opened branches in New York's Upper East Side and Tokyo's Jingumae district, making it the first major international contemporary gallery to establish an outpost in Japan. The gallery's artist roster includes Carroll Dunham, Sam Durant, Anya Gallacio, Koji Enokura, Mark Grotjahn, Susumu Koshimizu, Sharon Lockhart, Lee Ufan, Florian Maier-Aichen, Dave Muller, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Nobuo Sekine, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Jim Shaw, Kishio Suga, and Zhang Huan.
Established in 1989 in Shibuya, Bunkamura was the first large-scale cultural complex in Japan, comprising a museum, concert hall, theater, and cinema, as well as a café and art-related shops.
A village and art zone near the DASHANZI ART DISTRICT in northeast Beijing. Many of the galleries and studios there are housed in buildings designed by artist and political activist Ai Weiwei. In 2008, MIZUMA ART GALLERY opened a branch here, called Mizuma & One.
In conjunction with the inauguration of the MORI ART MUSEUM in 2003, the Mori Building Co. offered spaces in this nearby building on Imoaraizaka Street at below-market rates with the aim of fostering an art scene in Roppongi. The tenants were MAGICAL ARTROOM, OTA FINE ARTS, TARO NASU, ROENTGENWERKE AG, HIROMIYOSHII, and Gallery Min Min, Yoshiko Isshiki Office, and the bar Traumaris. Following the conclusion of the tenants' leases, the building was closed for demolition in February 2008, and the galleries relocated to various parts of Tokyo.
Also known as the 798 Art Zone, this area of former factories in northeast Beijing has been a major focus of the Beijing contemporary art world since 2002, when Tokyo Gallery opened Beijing Tokyo Art Projects (BTAP) there. Subsequently, many artist studios and galleries opened in Dashanzi, and in 2007 the Swiss collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens founded the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art there. However, the focus of the Beijing art world has since shifted to the Caochangdi Art District and other locations in the city's suburbs.
Established in 2006 by Fergus McCaffrey, the gallery has built a reputation for reintroducing to US audiences the work of key figures of postwar Japanese art, most notably Kazuo Shiraga and Sadamasa Motonaga of the GUTAI ART ASSOCIATION. Following the opening of a branch in Saint Barthélemy in 2014, Fergus McCaffrey announced plans to open a space in Tokyo.
Opened in 1997 by Junko Shimada. The gallery represents Peter McDonald, Maureen Gallace, Shinako Sato, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Originally located in Sendayaga, the gallery moved to Akasaka in 2001, Azabu in the mid-2000s and Roppongi in 2011.
In 2001, Hiromi Yoshii opened his gallery in Roppongi with a manifesto to exhibit 'post-9/11 artists' and curated After the Reality at Deitch Projects, New York, in 2006. From 2003 to 2005 Hiromiyoshii was located in the COMPLEX gallery building in Roppongi, and from 2005 to 2011 it was housed in the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING. Yoshii represented a variety of artists including Koichi Enomoto, Taro Izumi, Nick Mauss, and Hiroharu Mori until 2011, when he gave the space in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa (as well as some of the artist roster) to the newly established AI KOWADA GALLERY. Hiromiyoshii is currently in Roppongi.
Opened in April 1997 and backed by the telecommunications company NTT, this art center in Nishi-Shinjuku showcases and archives new-media art.
Opened in 1994 by Taka Ishii. The gallery specializes in photography and represents major photographers such as Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki, and Naoya Hatakeyama, as well as younger artists such as Tomoo Gokita, Ei Arakawa, Kyoko Murase, Yuki Kimura, and Yukinori Maeda. Originally located in Otsuka, in 2003 the gallery relocated to the SHINKAWA GALLERY BUILDING (Its former Otsuka space has been occupied by MISAKO & ROSEN since 2006. Follow the closure of the Shinkawa Gallery Building in 2005, Taka Ishii Gallery relocated to the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING. In 2008, the gallery opened a branch in Kyoto, which closed in 2013. In 2011 the gallery opened a second branch in Tokyo, Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film, in the PIRAMIDE BUILDING in Roppongi. Two years later this space was renamed Taka Ishii Modern, and Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film relocated to the nearby AXIS building in Azabu in 2013. In 2014, Taka Ishii Gallery opened its first overseas branch in Paris, followed a year later by a branch in New York. In 2015, the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING was slated for redevelopment and the gallery relocated to Sendagaya.
From 2004 to 2008, this former printing warehouse housed KODAMA GALLERY, TAKAHASHI COLLECTION, YAMAMOTO GENDAI, and YUKA SASAHARA GALLERY. In January 2008, Kodama Gallery and Yamamoto Gendai relocated to the SHIROKANE GALLERY BUILDING and their spaces were taken over by Mori Yu Gallery and Yuka Sasahara Gallery, respectively. Yuka Sasahara Gallery then relocated to Kanda in 2009, and its former space in Kagurazaka is currently occupied by Ohshima Fine Art.
Founded by Takashi Murakami in 2001. With offices in Tokyo and New York, this art production company manages and promotes artists, organizes GEISAI and produces art-related merchandise and animation. In 2008, Kaikai Kiki Gallery opened in Hiroo. Since 2010, it has run a number of affiliated galleries and art merchandise stores in the Nakano Broadway shopping center (Hidari Zingaro, pixiv Zingaro, and Oz Zingaro), as well as a branch of Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei. In 2012, Kaikai Kiki Gallery opened a branch of Hidari Zingaro in Berlin, which closed in 2014. In the same year, Kaikai Kiki opened Bar Zingaro in Nakano Broadway, a collaboration the Norwegian coffee shop and bar Fuglen.
Since November 2005, this former warehouse building has housed TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY, HIROMIYOSHII, SHUGOARTS, TAKA ISHII GALLERY, Miyake Fine Arts, and Kido Press. ZENSHI was based there until it relocated to Kanda in 2009. In 2011, Hiromiyoshii left the building and AI KOWADA GALLERY took over its space.
Opened in Osaka's Hommachi district in 1999, by Kimiyoshi Kodama. The Tokyo branch opened in 2004 in the KAGURAZAKA GALLERY BUILDING and relocated to the SHIROKANE GALLERY BUILDING in January 2008. Later that year, the Osaka branch was moved to Kyoto.
Opened in 1996 by Tomio Koyama, formerly an employee of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE. Koyama is renowned for being an early champion of Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami. He now represents a diverse range of artists, including Tam Ochiai, Ernesto Neto, and Hiroshi Sugito. The gallery was originally located in the SHOKURYO BUILDING; following that building's closure in 2002, it relocated to the SHINKAWA GALLERY BUILDING from 2003 to 2005, and is now located in the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING. In 2006, the gallery opened TKG Daikanyama, which closed in 2009. In 2008, the gallery opened a branch in Kyoto, which closed in 2013. This was followed by the addition of a multipurpose art space in the newly built Hikarie shopping complex in Shibuya and a branch in the Gillman Barracks in Singapore, which subsequently closed in 2015 along with several other international galleries that reported poor attendance at the site. In 2015, the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING was slated for redevelopment and the gallery relocated to Sendagaya.
Conceived of as an alternative art space for emerging artists, Magical Artroom was established by collector and psychiatrist Satoshi Okada, art critic Kentaro Ichihara, and editor Shigeo Goto, with curator Haruka Ito running the office. Artists who exhibited there include Takehiko Hoshino, Hitoshi Kuriyama, Daisuke Ohba, Emi Otaguro. Originally located in the COMPLEX gallery building in Roppongi from 2003 to 2008, it relocated to the EBISU GALLERY BUILDING, with Haruka Ito as director, Satoshi Okada as president, and Masami Shiraishi (Director of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE) as a professional adviser. In 2009, Magical Artroom closed. Haruka Ito established Island, a gallery and studio space in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, and other branches housed in 3331 ARTS CHIYODA.
Located in the former Otsuka space of TAKA ISHII GALLERY, Misako & Rosen was founded in 2006 by Misako Rosen, who previously worked at TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY, and Jeffrey Rosen, director of Taka Ishii Gallery, is co-director. The gallery's artists include Kaoru Arima, Maya Hewitt, Shimon Minamikawa, Yuki Okumura, and Kazuyuki Takezaki. Misako & Rosen is part of the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES association of young galleries.
Founded in 1989 by Sueo Mitsuma. Known for championing the work of satirical multimedia artist Makoto Aida, the gallery also specializes in 'neo-nihonga' artists who depict ironic contemporary imagery using traditional NIHONGA techniques and compositions, such as Hisashi Tenmyouya and Akira Yamaguchi. Originally located in Nishi-Azabu, in 1994 the gallery moved to Nakameguro, where in 2005 it opened a second space in the same building called Mizuma Action, dedicated to emerging artists. In 2010, Mizuma Art Gallery relocated to Ichigaya. In 2010, Mitsuma opened a second space, Mizuma & One, in Beijing's CAOCHANGDI ART DISTRICT. In September 2012, the gallery opened a branch in the Gillman Barracks in Singapore.
The Mori Art Center is a rental exhibition space on the 52nd floor of the Mori Building, one floor below the MORI ART MUSEUM.
Opened in October 2003 on the 53rd floor of the Mori Building in ROPPONGI HILLS, this museum was founded by Minoru Mori, President & CEO of the Mori Building Co. Its founding director, David Elliott, is the first non-Japanese director of an art museum in Japan. He was succeeded by Fumio Nanjo in November 2006.
Part of the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES group of young galleries, Mujin-to Production was founded in May 2006 by Rika Fujiki. The gallery represents the collective CHIM↑POM and new-media artist Kazuhiko Hachiya. Originally located in Koenji, it relocated to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa in 2010.
Founded as Teikoku Art School (Imperial Art School) in 1929, renamed Musashino Art School in 1948 and then renamed Musashino Art University in 1962.
Opened in 1995 in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa; designed by Takahiko Yanagisawa. The museum’s permanent collection comprises approximately four thousand works.
A contraction of 'New Art Diffusion,' NADiff is an art bookstore and gallery whose main branch was located just off Omotesando from 1997 until 2007. In 2008 it reopened in a purpose-built gallery building in Ebisu that was named NADIFF A/P/A/R/T. The bookstore also has smaller outlets in BUNKAMURA, the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, TOKYO, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery.
Following the closure of the NADiff art bookstore's Omotesando premises in 2007 and MAGICAL ARTROOM departing the COMPLEX gallery building in 2008, the two reopened in this purpose-built gallery building in Ebisu. Other galleries occupying the building at the time of its opening were G/P Gallery, Art Jam Contemporary and the bar/café Magic Room. In 2010, Art Jam contemporary closed and was replaced by a Tokyo branch of Osaka's MEM gallery. Magical Artroom also closed that year, and was replaced by the café/multimedia venue Traumaris Space. Magic Room was replaced by a new bar/café called Mudai.
Opened in January 2007 in Roppongi; designed by Kisho Kurokawa. This museum has no permanent collection; its 14,000 square meters of exhibition space are rented out to third-party organizations for temporary shows.
Established in 1952 in Kyobashi. Reopened in its current building (designed by Yoshihiro Taniguchi) in Takebashi in 1969.
An association of seven commercial galleries established in Tokyo since 2004: AOYAMA | MEGURO, ARATANIURANO, MISAKO & ROSEN, MUJIN-TO PRODUCTION, TAKE NINAGAWA, YUKA SASAHARA GALLERY and ZENSHI.
Hidenori Ota opened Ota Fine Arts in Ebisu in 1994. He is well known as Yayoi Kusama's Japanese gallerist, and the gallery also represents Hiraki Sawa, Masanori Handa, Tomoko Kashiki, Yuken Teruya, and Monir Farmanfarmaian. From 2003 to 2008 the gallery was located in the COMPLEX gallery building in Roppongi. Following that building's closure, it relocated to Kachidoki and then moved into the PIRAMIDE GALLERY BUILDING in February 2010. In September 2012, Ota Fine Arts opened a branch in the Gillman Barracks in Singapore.
Opened in February 2010, this building houses Taka Ishii Modern, WAKO WORKS OF ART, OTA FINE ARTS, and Zen Foto.
Founded by Tsutomu Ikeuchi in 1991, Roentgen Kunst Institut was originally located in a renovated warehouse in Omori. It was renowned for landmark exhibitions such as Anomaly (1992) and Fo(u)rtunes, which introduced the work of Takashi Murakami, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, and Makoto Aida. In 2003, the gallery relocated to the COMPLEX gallery building in Roppongi and changes name to Roentgenwerke AG. Following the closure of that building, in 2008 Roentgenwerke AG moved to Bakurocho and changed its name to Radi-um von Roentgenwerke AG.
An area of Roppongi defined by three museums opened since 2003: the MORI ART MUSEUM (2003), the NATIONAL ART CENTER, TOKYO (2007) and the Suntory Museum of Art (2007).
Centered around the 54-floor Mori Tower, this commercial and residential complex was constructed by Mori Building Co. in 2003. The MORI ART MUSEUM is located on the 53rd floor.
Opened in 1978 in Kyobashi, by Kazuhiko Satani. His son, Shugo Satani, worked there prior to its closure in 2000; that year he established SHUGOARTS. Kazuhiko Satani continues to work as a private dealer.
From January 2003 to its closure in 2005, this building was occupied by TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY, TAKA ISHII GALLERY, SHUGOARTS, and a viewing room run by GALLERY KOYANAGI. When the building was closed, several of these galleries relocated to the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING.
This building opened in January 2008 with KODAMA GALLERY, YAMAMOTO GENDAI and TAKAHASHI COLLECTION’s second space after the KAGURAZAKA GALLERY BUILDING. In April 2009, Takahashi Collection closed its Kagurazaka and Shirokane spaces, and reopened them as a single, larger space in Hibiya. Nanzuka Underground took over its Shirokane space until 2012, when it consolidated its activities in its original gallery in Shibuya; subsequently ARATANIURANO took over its space.
Built in 1927, the Shokuryo Building was originally a rice market, and in the postwar period it housed food-related offices. Its brick architecture was a rarity in Tokyo. In 1983, the Sagacho Exhibit Space opened. This was followed in 2012 by TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY in 1996 and TARO NASU in 1998. Sagacho Exhibit Space closed in 2000 and RICE Gallery by G2 opened in 2001. The building was demolished in 2002.
Following the closure of his father's space, SATANI GALLERY, Shugo established ShugoArts as an office in 2000. The gallery represents artists such as Tomoko Yoneda, Yasumasa Morimura, Teppei Kaneuji, Ilya Kabakov, Lee Kit, and Runa Islam. From 2001 to 2002, ShugoArts collaborated with Gallery Koyanagi on RICE Gallery by G2, located in the SHOKURYO BUILDING in Sagacho. From 2003 to 2005, ShugoArts was housed in the SHINKAWA GALLERY BUILDING, and since 2005 it has been in the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING. In 2015, the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING was slated for redevelopment and the gallery relocated to Mishuku.
A bar, club and event space in Roppongi run by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture.
Originally located in the KAGURAZAKA GALLERY BUILDING since its opening in 2005, Takahashi Collection is a viewing room for the private collection of Ryutaro Takahashi. Takahashi opened a second space in the SHIROKANE GALLERY BUILDING in 2008. In 2009, Takahashi Collection closed both the Kagurazaka and Shirokane spaces, and relocated to a larger, ground-floor space in Hibiya.
Originally known as Takefloor 404 & 502 and located in Ebisu, this gallery was founded by artist Kazuyuki Takezaki and Atsuko Ninagawa, formerly an employee of KODAMA GALLERY in Osaka and a freelance curator in the United States. In 2008, the gallery relocated to Azabu and was renamed Take Ninagawa. Its artists include painters Shinro Ohtake, Misaki Kawai and Chikara Matsumoto, and performance artist Aki Sasamoto. Take Ninagawa is part of the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES group of seven young galleries.
Founded as Tama Imperial Art School in 1945, it changed its name to Tama Art and Design School in 1950. Renamed Tama Art University in 1953.
Opened in 1998 by Taro Nasu, the gallery represents Ryuji Miyamoto, Simon Fujiwara, and Ryan Gander. Originally located in the SHOKURYO BUILDING in Sagacho until its closure in 2002, Taro Nasu relocated to the COMPLEX gallery building in Roppongi in 2003. In 2006, the gallery opened a branch in Osaka, which closed in 2009. Following the closure of Complex in 2008, the gallery moved to Bakurocho.
Established in 1988 by Masami Shiraishi. Located on Omotesando, the museum held art, architecture, and fashion exhibitions, including shows by Issey Miyake and David Lynch. The museum closed in 1993. That year, Shiraishi opened SCAI THE BATHHOUSE.
Opened in 1996. Formally known as the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, located in Odaiba. Built by a number of contractors, the conference tower is distinctive for its four inverted pyramids.
Opened in March 2007, this ten-hectare complex of six buildings in Roppongi, including Tokyo’s tallest building (until the completion of the Tokyo Sky Tree in 2012), was built by real-estate company Mitsui Fudosan. It houses stores, restaurants, offices and hotels, including the Suntory Museum of Art.
Established in 1872, the museum moved to its current location in Ueno Park in 1882. It is the oldest and largest museum in Japan and has a collection of 110,000 archaeological objects from Japan and Asia.
Formerly two institutions, the Tokyo Fine Arts School and Tokyo Music School, both founded in 1887. Merged in 1949 under its current name.
A nonprofit organization backed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Wonder Site was established in Hongo in 2001 with the aim of supporting emerging artists through residence programs. Additional spaces were opened in Shibuya in 2005 and Aoyama in 2006.
Founded in 1992 by Kiyoshi Wako, the gallery represents Noritoshi Hirakawa, Mike Kelley, Joan Jonas, Gerhard Richter, Fiona Tan, Wolfgang Tillmans, Luc Tuymans, and Shizuka Yokomizo. Originally located in Nishi-Shinjuku, Wako Works of Art moved to the PIRAMIDE GALLERY BUILDING in February 2010.
Opened in 2004 by Yuko Yamamoto, a former employee of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE. Among the gallery's artists are Motohiko Odani, Yasuyuki Nishino, and Kenji Yanobe. Originally located in the KAGURAZAKA GALLERY BUILDING, the gallery relocated to the SHIROKANE GALLERY BUILDING in January 2008.
Founded in January 2006 by Yuka Sasahara, who previously worked at TAKA ISHII GALLERY and ROENTGENWERKE AG (with Mikami Zenshi of ZENSHI). Originally located in the KAGURAZAKA GALLERY BUILDING, in June 2009 the gallery relocated to Kanda, where it shares a building with ZENSHI. In 2012, the gallery relocated to 3331 ARTS CHIYODA, where it operates as an office and private viewing room. ZENSHI, Yuka Sasahara Gallery was one of the founding members of the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES association of young galleries.
Part of the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES association of seven young galleries, Zenshi was founded in November 2005 by Mikami Zenshi, a former employee of ROENTGENWERKE AG. The gallery was originally located in the KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA GALLERY BUILDING and has exhibited artists such as Shigeru Suzuki, Ichiro Endo, and Kazu Sasaguchi. In June 2009, Zenshi moved to Kanda and shares a building with YUKA SASAHARA GALLERY. The gallery has not had an active exhibition program since 2012.

Appendix C: Exhibitions & Events

Launched in 1995 by the Ibaraki Prefectural Government, ARCUS is primarily an artist-in-residence program, but it also organizes exhibitions, workshops, lecture series, concerts and film screenings.
Held from April to May each year at the Gyoko Chika Gallery in Marunouchi, this is an exhibition of works chosen from the graduation exhibitions of the major art colleges in Japan, and awards are given to the most outstanding artists
A major international art fair for modern and contemporary works, held every June in Basel, Switzerland. It features nearly three hundred leading galleries from every continent. More than two thousand artists are represented in the show’s multiple sections.
Founded in 2007 by Asian Art Fairs Ltd as Art HK, this fair was one of the largest and most successful in Asia. In 2011, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd, the organizer of the Art Basel shows in Basel and Miami Beach acquired a 60% stake in Asian Art Fairs Ltd, and the event has been run under the name Art Basel Hong Kong since 2013. Held annually in March, it is now the most important art fair in Asia.
The sister event of Switzerland’s Art Basel, this is the most important art fair in the United States, held every December.
Started in 1994 and held twice a year at Tokyo Big Sight, Design Festa is an art event open to all artists who want to exhibit their work.
Founded in 1955 and held every five years in Kassel, Germany, documenta is a highly prestigious art event that brings together modern and contemporary art from all over the world, including much site-specific work.
Held every October in Regent’s Park, London, this art fair was conceived by the founders and publishers of art magazine frieze and showcases more than 150 international galleries.
An art fair/festival held twice a year at Tokyo Big Sight since 2002. It was set up by Takashi Murakami with the aim of reinvigorating the Japanese art market.
Inaugurated in 2009 as an antidote to Art Fair Tokyo's sprawling mix of antique, modern and contemporary art, this boutique art fair focuses on fifteen of Tokyo's leading contemporary art galleries. The final edition of this fair was held in 2013.
Begun in 1996, this is a satellite art fair to Art Basel that focuses on young galleries and young artists.
Begun in 2008 and spanning late March to mid-April, this is a three-week-long series of events taking place in and around the Marunouchi area of Tokyo. It incorporates Art Fair Tokyo, ART AWARD TOKYO and the NEW TOKYO CONTEMPORARIES, as well as programs at surrounding galleries and museums.
Founded in 2002, the New Art Dealers Alliance is a nonprofit collective of professionals working with contemporary art that aims to foster a stronger sense of community within the art world by bridging the gaps between large galleries to small spaces, nonprofit and commercial alike. The NADA art fair is held in December in Miami.
Begun in September 2007 in Shanghai, this is the leading international contemporary art fair of the Asia-Pacific region, featuring 130 invited galleries.
Taking place in late October to early November, Tokyo Design Week takes over the Aoyama, Gaienmae and Shibuya areas with a myriad of exhibitions, events and parties. It incorporates the separate events Tokyo Designer’s Week, 100% Design Tokyo, Design Tide and Swedish Style, bringing together both professional and student displays.
First held in 2001 and taking place from September to November, the Yokohama Triennale features artworks by around sixty to seventy selected artists from around the world, encompassing a broad variety of media, including site-specific works.
Established in 1949, this permissive, annual open-call exhibition was originally titled the Nihon Independent Exhibition. In 1957 it was renamed after its organizer, the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper, to distinguish it from another exhibition of the same name that was sponsored by the Japan Art Society. Until its conclusion in 1963, the Yomiuri Independent exhibited numerous avant-garde artists, including the GUTAI ART ASSOCIATION, MONO-HA, and the NEO-DADA ORGANIZERS.

Appendix D: Resources


Chiba, Shigeo
現代美術逸脱史 [A History of Deviation in Contemporary Art, 1945–1985].Tokyo: Shobunsha, 1986.
Chim↑Pom and Abe, Ken’ichi
なぜ広島の空をピカッとさせてはいけないのか [Why Are You Not Allowed to Make the Hiroshima Sky Flash?]. Tokyo: Kawade Press, 2009.
Chong, Doryun; Hayashi, Michio; Sumitomo, Fumihiko
From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989: Primary Documents . New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012.
Chong, Doryun; Hayashi Michio; Sas, Miryam
Tokyo 1995–1970: A New Avant-Garde. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2012.
Elliott, David
Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art. New York: Japan Society, 2011.
Favell, Adrian
Before and After Superflat: A Short History of Japanese Contemporary Art 1990–2011. Hong Kong: Blue Kingfisher Limited, 2012.
Fleming, Jeff
My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation. New York: Independent Curators International, 2001.
Furuichi, Yasuko
Rapt! 20 Contemporary Artists From Japan. Tokyo: Japan Foundation, 2006.
Jansen, Gregor
Japanese Experience: Inevitable. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2003.
Hasegawa, Yuko
Space for Your Future: Recombining the DNA of Art and Design. Tokyo: Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo / INAX, 2007.
Hiro Iezumi, Rika & Merewether, Charles
Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan, 1950–1970. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2007.
Kaneko, Ryuichi & Vartanian, Ivan
Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s. Aperture Foundation, 2009.
Kawakami, Noriko
Realising Design. Tokyo: Toto, 2004.
Kelts, Roland
Japanamerica: How Japanese Culture Has Invaded the U.S.. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Matsui, Midori
The Age of Micropop: The New Generation of Japanese Artists. Tokyo: Isamu Ito, 2007.
Munroe, Alexandra & Tiampo, Ming
Gutai: Splendid Playground. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2013.
Munroe, Alexandra
Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994.
Murakami, Takashi
芸術起業論 [Theories of Art Entrepreneurship]. Tokyo: Gentosha, 2006.
Murakami, Takashi
Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture. New York: Japan Society / New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2005.
Murakami, Takashi
Superflat. Tokyo: Madra, 2000.
Nara, Yoshitomo
Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works. Chronicle Books, 2011.
Niwa, Harumi
On Your Body: Contemporary Japanese Photography. Tokyo: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2008.
Osaka, Eriko & Kline, Nancy
Against Nature: Japanese Art in the Eighties. New York University: Grey Art Gallery & Study Center, 1989.
Rimer, Thomas J
Since Meiji: Japanese Visual Arts, 1868–2000. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2012.
Sas, Miryam
Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return. Harvard University Asia Center, 2011.
Sawaragi, Noi
日本現代美術 [Japanese Contemporary Art]. Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1998
Shinn, Masako & Yamashita, Satoru
Tokyo Visualist. Tokyo: DD Wave Co, 2009.
Tiampo, Ming
Gutai: Decentering Modernism. University Of Chicago Press, 2011.
Tucker, Anne
The History of Japanese Photography. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2003.
Yamaguchi, Yumi
Warriors of Art: A Guide to Contemporary Japanese Artists. Kodansha USA, 2007.
Yoshitake, Mika
Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha. Los Angeles: Blum & Poe, 2012.
Watanabe, Shinya
Into the Atomic Sunshine: Postwar Art Under Japanese Peace Constitution Article 9. New York: Puffin Room, 2008.


ADA Edita Tokyo
Publishing house behind the GA (Global Architecture) series of magazines.
Hong Kong-based English-language magazine covering art and culture in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
Artinfo JP/a>
Japanese branch of international art and culture site Launched as a bilingual site in 2012 but English-only since mid-2014.
Bilingual quarterly art magazine for Japan & Asia.
Bilingual design magazine.
Japanese-language culture and trend-spotting magazine.
Japanese graphic design & typography magazine.
Bilingual arts, design & culture magazine.
Shinkenchiku Publishing
Publishing house behind the Japanese and bilingual architecture magazines Shinkenchiku, Jutakutokushu, Japan Architect & a+u.


Alexandra Munroe
Website documenting the influential curator's exhibitions and publications on Japanese and Asian art.
Art Libraries Consortium
Search engine for Japanese museum libraries' inventory.
Artscape Japan
Monthly English-language art magazine.
Asia Art Archive
Hong Kong-based nonprofit research organization.
Bijutsu Techo
Monthly Japanese art magazine.
Geijutsu Shincho
Monthly Japanese art magazine.
Portal for critical discourse on Japan.
Architecture-focused magazine, jointly produced by JA (Japan Architect) and a+u (Architecture + Urbanism) magazines.
Japanamerica Blog
Roland Kelt's blog on manga, anime, politics, and contemporary culture.
Japan Photo Info
Cologne-based photography blog run by the director of Galerie Priska Pasquer.
Japan Times, arts section
Weekly articles & exhibition reviews.
Jean Snow
A Tokyo-based writer's art, design & pop culture blog.
Magazine and database of Japanese artists, galleries and museums.
Kansai Art Beat
Bilingual event listings for the Kansai region.
Cultural event listings, articles & reviews.
Tokyo-based art & design bookshop.
New Tokyo Contemporaries
Association of seven young galleries.
Broad-based cultural analysis of Japan.
Oral History Archives of Japanese Art
Transcripts of interviews with artists and other figures in the Japanese art world.
Distributor of Japanese photography books and zines.
Articles & interviews relating to art, design, fashion and architecture.
Ponja Genkon
Post-1945 Japanese art discussion group (listserve).
Cultural event listings & articles for Kyoto.
Cultural event listings & articles for Tokyo.
Hokkaido-based Japanese art & design blog.
Spoon & Tamago
New York-based Japanese art, design & culture blog.
Street Level Japan
Tokyo-based Japanese photography blog.
The Tactical Museum
Roger McDonald’s art blog (Ceased publication in 2011).
"Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde" Timeline
Interactive timeline to accompany the exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Tokyo Art Beat
Bilingual event listings for Tokyo & around.
Tokyo Mango
Blog about art and culture in Japan.


This page was last updated in June 2015. The information here is intended as an overview of key resources and is not meant to be comprehensive. However, if you see any crucial omissions or errors please feel free to contact