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ART FAIR TOKYO 2015 Guided Tour

Date: Sat. March 21 - Sun. March 22, 2015
Venue: Tokyo International Forum, B2F Exhibition Hall
*Booking required *Tour will be in Japanese or English

view of ART FAIR TOKYO 2014 / Photo : Munetoshi IWASHITA

[ Overview ]
Date: Sat. March 21 - Sun. March 22, 2015
Venue: Tokyo International Forum, B2F Exhibition Hall (5-1 Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo 100-0005 Japan)
Meeting point: ART FAIR TOKYO 2015 Ticket Counter
Organizer: ART FAIR TOKYO Committee
Planned and coordinated by: Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
In Cooperation with: Warehouse TERRADA

[ Admission ]
4,500 yen each (includes tax and ART FAIR TOKYO 2015 1-DAY Passport)
*For ART FAIR TOKYO 2015 1-DAY Passport holder: 3,000yen (includes tax).

See here for details>>

2015-3- 3

Notice from AIT Office

Kindly note that our office phone number will be out of use on Friday January 23rd 11:00am-12:00pm(noon), due to phone line repairing. For urgent inquiries, please email us at otoiawase●a-i-t.net.
We apologize for any inconveniences caused and would like to thank you for your understanding in advance.


Nov. 1st, 18:30-: AIT + ARCUS Night Part 7

Dreams, Moon, Nature, Modern Architecture...The Cosmic Mind of Artists
Mini Talk by Artists from The Netherlands, Argentina, Cyprus, and Sweden

Date: Saturday November 1st, 2014
Time: 18:30-21:30, Mini Talks begin at 19:30
Venue: AIT room Daikanyama [MAP]
*Free Entry / No booking required


We are pleased to host AIT + ARCUS Night Part 7 "The Cosmic Mind of Artists" on November 1st. AIT`s resident artist, Jenny Akerlund(Sweden) and 3 artists in residence of ARCUS will give a talk about their works and about their experiences in Japan. The talk will be translated consecutively into Japanese from English.

The guest curator of this year`s Arcus Project, Mihoko Nishikawa(Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) and Coordinator will also be present at the event.

See here for details>>


July 3rd, 19:00-: AIT SLIDE TALK #30

AIT SLIDE TALK #30 Viewing event "Thinking about Writing about Art"
Speakers: Christy Lange (Associate Editor of frieze magazine), Andrew Maerkle (ART iT), Roger McDonald (AIT)
Date and Time: August 6th (Wednesday), 7 - 9pm
Venue: AIT Room, Daikanyama

*AIT will hold a screening event of AIT SLIDE TALK #30 which was held last month, as we received many sign-ups but due to limited capacity, many could not register. We look forward to your coming. *Talk was held in English only.

Thinking about Writing about Art: Christy Lange (Associate Editor of frieze magazine), Andrew Maerkle (ART iT) and Roger McDonald (AIT).

Date and Time: Thursday, July 3rd, 19:00-21:00
Venue: AIT Room, Daikanyama

*The talk will be held in English, with no Japanese translation.

Left: frieze magazine 2014 Summer issue No.164 / Right: 2014 May issue No. 163

We are pleased to be hosting Christy Lange, Associate Editor of frieze magazine for a one month residency in Tokyo supported by The Backers Foundation. Christy has written extensively about contemporary art for frieze magazine, in addition to organizing talk programs for Frieze New York and London.

For this event Christy will introduce frieze magazine, its workings, and its editorial directions within the broader landscape of art media and criticism today. Following her presentation, Andrew Maerkle of ART iT and AIT's Roger McDonald will join Christy for a roundtable discussion about art journalism and criticism, with a focus on the situation in Japan. In a highly globalized art scene, what is the role of art magazines like frieze? Can we speak of a shared international art discourse today, and how could we imagine Japan in this context? Is art history still the foundational ground from which to write art criticism, or can we identify a more open field of references that includes music, film, literature or art brut? Throughout the discussion, questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed.

We look forward to your attendance at this special event.

See here for details>>


July 12 - 26: THE BAR Vol.7 Exhibition

The Backers Foundation and AIT residence programme vol. 7

Saturday, July 12 - Saturday, July 26 at YAMAMOTO GENDAI (Shirokane-Takanawa, Tokyo)
Opening Reception: 6pm - 8pm on Saturday, July 12

The BAR vol.7
Left: "Continuity Drift" (2013). Natural pigment dyes /reference image.  Right: Gor Soudan, Drawing in space (2014). Protest wire / reference image.

Press release Download(PDF / 889KB)

Exhibition flier Download(PDF / 5.4MB)

Artists interview Download(PDF / 2.3MB)
Interview by Ben Davis and Naoko Horiuchi

The exhibition will mark the 7th time that The Backers Foundation and AIT have partnered together, having previously hosted artists and curators from Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. As part of the joint residency programme, the exhibition will be accompanied by research, production and cultural exchange through educational sessions.

Albert Samreth (Born in 1987, Los Angeles, USA) is an emerging conceptual artist who has developed a studio practice based around engaging with natural and systematic processes. For this exhibition, Samreth will present a new series of paintings created by either the effects of Tokyo's heavy summer rainfall or made by the sunlight in a natural photographic process. The remainder of his work for the show will be derived from graphic scores related to his concurrent project for the International Moscow Biennale of Young Art, where he will be teaching songs to an African Grey Parrot.

Gor Soudan (Born in 1983, Kisumu, Kenya) is a self-taught conceptual artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. For this exhibition, Soudan will present pieces from his "Drawing in Space" series alongside linear drawings and an installation constructed in his Tokyo studio using a variety of locally-sourced, natural materials.

See here for details>>


March 24th, 19:00-: AIT ARTIST TALK #65

「Technics, Labour, Abstraction」Artist talk about recent works and new ideas by Dutch artist Vincent Vulsma
Date and Time: Monday, March 24th, 19:00-21:00
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama 
*Booking required *Talk will be in English with consecutive translation

Vincent Vulsma Left: Figure 1.1 (Raghu Bhai), 2013 and Figure 1.2 (Norbhai Badhiya), 2013, Jacquard fabric, hand spun cotton
and machine-spun cotton, on wooden stretcher, 215 x 150 x 4 cm and 500 x 150 x 4 cm
Right: Figure 1.2 (Norbhai Badhiya), 2013, detail, Jacquard fabric, hand spun cotton and machine-spun cotton,
on wooden stretcher, 500 x 150 x 4 cm/ Photo: Achim Kukulies

AIT is pleased to present a talk by Dutch artist in residence Vincent Vulsma on Monday, March 24. Vulsma is currently undertaking a residency in Tokyo with support from The Mondriaan Fonds Foundation in the Netherlands.

The work of Vincent Vulsma explores the tensions between autonomous art and the socio-political relations underlying its production. The history and economy of cultural appropriation serve as important starting points for his investigations, with an underlying theme being the relationship between work and artwork. By playing various production technologies off against one another, Vulsma interrogates the hierarchic division of immaterial and material labour in an era that is dominated by digital forms of production.

For example, the source of his recent works, 'Figure 1.1 (Raghu Bhai)' and 'Figure 1.2 (Norbai Badhiya)', which were created on a computer-controlled Jacquard loom, was an 18th century Indian chintz from the collection of the Calico Museum in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Using a handheld scanner primarily used for document scanning, Vulsma digitised details of the historical fabric. The irregularities and distortions caused by the scanning process are transferred abstractly into the digitally woven structure whose height corresponds exactly to the duration of each scan operation. By defining the volume of the cotton to be processed, the amount of physical labour was also quantified. Starting from the idea that abstracted knowledge is stored in cultural goods and artefacts, Vulsma's works reflect the interaction of historical relationships - such as India's leading role in the history of textile production, the rapid development of a European market and the desire to copy the Indian form language for Europe's own production - and the contemporary hierarchies in an unequal global distribution of labour.

For the talk, Vulsma will present a selection of his projects from the past few years. Furthermore he will introduce the focus of his current research in Japan. During his residency Vulsma has studied the historical process of adaption and imitation of exotic cotton textiles during the Edo period in Japan, in particular shima-mono (striped and checked fabrics) and sarasa (Indian chintz and its imitations produced in South-East Asia and Europe). Such imports largely increased under influence of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in the early modern global trading system. Rather than focusing on the style and meaning of such patterns, Vulsma is interested in the technical modification that these patterns underwent through local differences in mass printing and dyeing technologies, for example the use of Japanese katagami stencils versus Indian block printing. He would be happy to share how these findings could possibly shape concepts for new works.

The talk will be in English with consecutive Japanese translation.

See here for details>>


August 3rd 18:30 -: Summer Minglius

Summer Minglius "Ancient cities in dreams, and 12,350km"
Residence Program Report by 2 Artists: Masahiro Wada and Alberto Rodríguez Collía

Saturday August 3rd 18:30 - 21:30 *Mini-Talk by the artists from 19:30
AIT Room, Daikanyama *Free Entry
Masahiro WadaBeto Collia
Left: One of the images of the ancient city in Masahiro Wada's dream
Right: Photo of Tokyo and Guatemala by Alberto Rodríguez Collía

Minglius is an event organised by the non profit art organisation AIT for MAD students and anyone else to mingle, mooch and mambo.

Since 2003, AIT has been carrying out an experimental Artist in Residency Programs in Tokyo, hosting (or sending abroad) more than 60 artists and curators. Many of the previous artists have developed their networks during their stay inTokyo and revisited for new exhibitions and projects. How do artists perceive different cities and people, during a limited period of time, and connect these experiences to their new works?

For this Minglius, we will invite two artitsts : Masahiro Wada and Alberto Rodriguez Collía who have travelled as a residence artist to Mexico, and Tokyo. They will give a short presentation about their experiences and ideas for new works inspired from their stay.

Wada visited fortune tellers in Mexico City to ask for the location of an ancient ruins that appeared in his dream. Collía got inspired by the similarities of how the individuals interacts with each other in Tokyo and Guatemala, although both countries have different history and culture, and are 12,350km away from each other.
By being mobile, artists cast light upon such discoveries and phenomenons that we tend to overlook.

Please join in for a time to explore the artists' ideas and imaginations 'before' they are taken into art works. AIT staff Naoko Horiuchi will be the moderator.
There will be a bar with drinks and snacks for sale.

MINGLIUS IS A NON SMOKING EVENT - smokers can smoke at the entrance to the building downstairs. Your co-operation is greatly appreciated! At the event, there will be a bar, snacks, a relaxed sitting on the floor environment and music as usual. We look forward to seeing you!

See here for details>>


July 13 - 27: The BAR vol.6 Exhibition

The Backers Foundation and AIT residence programme vol. 6
New works from Allegra Pacheco and Alberto Rodríguez Collía

Saturday, July 13 - Saturday, July 27, 2013 at YAMAMOTO GENDAI (Shirokane, Tokyo)

AllegraPacheco AlbertoRodriguezcollia
Left: Allegra Pacheco / Untitled / 2013  Right: Alberto Rodríguez Collía / No lugar (Non place) / 2013

Press release (Japanese) Download(PDF / 893KB)

The Backers Foundation and Arts Initiative Tokyo are delighted to announce the 6th Backers and AIT Residence (BAR) programme exhibition, "Divided Against Ourselves " which will be held between July 13th and 27th at YAMAMOTO GENDAI. This year, emerging artists Allegra Pacheco (b.1986) and Alberto Rodríguez Collía (b.1985) will present works inspired by the experiences and discoveries of their three month residency in Tokyo, funded by the Backers Foundation.

Allegra Pacheco is a Costa Rican artist who works in a variety of mediums, with her work predominantly photographic, but often expanding into drawing and installation. In 2012, Pacheco exhibited her first installation work, 'Boobs', a series of breast-shaped soft sculptures made in collaboration with disenfranchised women from La Carpio, an immigrant neighborhood in Costa Rica. The exhibition space took on the innocence of a children's playground, but at the same time served as a platform whereby feminist issues and taboo subjects such as sexuality could be addressed in an un-biased environment. For this exhibition, Pacheco will produce an installation using both photography and illustration, and inspired by the architecture and density of Tokyo, where systems and rules unconsciously control the city's occupants and their lives. Her fantastical cityscapes are claustrophobic and lonely, where the post-apocalyptic undertones of a machine-ruled world invite the viewer to contemplate where our growth-focused lifestyles might lead our future generations.

In Japan for the first time, Guatemalan artist Alberto Rodríguez Collía uses archive's images (newspapers, television commercials, documentaries, video clips and the internet) to produce video works, drawings and collages. Collía presents images borrowed from mass media to criticize the unstable social and political situation in his country. For the 2008 project 'La Favorita', Collía gathered together with Erick Menchú, Guatemalan visual artist, images of folk sign designs from Guatemala, sharing the anonymous voices of the country. During his stay in Tokyo, he will produce engravings that combine semi-autobiographical situations from Guatemala and Tokyo, weaving together new stories.

The artists share certain similarities in that they use familiar motifs, presented at times in humorous ways, to portray the hidden and darker elements of our society. In recent years, as collectors increase, and the market expands, there is increasing interest in the South American art scene, but at the same time there is much to be learnt about creative expression and the socio-cultural situation.

Residency programs allow us to look through the artist's eyes, seeing not only the pleasant, but also the cultural differences and misunderstandings, in turn allowing us to view our society in a different manner.

Text: Naoko Horiuchi (AIT) Translation: Ben Davis

See here for details>>


Sep 29th 19:00-: AIT ARTIST TALK #63

" `Falling` People and Parasitic Sculptures"
Talk by German artists Benedikt Partenheimer and Rita Hensen
Date and Time: Monday, September 29th, 19:00-21:00
Venue: AIT Room Daikanyama *Booking required *Talk will be in English with consecutive translation

AIT will host a talk by the current artists in resident from Germany, Benedikt Partenheimer and Rita Hensen on Monday, October 29th.

During the talk, the two artists will introduce their past works, about the creative process and concept behind them. They will also share their discoveries through their stay in Tokyo, and possible ideas for new works.

The talk will be in English with consecutive Japanese translation by AIT staff.

See here for details>>


March 25, 14:00-: "Contemporary Art in Indonesia today and Revisiting Relational Aesthetics"

Talk by emerging curators Sudjud Dartanto(Indonesia) and Che Kyongfa(Japan)
Date and Time: Sunday March 25, 14:00-16:00 *Booking required
Venue: Hillside Annex B (30-2 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku)

AIT is pleased to host a talk by two promising curators from Indonesia and Japan. Sudjud Dartanto from Indonesia is currently in Tokyo via AIT`s residence program. The first half of the talk will be led by Sudjud addressing the relevance of the theme "Relational Aesthetics" today, in connection with the contemporary art scene in Indonesia. Kyongfa will join the talk from the second half for further discussion and analysis on the topic. A casual bar will open afterwards serving Indonesian snacks.

See here for details>>