Happy New Year! Top Tokyo Exhibitions of 2010

To celebrate the glorious end of Tokyo’s 2010 exhibition year I put together the list of three of my favorite shows of the year. For the sake of even distribution I picked one show by an emerging gallery, one show by an established gallery and one museum show.

Venue: TANA Bookshelf Gallery

Exhibition: SHIBUHAUSE installation

Why: TANA was my most exciting discovery of the year. This new gallery unhinged itself from the constrictions brought on by commercial pressures without compromising its creative ambitions. Great new addition to the Tokyo art world.

Venue: Rat Hole Gallery

Exhibition: Miwa Yanagi “Lullaby”

Lullaby, 2009, 12 minutes, edition of 5, image courtesy of the gallery

Why: This show cleverly combined the works from an older photographic series Fairy Tales (2004–2006) and Yanagi’s new video work Lullaby (2009), using the images in the photographs as a poetic key to unlock symbolic cache of the video. I reviewed this exhibition for May 2010 issue of Artforum.

Venue: Mori Art Museum

Exhibition: Roppongi Crossing: Can there be Art?

KAMI & friends scateboarding performance, photo Joji Shimamoto

Why: Mori Museum’s super-sized exhibition, for all the faults other reviewers noticed, definitely succeeded in showing the multifarious character of contemporary Japanese art.

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