Tokyo galleries, our pick of the best for 2021 and beyond
Exterior of Tokyo Gallery (“Saito Yoshishige Solo Exhibition”)
Home | Tokyo galleries, our pick of the best for 2021 and beyond
With Art Week Tokyo just around the corner, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best contemporary and photographic Tokyo galleries.
There is no shortage of museums and galleries dedicated to art and photography in Tokyo, spread around the city and housed in all manner of buildings, the city’s love of art and photography is reflected not only in the homegrown established galleries, international galleries such as Blum & Poe and Perrotin, but also young and emerging galleries such as Aoyama Meguro, Misako & Rosen, Mujin-to Production, and Take Ninagawa and artist-run spaces such as Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery, 4649, Fig., and XYZ collective.
So if you are heading to Art Week Tokyo or just plan a visit to Japan and Tokyo then here are a few of our recommendations.
Best known for representing Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki. The gallery represents many of the leading lights in Japanese photography and is a must-see for anyone interested in the gritty black and whites of post-war Japanese photography.
If you can’t make it to Tokyo, the gallery is a regular on the photography and art fair calendar, but if you are in town Taka Ishii has two galleries and a shop.
The international powerhouse gallery Perrotin opened the doors of its Tokyo gallery in 2017 on the ground floor of the Piramide building, which now houses its bookstore.
Situated in the vibrant and cultural neighbourhood of Roppongi, the gallery has expanded since to over 2500 sq ft of prime Tokyo exhibition space. Roppongi also boasts the Mori Art Museum and the National Art Center, so it’s well worth a visit.
Started in 2008, Take Ninagawa promotes both emerging and historically established Japanese artists. The gallery also represents several international artists who are encouraged to respond to the art and culture of Japan. Each artist is encouraged to develop these ideas over a series of exhibitions.
2-12-4-1F, HigashiAzabu, Minatoku Tokyo 1060044 Japan T: + 81- (0) 3-5571-5844
Tokyo Gallery +BTAP was the very first contemporary art gallery in Tokyo and celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2020.
Founded in 1950 this gallery has been at the forefront of introducing Western artists such as Jackson Pollack to a Japanese audience and similarly introducing Japanese artists to Western audiences through collaborations at art fairs and biennales and exhibitions at major Western museums.
In the 70s the gallery began working with Korean artists including Park Seobo, Kim Whanki and Lee Ufan and from the 80s they began to work with up and coming Chinese artists.
In 2002 the gallery opened a new space in the Beijing 798 Art District.
Address7F, Ginza 8-10-5, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan 104-0061Tel+81 3 3571 1808
PGI or Photo Gallery International has hosted exhibitions from both Western and Japanese photographers. The list is a who’s who of photographic icons, from Ansel Adams and Edward Weston to Kikuji Kawada, Ikko Narahara, and Eikoh Hosoe.
PGI has since its inception in 1979 continuously introduced work from both domestic and foreign artists whose work is representative of its era.
Along with its expansive exhibition space, PGI also has a shop selling archival prints, photo books and a framing service.
TKB Bldg. 3F, 2-3-4 Higashiazabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, 106-0044, JAPAN TEL +81 3-5114-7935
Located in the vibrant district of Ginza, The Club aims to introduce international contemporary artists to a Japanese audience. The Club hosts both solo and group exhibitions and also acts as an advisory to Japanese looking to collect new contemporary art.
The Club takes its name from the legendary 8th Street Club a group of abstract artists founded in New York in the late 40s. The club’s’ members included Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Joan Mitchell and Robert Rauschenberg. The 8th Street Club also invited Japanese artists to New York to give talks and share experiences.
As such The Club hopes to do something similar, provide a place where artists from different cultures can discover their work and share ideas.
THE CLUB, Ginza Tsutaya Books GINZA SIX 6F, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo #104-0061
Opened in 2018, ANOMALY stands for deviation from normality, common order, rule, and irregularity that cannot be explained by the general consideration. With two gallery spaces ANOMALY aims to push creativity beyond the traditional framework of an “art gallery.” The large imposing brutal concrete space provides a platform for various formats of exhibitions, performances, and events
1-33-10-4F Higashi-shinagawa Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0002 Japan tel & fax +81(0)3-6433-2988
Opened by Tomoko Ashikawa in 2010 WAITINGROOM”S remit is to promote and support new and emerging contemporary artists across various media.
WAITINGROOM supports artists through workshops and lectures and by building positive relations between artists and audiences. Artists represented by the gallery can be seen internationally in galleries, museums and biennales.
Nagashima Bldg. 1F, 2-14-2 Suido, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN, 112-0005
With over 40 Tokyo galleries to chose from there is plenty for everyone. There are also several museums such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and the Mori Arts Center.
Although some galleries allow walk-ins, many require a reservation so do call ahead to avoid disappointment.
What makes Tokyo so innovative and exciting in terms of its art scene? Well probably that the city has rebuilt itself. Locals have an innate sense of innovation which can be seen in fashion, art and subculture. The art scene is always evolving and it keeps people coming back for more.