For the past few weeks, our handy and informative art fair coverage has focused its attention on the Goliath of art fairs, Art Basel, and the equally-exciting satellite fairs that revolve around it. Now, we’re shifting gears and moving past the Alps to the second largest metropolitan center in Japan, Osaka, for today’s featured art fair: Art Osaka, which takes place July 2nd-3rd .
Now in its 14th year, Art Osaka offers a distinct set-up from other art fairs. Gallerists trade the traditional arrangement of art fair booths for– wait for it– hotel rooms. Yep, you heard right: Art Osaka takes place in the Hotel Granvia Osaka, giving 53 galleries a chance to creatively transform individual hotel rooms into out-of-the-box exhibition spaces.
And what could be cooler than an art fair in a hotel? Affordable art! Art Osaka’s galleries present artworks from a variety of price ranges, because, alas, not every collector’s AmEx can be Black or Platinum. Art Osaka’s exhibitors, most of which come from Japan, Korea or Taiwan, focus on local artists and young, emerging talent, which evens out price tags and ensures that every type of collector can go home happy.
In general, young and emerging pretty much defines the vibe of the fair– taking a pulse of the trends and styles that are up-and-coming in local art. Art Osaka even organizes events and artist talks for those visitors who want more info on what’s going on in the local art scene. One special exhibition, “Awaking by Art”, showcases the works of four distinguished students from the Kyoto City University of Arts. Another special exhibition, “Attack of Japanese Abstract Paintings”, focuses on broadening the idea of abstract art through the integration of a variety of media like photography, collage and textiles. The show is accompanied by a series of talks throughout the weekend, where young, contemporary artists discuss their abstract works and practice.
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July 1st, 2-8 PM – VIP & Press Preview
July 2nd, 11AM- 8PM
July 3rd, 11AM- 7PM
Hotel Granvia Osaka, 26th Floor
galerie bruno massa
This French gallery, the only exhibitor from outside Asia, offers a stunning collection of colorful canvases from Japanese artist Fusako Ekuni and French artist Gilles Teboul. Ekuni’s work, “Into the Light” focuses on how light and color interact to not only visually define the elements of our world, but also to reach us on a deeper level and affect our emotional states. Much like a James Turrell light installation, the vibrant hues in her work aim to incite some form of feeling and excitement in the viewer.
For local New Yorkers, ARTCOURT Gallery might sound familiar– they recently installed Sky Memory, a work by sculptor Kozo Nishino, in the lobby of the 4 World Trade Center Building. However, while this Osaka gallery won’t be exhibiting Nishino at the show, they’re certainly bringing their A-Game with a collection of works from a younger generation of Japanese artists, including Yasuyoshi Botan and Hiroshi Mizuta, all reflecting the diverse range of media represented by the gallery, from painting to sculpture to installation work.
Lucky for visitors, this Seoul-based gallery will be featuring its collection in two different outposts. Gallery Jinsun is known for consistently engaging a broader public through an active roster of talks, workshops, and seminars, as well as its Window exhibition, which allows the public to admire Jinsun’s works past gallery hours. Gallery Jinsun’s offerings for Art Osaka include Korean artist RHAOMI, who gives traditional silk prints a modern twist. Their second exhibition focuses on Swedish artists, as part of a show titled “Swedish Breeze”, included in Art Osaka’s specially curated Exhibition-PLUS section.
Header Image: Fusako EKUNI, Into the Light, 2016. Image courtesy galerie bruno massa