Something for All the Senses
Tokyo is a bona-fide challenge. Whether encountering traditional, high-tech, or garish amusements—there’s much of everything to be found here. Even art lovers will feel put to the test, which is why it is advisable to initially limit yourself to the centrally located district of Roppongi. The bustling business and entertainment district has become a hotspot for already established contemporary art in recent years. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Emmanuel Perrotin opened one of his worldwide offshoots here in 2017. The spaces of the Parisian gallerist, who reportedly was pivotal in turning Takashi Murakami into a world-famous Japanese Pop Art star, are located in the Piramide Building. Opened in 2011, it is home to numerous first-rate galleries including Ota Fine Arts, one of the top addresses for Japanese art with blue-chip artists like Yayoi Kusama and newcomers such as Tsuyoshi Hisakado. At Wako Works of Art you’ll find German stars like Gerhard Richter or Andreas Slominski, and, for those interested in film and photography, works by Nobuyoshi Araki or Thomas Demand at the Taka Ishii Gallery. Even outside the building, the range of cultural offerings in Roppongi is virtually limitless—ranging from the Nogi Jinja Shrine to the Snoopy Museum. In Tokyo Midtown, a building complex with the city’s tallest skyscraper, the Suntory Museum of Art is home to a superb arts and crafts collection. On the fifty-second floor of the nearby Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, the Mori Art Museum showcases contemporary artists from around the world and also features a spectacular multi-story observation deck. The National Art Center Tokyo (NACT), also opened in 2007, is just a stone’s throw away. The gigantic wave-shaped building designed by Kishō Kurokawa, the founder of Metabolism, is the largest museum in Japan, with 14 000 square meters of exhibition space. From here you can enjoy a view of Mount Fuji in good weather. While the mythical mountain radiates something enduring, Tokyo’s art scene, experience teaches, may soon be expanding into the next trendy district.
Frankfurt am Main-based writer Sandra Danicke is a correspondent for the art magazine Art, where she reports on contemporary artists and all art historical time periods. In addition, she holds a PhD in art history and works as an editor for the Frankfurter Rundschau and as a freelance journalist for Die Zeit and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.