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Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
Art under a Roppongi roof
By JAE LEE
Tokyo is headed into "art season" with the Tokyo Frontline and G-tokyo art fairs preparing to start. Along with those events, a new gallery complex will open its doors to art lovers on Feb. 18.
The new gallery is in the Piramide Building in Roppongi. It comprises four commercial art galleries: Zen Foto Gallery, Wako Works of Art, Taka Ishii Gallery and Ota Fine Arts. It's no coincidence that the building will open the same weekend as G-tokyo is held — the residents are taking part in that event.
Zen Foto Gallery (www.zen-foto.jp) is known for specializing in contemporary Chinese photographers and it hopes to act as a bridge between Japan and China.
Wako Works of Art (www.wako-art.jp) says that their move to the new venue comes as the gallery will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.
The Taka Ishii Gallery (www.takaishiigallery.com) will be keeping its original space in Koto Ward and dedicating the Roppongi venue to mostly postwar-era photographs and films under the name of the Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film. The opening reception will feature unpublished works from photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.
Rounding out the group is Ota Fine Arts (www.otafinearts.com), who are known for their Yayoi Kusama collections and increasingly for their collection of works by Asian artists from countries such as China, Iran and Korea.
Representatives of Ota Fine Arts say they were glad to move to the new space because they've noticed an increase in non-Japanese visitors to their gallery. All of the new tenants hope to make things easier for their customers by consolidating their galleries in one area.
The new Roppongi gallery complex will hold opening events from 7 p.m. till 10 p.m. on Feb. 18. The Piramide Building is located at 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. It is near Exit 3 of Roppongi Station.