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Tokyo’s art scene opens up

by Mike Hamilton

Staff Writer

You would be forgiven for thinking that Tokyo’s art scene is only accessible to those with large wallets and gold cards. However, the Tokyo Art & Antiques festival — for a few days at least — hopes to make the city’s art scene accessible to everyone.

The festival is one of Japan’s biggest art events and takes place between April 28 and May 1 in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi and Kyobashi districts, which are famous for their numerous art galleries and antique dealerships. The event focuses on traditional Japanese art, including sculptures, paintings and crafts.

In addition to 65 galleries and antiques dealers, the Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi department stores will also be participating in the fair. One event of note will be a talk by actor-cum-artist Akira Nakao and his wife, Shino Ikenagi, on the sixth floor of Mitsukoshi’s main store in Nihonbashi at 1 p.m. on May 1.

In addition to galleries having extended opening hours during the fair there will be various other events for visitors, including a live flower-arranging show, and gallery tours.

Despite broad interest in Japanese classical art, the festival’s organizers believe there is a lack of knowledge on how art lovers can start their own collections. They hope this annual festival will help visitors familiarize themselves with all the potential joys of collecting.

Tokyo Art & Antiques: The Nihonbashi/Kyobashi Art and Antiques Festival will be held April 28 — May 1. All events are free. For more information, visit www.tokyoartantiques.com