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TOKYO

G-tokyo art fair makes a change

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

This year, four-year-old art fair G-tokyo boasts that it will turn over a new leaf with some radical changes.

Besides moving its venue from Mori Arts Center Gallery to Tokyo Midtown Hall, it has altered the lineup of participating galleries for the first time, to elicit fresh interest from a wider range of art connoisseurs and potential buyers. Perhaps the biggest change though is that organizers will scrap the traditional artist-in-a-booth presentation style, commissioning instead avant-garde duo Mount Fuji Architects Studio to design the hall to make it a place where “visitors and artists can communicate more freely.”

One of those artists is sculptor Kohei Nawa, who uses a curiosity in biology to create pieces related to the imagery of skins and cells, experimenting with unusual materials such as prisms and foamed polyurethane.

Other artists include Vietnam-born conceptual artist Dahn Vo, who as a child fled his homeland to settle in Denmark with his family. His works reflect his early-age encounters and adaptation to Western culture.

G-tokyo kicked off in 2010, when a growing shift in public sentiment toward modern art moved to something more easily understandable instead of something that was traditionally feared. However, concerned such a trend might prevent casual art fans from progressing deeper in modern-art appreciation, the organizers of G-tokyo have intentionally kept the event rather small-scale, so visitors can engage more intimately with the experience.

“G-tokyo 2013″ takes place at Tokyo Midtown Hall in Minato-ku on March 23 (11 a.m.-midnight) and 24 (11 a.m.-9 p.m.). Tickets cost ¥ 1,200 with discounts for students. For more information, call (03) 3475-3100 or visit www.gtokyo-art.com/2013/index.html.