This year’s art scene was largely dominated by two new major events, the Aichi Triennale and the Setouchi International Art Festival, both of which not only utilized gallery space, but showed a large number of works outside of the “white cube.” They indicated a trend in Japan of art tourism merging with the stimulation of local economies, something that in today’s economic climate, appears to have proved successful.

Meanwhile, under some pressure from the growing influence of neighboring countries, such as China and Korea, Japanese art professionals — not only artists but also exhibition and event organizers — are coming up with innovative forms of expression in the search for new forms of art. There were plenty of wonderful art exhibitions organized by museums and commercial galleries exploring this. Here are my top five, each of which I believe is of significance in Japanese contemporary art.

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