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Art Fair Tokyo, the city’s premier art showcase, is always a pleasure to experience, and I’m sure this year’s event, to be held March 20-22 at the Tokyo International Forum, will have much to offer. But part of the fun of following Art Fair Tokyo is observing the constant struggle the event has to get into its groove.

Although it has been around, in one form or another, since 1992, when it launched as the Nippon International Contemporary Art Fair (NICAF), it has never truly found its rhythm. Every few years seems to see plenty of chopping and changing. For example, in 2010 there was G-Tokyo, a breakaway event for contemporary art galleries, which led to Art Fair Tokyo offering concessions to lure them back. Despite its long history, there is still something tentative and unsettled about Art Fair Tokyo, but this adds to its appeal.

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