On a day in late July when the Tokyo Olympics should have begun, dozens of artists and spectators crowded around a small gallery showcasing photographs of disaster-struck Fukushima, a painting of a face mask and abstract art pieces.

The one-week exhibition was being held by a group of 20 artists in a gallery near the new National Stadium in Tokyo, the games' main venue, to express concern about the world's biggest sporting event, which is now due to be held next year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With the pandemic already raging for months and with no end yet in sight, Kai Koyama, organizer of the event, says many people now think it will be "impossible" to hold the Tokyo Games even under the delayed schedule.