Must-See Art Guide: Tokyo

This week's guide includes Dinh Q. Lê, Toshikatsu Endo, Yayoi Kusama, and more.

Known for its constant reinvention, growth, and obscure art spaces, Tokyo’s art scene is unlike any other. Whether you live in Tokyo or are just here on vacation, this guide has the ins and outs of what you need to see in this colorful city during the hot summer months.

If triennials, bullet trains, and rural landscapes are your thing, you’re in luck as the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale opens this Saturday and features artists Cai Guo-Qiang and Seizo Tashima. This 50-day event highlights artworks and artists from all over Asia, celebrates local sites, and hosts performances at various hubs.


Yuki Kimura. Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery.

If you’d rather stay local, there are a number of exhibitions happening. One such exhibition is at one of Tokyo’s most prestigious galleries, SCAI The Bathhouse, which is hosting a solo exhibition by local artist Toshikatsu Endoshow titled “Void–Water Place.” 10 years after his last show at the gallery, he has transformed the gallery space by excavating a hole in the floor embedded with a metal box full of water. This powerful piece is a real treat for your senses, and is not one to miss. If you came to see Japanese photography, look no further as Taka Ishii Gallery is hosting its seventh solo show by artist Yuki Kimura, in which she displays an enlarged image of a tennis court in a carefully staged sculptural arrangement. To see one of the best panoramic views of the city and the first solo exhibition by Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê, take the elevator to the 52nd and 53rd floors of the Mori Tower, where you can see “Memory for Tomorrow” at the Mori Art Museum, which opens this Saturday.

As you use this guide to navigate from exhibition to exhibition, you might want to rely on your GPS to get around; it’s too hot out to be meandering the streets of Tokyo.


Katsuhiko Hibino, bigdatana-TANA WA MONONO SUMIKA (2015). Courtesy of Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

Exhibition: Kubbe Makes an Art Museum

When: July 18–October 4, 2015

Where: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 8-36 Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo, Japan


Dinh Q. Lê, Come Back to Saigon (2005). Courtesy of Mori Art Museum.

Exhibition: Dinh Q. Lê: Memory for Tomorrow

When: July 25–October 12, 2015

Where: Mori Art Museum, 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Yuka Goto, Happiness (2015). Courtesy of Hiromart Gallery.

Exhibition: “Yuka Goto—The Second Part: Pleasure”

When: July 29–August 16, 2015

Where: Hiromart Gallery, 1st floor, Mimura Bldg, 1-30-7, Sekiguchi, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan


Toshikatsu Endo, Water Under Foot, (2013). Courtesy SCAI The Bathhouse.

Exhibition: “Toshikatsu Endo: Void—Water Place”

When: July 3–August 1, 2015

Where: SCAI The Bathhhouse, 6-1-23 Yanaka, Tokyo, Japan



When: July 4–August 1, 2015

Where: Taka Ishii Gallery, 3-10-11 B1 Sendagaya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Nerhol, 01 Scape. Courtesy of G/P Gallery.


Said Atabekov, Battle for the Square #1 (2009). Courtesy of OTA Fine Arts.

Exhibition: “Walk in Asia”

When: June 27–August 8, 2015

Where: OTA Fine Arts, Piramide Bldg. #3F, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minatoku, Tokyo, Japan


Exhibition: Nerhol

When: July 11–August 9, 2015

Where: G/P Gallery, 1-18-4 NADiff A/P/A/R/T #2F, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan


Keiichi Tanaami, Tanaami Golden City (1987). Courtesy of NANZUKA.

Exhibition: Passage in the Air

When: July 11–August 8, 2015

Where: NANZUKA, Shibuya Ibis Bldg. #B1F, 2-17-3 Shibuya Shibuya-ku Tokyo, Japan

Installation view. Courtesy of Whitestone Gallery.

Installation view. Courtesy of Whitestone Gallery.

Exhibition: “GUTAI, KUSAMA, Others”

When: Ongoing

Where: Whitestone Gallery, 5-1-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


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