Art Collaboration Kyoto Concludes Its Third Edition
October 30, 2023
Press Release no.5
(Kyoto, Japan, October 30, 2023) – The third edition of Art Collaboration Kyoto (ACK) closed today, following four days of consistent sales and thoughtful conversations between the arts communities in Japan and abroad. On view at the Kyoto International Conference Center (ICC Kyoto) from October 28 to 30, 2023, with a preview day on October 27, the fair brought together 64 galleries from 16 countries and 24 cities, including 33 first-time exhibitors. Increased number of visitors from around the world attended the fair, including private collectors and institutional representatives from across Japan, Asia, Europe and UK, Middle East, and North and South America. Once again, the fair obtained bonded status, allowing international exhibitors to be exempt from the 10% sales tax that otherwise would have been imposed pre-sale. ACK will return to Kyoto from November 1 to 3, 2024.
Established in 2021, ACK introduces an innovative art fair model anchored in the spirit of collaboration, complemented by Kyoto’s inviting ethos and rich history of art and culture. ACK’s “Gallery Collaborations” section pairs a local Japanese gallery with its international peer in a shared booth to co-present a unique and thoughtful exhibition, while “Kyoto Meetings” features artists with distinct connections to Kyoto.
This year, ACK’s “Gallery Collaborations” welcomed 27 international galleries hosted by 26 Japanese galleries in shared booths. Highlights included the solo booth of new large-scale paintings by New York-based artist Trevor Shimizu, co-presented by Misako & Rosen and 47 Canal; joint presentation by Shibunkaku and Galerie Crèvecoeur that spotlighted the works of Vienna-based emerging artist Ernst Yohji Jaeger alongside pieces by both Japanese and Western artists who have informed Ernst’s work; the shared booth of Taka Ishii Gallery and Mendes Wood DM featuring works by Graciela Iturbide and Goro Kakei, as well as Brazilian artists Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato, Patricia Leite, Celso Renato, and Marcos Siqueira; and a thematic booth by Taro Nasu (Tokyo) and Galerie Eva Presenhuber (Zurich), tracing the trajectory of conceptual art, including artists such as Simon Fujiwara, John Giorno, Lawrence Weiner, Fischli & Weiss, and others. In addition, the section included exhibitors presenting in Japan for the first time, including Union Pacific (London), who collaborated with XYZ Collective (Tokyo); and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (Chengdu), who collaborated with Satoko Oe Contemporary (Tokyo).
“Kyoto Meetings” featured 11 local and international galleries with presentations that had connections to the historic city of Kyoto, offering an opportunity to explore the city from varied perspectives. Highlights included Karma (New York, Los Angeles), which showcased a series of still life paintings by American artist Dike Blair, inspired by his travels to Kyoto; Sokyo’s (Kyoto) booth with artists Kimiyo Mishima and Mika Horie, paired with tea ceremony by tea ceremony master Soshin Kimura, who served guests Japanese sweets and green tea; Nishikawa Shigeru’s paintings that depict buddhist temples, presented by Taguchi Fine Art (Tokyo); and Finch Arts’ (Kyoto) presentation of three Japanese artist Muku Kobayashi, Rina Matsudaira, and Masato Mizutani. At neugerriemschneider’s (Berlin) booth, artist Olafur Eliasson’s works inspired by the serene atmosphere of Kyoto’s Zen Gardens were on display.
For the full list of 2023 exhibitors, please visit https://a-c-k.jp/en/exhibitors/.
Dedicated to enriching and developing the art ecosystem in Kyoto and beyond, the fair hosted a series of additional programs during its 2023 edition, including the fair’s Public Program with Greg Dvorak, a specialist in Pacific and Asian history and gender studies, as its guest curator. The fair’s programming also included dynamic conversation topics and leading panel participants for ACK Talks; special projects and exhibitions extending beyond ICC Kyoto and across the city of Kyoto in the fair’s Associated Programs; enriching, participatory events hosted through ACK Kids’ Programs, tethered to ACK’s mission of cultivating the future of the art world within Japan and beyond; and Special Programs hosted in collaboration with partner companies, providing new perspectives on art.
Yukako Yamashita, ACK’s Program Director, said, “We thank our exhibitors, artists, patrons, and partners for their relentless support and enthusiasm for ACK and its mission to seek broader and deeper collaborations in the art world. This week, we saw our exhibitors and visitors make genuine connections with one another and with the local cultural community. The mood inside the halls continued to be upbeat throughout the week, attendance increased by more than 150%, and Japanese collectors demonstrated stronger buying power this year – a testament to the growing market. With the support of the Kyoto prefecture, the entire city of Kyoto was invigorated with unique arts programs in which tradition and contemporaneity meet. We will continue to foster new modes of collaboration across our galleries, local institutions, and partners and more, and strive to embody the values of Kyoto’s unique culture and heritage.”
Exhibitors at ACK commented on the novel fair model and international turnout.
Satoshi Sakuraoka, Director, Finch Arts (Kyoto) said, “As someone who has always wanted to enhance the ecosystem for young artists in the Kansai region, I was delighted to learn about the concept of ACK. As a gallery that largely works with Kyoto-based artists, I could not miss this opportunity for local artists to be seen by an international audience. I would like to continue participating in ACK in the future.”
Thibault Geffrin, Director, Almine Rech (Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai, Monaco) said, “ACK stands out amongst many art fairs around the world with its unique concept of collaboration. This was our first time participating in the fair, and it served as a great entry point into the Japanese art market. The Japanese market has its own rhythm, and understanding the context and taking the time to cultivate relationships is extremely crucial. Partnering with our local host gallery Kotaro Nukaga from Tokyo allowed us to more easily navigate the cultural and language barriers and make meaningful connections with new local collectors,”
Satoko Oe, Owner, Satoko Oe Contemporary (Tokyo) noted, “Collaborating with another gallery outside Japan has been so fun! We very much enjoyed this experience. The relationship between the galleries gets stronger, and we can learn from each other on how to run a gallery. We also appreciate ACK’s unique architecture and layout. It makes you wonder around the fair like walking in a town as a stranger and discovering a new store you like unintentionally. It is like a treasure hunt for art lovers.”
Tim Neuger, Co-founder, neugerriemschneider (Berlin) said, “ACK was 100% pure happiness, and I hope visitors thought it was 200% pure happiness. This fair isn’t just about commercial activities but also about the joy and appreciation of art. It is a role model for art fairs. The elegant presentation and architecture of the fair was exceptional, and our solo presentation with Olafur Eliasson was received with great enthusiasm. The artist just received the 2023 Praemium Imperiale Award for sculpture last week, so it was meaningful for him and us to continue the momentum and further introduce his work in Japan.”
Tokutaro Yamauchi at Shibunkaku (Kyoto) said, “ACK’s concept of pairing up local galleries with overseas galleries to exhibit is very unique, and I hope it continues in the future. When exhibiting at overseas art fairs, I often hear people say that they want to visit Kyoto, and I think ACK will serve as a great opportunity for Japanese galleries to create a gateway to the city. With all the attention on Kyoto, the timing of the fair during the season of autumn leaves is perfect. The fair’s layout is interesting, and the scale is very fitting for Kotyo.”
Misako Rosen, Owner, Misako & Rosen (Tokyo) noted, “When a new art fair launches, its primary impact is the expansion of the regional art market. ACK exceeds this to also serve as a true catalyst for international collectors and art lovers to visit Kyoto and to learn more about the local arts community. In every step along the way, we felt that ACK respects the gallerists’ voices and build a new model of art fair together.”
More information about ACK 2023 programming:
ACK’s Public Program presented a survey of works selected by Guest Curator Greg Dvorak. Responding to the fair’s curatorial theme “Visions of a Torn World: Circulation and Coexistence,” the program titled “Beyond Glitch: Remapping Reality in a Broken World” examined recent crises of human and planetary health that urge society to embrace discomfort and perspectives which challenge the status quo. The Public Program featured works by Ishu Han, Ken + Julia Yonetani, Kaz Oshiro, Shota Yamauchi and more.
For additional information on the Public Program, please visit https://a-c-k.jp/en/ack-curates/public-program/.
ACK Talks hosted a series of dynamic conversations on a broad range of topics within and surrounding the international art ecosystem, connected to the fair’s curatorial theme. Speakers and discussion topics included a conversation on Kyoto as a cultural crossroads between architect and Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art’s Director Jun Aoki, artist Izumi Kato, and ACK’s Program Director Yukako Yamashita; discussion of coexistence of tradition and innovation between artist Theaster Gates, Mori Art Museum’s Director Mami Kataoka, and Hosoo’s President and CEO as well as kimono weaver and curator Masataka Hosoo; comments on the mission of arts in the future by artist Kour Pour and Project for Empty Space’s Founder and Co-Director Jasmine Wahi; and a conversation on the art ecosystem for the next generation between sculptor Kohei Nawa, ACK’s 2023 Public Program Guest Curator Greg Dvorak, and Delfina Foundation’s Founding Director Aaron Cesar; among others.
For additional information on ACK Talks, please visit https://a-c-k.jp/en/talks.
ACK Kids’ Programs
Committed to bettering the future of the art world, the fair also hosted ACK Kids’ Programs at ICC Kyoto, dedicated to community enrichment and development. Programs included guided tours of the fair and artist workshops focused on the act of making and creation. ACK Kids’ Programs were free of charge and designated by age groups, with bilingual (Japanese and English) childcare services available to visitors with children 7 years or younger.
For further details about ACK Kids’ Program, please visit https://a-c-k.jp/en/for-kids/.
ACK partnered with Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. and EDION Corporation as lead partners for the 2023 edition of the fair. Special Programs were held in collaboration with lead partners and partner companies within the New Hall of ICC Kyoto, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn about multi-layered interpretations of art. For additional information on ACK’s Special Programs, please visit https://a-c-k.jp/en/special-programs/.
In addition to its presentations within ICC Kyoto and online, the fair extended into the streets of Kyoto through ACK’s Associated Programs, which included special exhibitions and open call programs that further enriched the larger community. ACK’s Associated Programs exemplified cultural experiences unique to Kyoto’s contemporary art scene, this year presenting special exhibitions such as an installation by Japanese artist Yuta Niwa, presented in collaboration with SGC Co., Ltd. at Komyo-in Zen Temple; and a collaborative art project by COIN PARKING DELIVERY, presented with Geek Pictures Inc. at Heian Jingu Shrine, which was built on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of Kyoto’s founding as Japan’s capital. In addition to activations in the city’s historic sites, ACK’s Associated Programs included five special exhibitions selected through open call programs, presenting artists such as Yukio Fujimoto, Mickley Foster, Mai Miyake, Asad Raza, Hirofumi Isoya, Ghost Mountain Ghost Shovel, and Navid Nuur. For additional information on ACK’s Associated Programs, please visit https://a-c-k.jp/en/associated-programs/.
Notes to Editors
Please see images from Art Collaboration Kyoto 2023 here.
About Art Collaboration Kyoto
Art Collaboration Kyoto is an art fair held in Kyoto with collaboration at its core. One of the leading art fairs in Japan specializing in contemporary art, Art Collaboration Kyoto presents unique collaborations forged between Japanese and international galleries; government and private sectors; and fine arts and other cultural spheres in Kyoto. Hosted in the Kyoto International Conference Center, the fair consists of two sections: “Gallery Collaborations”, which pairs a local Japanese gallery with its international peer in a shared booth; and “Kyoto Meetings”, which features artists with distinct connections to Kyoto. Beyond the fair, special exhibitions and public programs are held in Kyoto City.
Art Collaboration Kyoto is organized by the ACK Executive Committee, which includes the Kyoto Prefecture; Association for the Promotion of Contemporary Art in Japan; Contemporary Art Dealers Association Nippon; Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc.; Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and the Kyoto Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For more information, please visit a-c-k.jp.
About Yukako Yamashita, ACK Program Director
Born in 1988 in Tokyo to a family that runs a tea ceremony utensils business in Kyoto, Yukako Yamashita completed an MA in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, then joining Sotheby’s Japan where she oversaw the sales of contemporary art. From 2017 to 2022, Yamashita was the managing director of THE CLUB, a contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan. She has served as a visiting professor at Kyoto University of Arts since 2020 and was appointed Program Director of Art Collaboration Kyoto and Kyoto City Growth Strategy Promotion Advisor in 2022.
About Greg Dvorak, Guest curator of the Public Program
Dr. Greg Dvorak is a Professor of International Cultural Studies (History and Cultural Studies, Art Studies, Gender Studies of Pacific and Asia) at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to authoring several scholarly chapters in academic edited volumes, he is the Founding Director of Project35 (project sango), a grassroots network that aims to raise awareness about the Pacific Islands region in Japan through art and scholarly exchange. He served as a co-curator for “Air Canoe: Art from Northern Oceania” in the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Art and has helped to advise other exhibitions such as the inaugural Honolulu Biennial.
Axel Dibie, Galerie Crèvecoeur (Paris)
Yoshiaki Inoue, Yoshiaki Inoue Gallery (Osaka)
Tomio Koyama, Tomio Koyama Gallery (Tokyo)
Yuichi Mori, Mori Yu Gallery (Kyoto)
Shelly Wu, TKG+ (Taipei)
Yuko Yamamoto, ANOMALY (Tokyo)
Sponsors and Partners
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