Tokyo’s reputation as a city of art may not be as strong as other international cities yet around every corner, or outside every major real estate development, visitors to Japan’s capital will find prime representations of the best the art world has to offer. Here are a few exhibitions worth checking out this week.

Shiota Chiharu, Uncertain Journey, 2016, Metal frame, red wool, Installation view: Uncertain Journey, Blain | Southern, Berlin, 2016, Photo: Christian Glaeser

Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles

Berlin-based international artist Chiharu Shiota is well-known for her series of powerful installations consisting of threads primarily in red and black strung across entire spaces. This solo exhibition at Mori Art Museum is her largest to date, and the first opportunity to experience in detail her 20-year oeuvre, featuring  six large installations, plus sculptural works, video footage of performances, photographs, drawings, performing arts-related material, etc.


ANIMITAS (LA FORÊT DES MURMURES), JAPAN, Exhibition view at Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, 2019
Full HD video, colour, sound – 12 hours 52 min 21 seconds, Courtesy of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Photo: Jérémie Souteyrat, © Adagp, Paris 2019

Christian Boltanski – Animitas II

Boltanski is a leading figure in contemporary art, considered as France’s most influential living artist. Since 1967, he has developed an artistic style that embraces writing, film, sculpture and photography. With a focus on remembrance and time, he works with biographical milestones and references, from both his own life and the lives of unknown or unidentified persons, and combines true and fictional tales in an attempt at “reconstitution.” Check out our review of his ongoing installation at Espace Louis Vuitton.


Photo by KEI OKANO

Nicholas Hatfull x THE CLUB: “Thermals of The Heart”

Tokyo born, Royal Academy Schools-trained, Nicholas Hatfull’s latest exhibition “Thermals of the Heart” brings 14 of his new paintings to THE CLUB at Ginza 6. Ice cream, motorway and hanged clothes on a clothesline. These nostalgic yet gauzy and vivid images of daily objects and ordinary landscapes are captured by Hatfull’s unique technique, which uses iPad sketches and spray paint, allowing the images to flow in the canvas with smooth touch and distinctive transparency.


Josh Sperling, Summertime A, B, C, D, E, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, Dimensions Variable, Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

Art Exhibition: Josh Sperling’s “Summertime”

Perrotin Tokyo hosts Josh Sperling’s first exhibition in Japan, following several sold out shows hosted around the world. Sperling’s work draws on the language of minimalist painting from the ’60s and ’70s, with shaped canvases as his main recourse. For these, he crafts intricate plywood supports over which canvas is stretched and painted over in a signature palette of saturated, sometimes clashing colors. In their three-dimensionality, Sperling’s works blur the lines between painting and sculpture, image and object.


Untitled, oil on canvas, 103.5 x 73 cm, 2019 Photo: Kei Okano ©2019 Izumi Kato

Izumi Kato: “Like a Rolling Snowball”

By bringing together some 100 pieces ranging from his earliest works to his latest, including never-before-shown pieces, this exhibition at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art provides a comprehensive overview of Izumi Kato’s career spanning a quarter of a century. The focus at this venue will be Kato’s trademark large-scale wooden sculptures showcased within the museum’s main gallery featuring a 13-meter high ceiling, along with other sculptural works of various sizes made of soft vinyl, stone and other materials.