Designart Tokyo 2023: Sparks - Freeing your Thoughts

News, Appointments — 19 October 2023
Nature or Nurture. Image © Daiki Tado

From 20 to 29 October, international creators and works will come together, transforming Tokyo into an open-air museum, with a record number of 108 exhibitions and 83 different locations.

Design, art, interior design, fashion: are just some of the disciplines that will be featured at DESIGNART TOKYO 2023, one of Japan's largest design and art festivals, which opens in Tokyo, one of the world's most culturally diverse cities, from tomorrow 20 October until 29 October. With this year's theme, 'SPARKS - Freeing your Thoughts -', there will be 108 exhibitions and displays in 83 different locations throughout the city, including collectives, works and digital content from around the world. Here are some of the highlights and featured group exhibitions of this year.

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Kotaro Nukaga, Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig XI. Image courtesy of Kotaro Nukaga

The DESIGNART GALLERY exhibition, that will take place at one of the official exhibition sites in Escorter Aoyama Bldg, will showcase many of the latest creative works by the hottest creators from Japan and abroad, such as h220430 by Satoshi Itasaka, and will feature brands of the calibre of SANLORENZO JAPAN, Moroso, Paola Lenti and Ambientec. The space, featuring a pop-up store developed with Danish brand Muuto, will be curated by acclaimed Japanese designer Atsushi Shindo. An installation of salvaged acrylic panels - a relic of the recent global pandemic - will adorn the 500 square metre space.

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Sanlorenzo Lounge. Image courtesy of Sanlorenzo Japan

The official exhibitions will also include ASIA CREATIVE RELATION, which looks ahead to the year 2050 and brings together Asia's leading future design stars. The curator is Suzy Annetta, editor-in-chief of Design Anthology, a design magazine from the Asia-Pacific region. Thanks to her in-depth knowledge of Asian design and the network created through the management of her independent AWARD, Suzy Annetta will bring together artists and works under the title 'A New Horizon', a look at interior design for the lifestyles of 2050. With this theme, the exhibition will mark an important step forward in DESIGNART's goal of becoming a platform for cultural exchange in Asia by 2021. The exhibition will bring together strikingly unique furniture and artworks by promising designers from Japan, South Korea, Mainland China and Taiwan (AtMa, Bumki Song, CLEVERCLAIRE, Curiosity, Dongwook Choi, Funi Ding, Jingjin Naihan Li, Kairo Kusamoto, Kodai Iwamoto, OPEN OBJECT, PAN-PROJECTS + REMARE, Ryosuke Harashima, SDANLEY DESIGN WORKS, Shizuka Tatsuno, Studio Orijeen, Studio Osoh, Takuto Ohta, Yosuke Matsushita, we+, Zougei Hiroyuki Nishimura).

Pari Pari © Kodai Iwamoto

Pari Pari © Kodai Iwamoto

There will be several group exhibitions. At the Tiers Gallery the work of designers Akira Hojo & Ryoma Maeda, Masato Ozawa, Gala Espel and So Tanaka (the latter under 30) will be brought together. At the spaces of Hibiya OKUROJI in the heart of Ginza, a 300-metre catwalk will be set up between its imposing brick arches with unique design products, including those of the HONOKA design studio, winner of the first prize at the SaloneSatellite Award 2023, which will present the TATAMI ReFAB PROJECT that aims to reintroduce tatami materials into modern life. 

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Yuichiro Morimoto/ NISSHOKU. Image © Yuichiro Morimoto 

On the seventh floor of the Movida Building, on the Koen-dori in Shibuya, there will be an exhibition of experimental products, such as those of the Nomadic collective, objects and furniture resulting from the attempts of four product designers to re-examine the meaning of creativity itself beyond the frame and to represent it in a practical form. At TOKYO MIDTOWN in Roppongi, DESIGN TOUCH will be staged, an exhibition presenting the works of 21B STUDIO, Yuichiro Morimoto and Daiki Tado on the theme 'Designing the Future'.

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Nomadic Collective Assemble by Itaru Shinagawa

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Fashion will also be present through exhibitions and not-to-be-missed events: these include 'Dialogue 1 "The New Life" Jaeeun Choi' (a solo exhibition tracing the 40-year career of artist Jaeeun Choi) and 'Ecology: Dialogue on Circulation' at the Ginza Maison Hermes Le Forum (an exhibition exploring the practice of ecology in art); at the National Art Center in Tokyo we will also see 'Yves Saint Laurent, Across the Style' in collaboration with the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, the first major retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent in Japan after his death. Twelve chapters will display 262 objects, including 110 of the designer's looks, accessories, drawings and photographs.

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"Yves Saint Laurent, Across the Style" installation view. Image courtesy of The National Art Center, Tokyo

The Art section will house a series of exhibitions, including a solo exhibition by German artist Candida Höfer, Reflections of Spaces - Spaces of Reflection - the exhibition will be held at Kotaro Nukaga. Höfer’s first solo exhibition at Kotaro Nukaga will feature large-scale works, including her signature Library series. Another shows will include French artist’s first solo exhibition at Perrotin Tokyo, an exhibition of Keisuke Tada at MAKI Gallery and Gallery Common, and an exhibition of Nobuto Fukutsu, a painter who pursues a unique style of painting using various patterns at MA5 Gallery. Jean-Philippe Delhomme will present a series of new portraits produced in his Paris studio during traditional model posing sessions. Concurrent Exhibitions by Keisuke Tada at MAKI Gallery and Gallery Common. Designart Tokyo 2023 festival will also house new interpretation of Japanese traditional crafts

Mai Suzuki © Hinako Yoshida

Tag: festival Design Tokyo Design Week

© — All rights reserved. — Published on 19 October 2023

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