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PRINT December 2005

Midori Matsui

NOTHING HAPPENS SUDDENLY on Tokyo’s contemporary art scene. The city’s art community is relatively small and evolving, maintained largely by those few galleries representing a handful of local artists who also show outside Japan. There is no market to speak of on the home front, so these galleries survive mostly by selling work at international fairs, even as they depend on Japanese media coverage of their artists to sustain popular interest in their enterprises. Thus, any shock of the new—a recognized recipe for commercial success in the West—here stands to upset a delicate economic ecology. And in turn, for the better part of the last ten years, the Tokyo scene has revolved around the ascendance of Japanese postmodern art and a few principal practitioners—artists who, though most were born before the mid-’60s, may still be divided into a first generation (Hiroshi Sugimoto,

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