AFAF2022 Fair Report from an Art Collector’s Perspective ①

 Hiroshi Kamei





I hadn't been to Hakata since my senior year of college during the graduation season, when I traveled alone from Hokkaido to Kyushu to do whatever I wanted with my schedule. 13 years had passed since then, and Hakata was a lively and interesting city with the heat of Asia.


After work, I flew from Tokyo to Hakata and stayed near the Hotel Okura, and in the morning I decided to start my tour with a fair at the Okura. Hotel rooms were turned into gallery spaces, and I felt a sense of nostalgia at the "ART OSAKA" like exhibits. Of particular interest was EUKARYOTE Dan Isomura. The work made good use of hotel beds and washrooms.



After the hotel, I went to the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum to view "Emotional Asia: The Daisuke Miyatsu Collection x Fukuoka Asian Art Museum". With a renewed awareness of the importance of having an axis as a collector, I headed to the Fukuoka International Congress Center with a heightened enthusiasm for the works of Asian artists.


On the first floor of the conference center, workshops were being held, indicating that the fair was open to a large number of people, and when I went to the second floor, the first thing I noticed was the Leading Asia space, which featured works by Asian artists.



Encounters with completely unknown artists are the best part of art fairs, and this is where I spent a lot of time. There are many artists whom I first became acquainted with at art fairs and incorporated into my own database. My own way of doing things at art fairs is to "look at the artworks, search for interesting artists on Instagram, search on Artsy, and if the artist has an official website, dig deeper into their past exhibition history and list of works. The good thing about fairs is that the artists may be present at the fair and you can hear directly from them about their works. In many cases, I have never talked to the artists before, even though I know their works, so I can deepen my understanding of their works.



Compared to the Tokyo fair, there were not as many people, so I was able to take my time and relax.



Many Tokyo galleries exhibited, and booths introducing mainly Asian artists were also noticeable. This was the first time for AFAF to exhibit in a large space, and we hope that more interesting works by Asian artists will be exhibited in the future to increase the enjoyment of the show.



With Nam June Paik's work at Canal City Hakata and the Fukuoka City Art Museum, I look forward to the day when the entire city will brew an atmosphere of enjoying contemporary art.


Finally. If you are thinking of visiting Hakata next year, I urge you to stop by Tarogen near Hakata Station. It is a favorite restaurant of a collector from Fukuoka who is a good friend of mine, and of course the sashimi and all the other dishes are superb. I can assure you that your satisfaction with your trip to Hakata will go up dramatically.