Tokyo Design Week Report: Aosando Art Fair

We continue our coverage of the packed calendar of events during Tokyo’s “design weeks” with Aosando Art Fair. Readers who aren’t so familiar with the art and design scene in Tokyo may not know the word “Aosando”. It refers to the backstreets that connected Aoyama and Omotesando.

This event has been held annually since 2007 and features exhibits from artists around the world inside and outside shops in the area. In other words, window shopping as art-viewing.


On the first day of the fair, we took a walk in the backstreets to see what was on offer.


aosando-art-fair201303plantica @Neal’s Yard Remedies

The first exhibit to grab our attention was this cyber Ikebana! Clean and minimal, the artworks by plantica were all rather Zen.


aosando-art-fair201305Koichiro Takei @Ioselliani T-02-IOS

Our next discovery was this digitally altered photography work by Koichiro Takei. Takei’s style feels like both digital media and an oil painting.


aosando-art-fair201307Isamu Gakiya @GANZO

Eye-catching illustration will always make you stop in your tracks. This is work by Isamu Gakiya, who is active across many different fields. We love the slightly classic poster character of his work.

aosando-art-fair201308 aosando-art-fair201309

aosando-art-fair201310Ayaka Ohara + Jun Mizukami + Yoko Hayakawa @Trico Field

This kids’ clothes shop was given a real boost by the cute monsters and other cardboard creatures (and their houses).


aosando-art-fair201312Kim Songhe @UMiTOS

Kim Songhe’s junk collage decorates the walls of this hair salon. What’s that under the tiger’s nose? A whale? Look around and you also can find a Maneki-neko. It’s a veritable cat contest!

aosando art fair 2013niŭ @Serge Thoraval

Dog sculptures by niŭ stand guard at this chic accessory store. Don’t worry, they won’t bite!

aosando-art-fair201313Eatable of Many Orders + PARADISE ALLEY @Suikin

Since its current season’s theme is bread, fashion brand Eatable of Many Orders has collaborated with a Kamakura bakery to create these bread and clothing exhibits. The actual planetary bread looked super delicious, the aroma filling the whole shop!


aosando-art-fair201315Seitaro Kuroda @H.P.DECO Tokyo

You can also catch some pretty big names at Aosando, such as famous illustrator and designer Seitaro Kuroda. His work has real impact and even if you don’t know who he is, you are bound to stop and want to take a look.

aosando-art-fair201316 aosando-art-fair201317

aosando-art-fair201318Genta Honnoh @Jamin Puech Omotesando

Maybe this is just us at PingMag but we can’t resist animal motifs in art. These are by Genta Honnoh and look at first glance like wooden sculptures, but they are actually made of cardboard!

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aosando-art-fair201319Luisa Freixas @Juana de Arco

This is a perfect match between shop and artist. The Argentinian artist’s colorful work employs lots of materials that you never get tired of looking at.

aosando-art-fair201320Mitsuko Nagone @Dolce MariRisa Omotesando

Nagone’s unique photography features everything from hands to eggs, but you won’t find a face in these portraits. All in all, the faceless but pop world is pretty peculiar but also addictive for the viewer.

aosando-art-fair201321Cato Friend @Ao

Don’t just wander around willy-nilly. Watch where you are walking! Because you might be stepping on art. Yes, at Ao you can find a nice series of pictures on the floor in front of the escalators on several floors.