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International Contemporary Art Fair in Kyoto

ACK's main venue: Kyoto International Conference Center (ICC Kyoto)
Written by Dmytro Makarov

Newly launched under the theme of “contemporary art and collaboration,” Art Collaboration Kyoto (ACK) is a new type of art fair held for the first time in Kyoto Prefecture. It is one of the largest fairs in Japan dedicated to contemporary art and will take place at the Kyoto International Conference Center from November 5 to 7 representing over 50 galleries from Japan, Asia, Europe and both North and South America.

ACK emphasizes four types of collaboration. One is collaboration between Japanese and overseas galleries. Japanese galleries can offer to share booth space with overseas galleries they are in contact with. In this way, current global trends can be highlighted while at the same time giving Japanese artists international exposure. Another is between the public and private sectors. Government engagement is instrumental in reducing generally escalating fees attached to art fairs, while private sector participation assures expertise in bringing attention and appreciation to exhibited artists. The third type of collaboration developed by ACK is reflected in ACK’s ‘joint director’ system that is integral to the realization of a high-quality art fair. Finally, taking advantage of the gathering of contemporary art professionals, new collaborations in other fields, such as digital technology or industrial applications, can be expected.

The ACK art fair venue will be organized in two sections – Gallery Collaborations, featuring 22 Japan based host galleries and their 23 guest overseas based galleries, and Kyoto Meetings, focusing on 9 galleries presenting Kyoto affiliated artists. Additionally, ACK will hold Beyond Kyoto in the free space at the Kyoto International Conference Center main fair venue and Kyoto Next online to strengthen opportunities to convey information on Kyoto contemporary art overseas. Kyoto art, ranging from crafts to contemporary, is also being featured in other programs such as Alternative Kyoto 2021, an art festival organized by Kyoto Prefecture being held in various locations throughout Kyoto Prefecture, and events held around Kyoto City. 

ACK was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be held with measures fully in place to avoid infection. Should guest galleries have difficulty traveling to Japan due to COVID related restrictions, host galleries will make arrangements for and display their artworks, guaranteeing guest galleries a presence at ACK. A digital platform will also enable online access to ACK.

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Dmytro Makarov

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