Art + Culture

日本の現代アーティスト・トップ 157(2018年) Contemporary artists from Japan, Top 157 (2018)

塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu「掌の鍵」“The Key in the Hand” @ ヴェネツィア・ ビエンナーレ 日本館 Venice Biennale, Japan Pavilion 2015
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu「掌の鍵」“The Key in the Hand” @ ヴェネツィア・ ビエンナーレ 日本館 Venice Biennale, Japan Pavilion 2015

When I started to establish myself as an artist in Japan, most museums were doing art historical exhibitions, in which the artworks were installed according to the year of production. It is a simple, undeniable criterion and easy to follow, but I thought that it showed lazy thinking on the part of curators – not introducing a new vision, or trying to determine a new context and thus re-contextualizing different, eclectic body of works.

Attending Tokyo’s art fair in the 90’s as a Berlin artist, the conservative line up of local galleries showed artists who follow trends in groups (Gutai / Mono-ha movements), which made it difficult for individuals to achieve prominence or for Japanese art to set the pace internationally.
In 1991 I got an offer to work for the cultural section of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. That job opened my eyes, – through research I suddenly understood the shocking anomaly in Japanese contemporary art practice, which exists until today. Conservative artists’s groups are receiving financial and ideological endorsements by the Ministry of Culture, by the Prime Minister and the Governor of Tokyo. From 1991 on, the Asahi Shimbun journalist TANAKA Sanzo 田中三蔵 and me succeeded in ignoring the social pressure from conservative artists’s groups, and we shifted towards single-acting contemporary artists.
A revolution in art journalism started.
Around that time I manifested FUKUDA Miran 福田美蘭, MORIMURA Yasumasa 森村泰昌, FUNAKOSHI Katsura 舟越桂, ARAKI Nobuyoshi 荒木経惟, HIBINO Katsuhiko 日比野克彦, KUSAMA Yayoi 草間彌生 a.o. in their artistic practice for the main stream print media.
Finally, in March 1995, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo opened to Grand Fanfare with “Art in Japan Today 1985-1995”.

東京都現代美術館開館記念式、1995年3月18日。開館記念展として、「日本の現代美術 1985-1995」展 Official opening ceremony of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, with the 1. exhibition titled “Art In Japan Today 1985-1995” 18th of March 1995

I would call this opening, which I attended (see above pic), the “Birth of Contemporary Art in Japan”.
Consequently, internationally oriented, independent artists got their platform in this newly created public museum with enough financial back-up.
Step-by-step new museums in Yokohama, Mito, Roppongi brought an evolution in curatorial practice, in response to the shifting terms of global contemporary art.
Around the year 2000 the auction houses attracted a new breed of greedy collectors, as the auctioneers bought works directly from the studio. Consequently, speculation on contemporary art works distorted the criteria on actual artistic practice, especially New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Leipzig are responsible for this shift in the art industry. Painting, which then was officially dead among serious artists and in the international curators’ scene, became the new convenient speculative commodity for art flippers and art dealers. Most galleries switched away from the “institutional critique/critical acclaim”-method, copying the auction houses’s strategies, where prices for easy-to-handle tableau works by young artists could be pushed up easily. Luxury branding initiatives for VIPs by the Swiss company MCH Group made running costs at ART BASEL booths going up, ergo, speculative, inflationary prices of works hung on the booth wall became the new normal for gallerists. Cool wanna-be-artists mushroomed; expensive, mediocre painting emerged as the ultimate criteria in the world of art business. “Boom + bust”, “take your money and run” remain common, dysfunctional methods by art dealers and auction houses operators.
From 1986 to 1991 real estate and stock market prices were greatly inflated in Japan. Speculation on art works were a common practice amongst Japanese art dealers.
With some time lag, in comparison to Hong Kong, the speculative art investment phenomena experiences now a revival in Japan.
Having practiced and worked in the Japanese art industry for about 30 years, I am able to distinguish between A-Class, B-Class and C-Class contemporary art collectors. This kind of rank is necessary as their intention follows the same structure. To put it simple: buying A-Class assets by A-Class artists from A-Class, commercially successful, galleries.
Said that, a so-called A-Class collector with deep pockets degrades to B-Class or C-Class if I notice that she/he is reselling art works through auction houses in the span of 10 years.
Furthermore, regarding the names and art practices by Japanese artists, I noticed the lack of knowledge by Japanese collectors and art advisors, who referred to foreign statistics via internet sites like “” or “” with its Top 100 Artists’ list and other artists’ rank lists.

Actually, the existence of the following lists, which everyone dislikes but can’t ignore, is a necessary evil in the smartphone sphere.

“Top 300 Artists on artnet”

“Top 100 Artists”, published by ArtFacts

“Top 10 Contemporary Artists of 2018” by BLOUIN ARTINFO
• Top 10 Contemporary Artists of the year 2018: By Total Sales and Sale Volume
• 2018 Top Contemporary Artists: Average and Median sale values in this year
• Top Contemporary Artists: Most Expensive Artworks

In the same range exists the much discussed “Power 100” list, published by ArtReview:
“This year’s most influential people in the contemporary art world”

Pen雑誌 2019年2月15日号「いまこそ知りたい!アートの値段」より
Pen雑誌 2019年2月15日号「いまこそ知りたい!アートの値段」より、2018 POWER100 TOP 10


アートコレクターズ雑誌 2019年5月、令和元年スペシャル、平成アート1989-2019
アートコレクターズ2019年5月、令和元年スペシャル、平成アート1989-2019 日本人作家オークション・ランキング
アートコレクターズ雑誌 2019年5月、令和元年スペシャル、平成アート1989-2019 日本人作家オークション・ランキング

Or the problematic, not well researched

“The Top 200 Collectors” published by ARTnews:

Das Ranking der Top-100-Gegenwartskünstler von Capital (Ausgabe 12/2018)

Die grössten Künstler der Gegenwart
1. Gerhard Richter
2. Bruce Naumann
3. Georg Baselitz
4. Rosemarie Trockel
5. Cindy Sherman
6. Anselm Kiefer
7. Olafur Eliasson
8. Tony Cragg
9. William Kentridge
10. Richard Serra

Kunstkompass 2014, Olymp 2014, Artists Top 20

Arts Power 50: The Changemakers Shaping the Art World in 2019
By Paddy Johnson, Mary von Aue, Juliet Helmke, Sissi Cao and Helen Holmes • 04/01/19
The art industry changes fast. Spurred on by artists who are bringing forward new ideas and radical aesthetics into the discourse, this is an industry where those who promote, represent, exhibit, sell, critique and generally support art have to stay nimble. For this reason, Observer takes a moment each year to consider the power players impacting the arts. This industry is a complicated ecosystem, but we look to the changemakers both behind the scenes and in the spotlight to see who is building the future zeitgeist.
Here, in our second edition of this list, we bring you a group of individuals each working to strengthen the impact, reach, social responsibility or financial stability of a field that is seemingly in a constant state of flux. These are the people you’ll be talking about this year. They are artists and curators, museum directors and gallery owners, auctioneers and government officials, creative thinkers and truly hard workers. Each has been building something new in 2019, from reimaging the most prestigious art fairs to establishing a new norm for how artists are paid. The Arts Power 50 is Observer’s list of the people who are taking action to bring the art world into a new paradigm.

In summer 2013 I tried to fix that situation with my personally compiled list of “Contemporary artists from Japan, Top 50”.
The positive response did let me continue to publish a list every year. Especially I appreciate to hear constructive hints and new artists’ names.
One bookmark should now lead towards transparency in the Japanese art world.

The main criteria in the selection and editing process is the range of engagements by the artist in the global, not local, art scene.

In case a locally-focused “Top Artists list” should be compiled, and by remaining objectively fair, I would not hesitate to include a part of the conservative artist groups like NITTEN 日展 and “Nihonga painters'” 日本画 INTEN 院展.

Nationally known by almost everybody, the Ministry of Culture sponsors and encourages these scandalous, rotten artists’s group like NITTEN 日展, which proclaims in their official press releases, catalogues and flyers that every year 3.000 masterpieces (sic) by their artists are exhibited in THE NATIONAL ART CENTER, TOKYO 国立新美術館. In addition, awards by the Prime Minister 内閣総理大臣賞, Culture Minister 文部科学大臣賞 and the Governor of Tokyo 東京都知事賞, or, visits by the Japanese Emperor 天皇 enforce the status quo of the strictly hierarchical organized NITTEN 日展 or INTEN 院展.

Besides, some artists from established ‘rental-galleries’ 貸画廊 should be then included, too.
In this context, let’s recapitulate artist 小沢剛 OZAWA Tsuyoshi’s body of work “Nasubi Galleries” 「なすび画廊」from the ’90s. This series embodies Ozawa’s criticism of the past and present system used by galleries in Japan「貸画廊批判」: Many Japanese art galleries charge a rental fee, a situation which is not seen in most galleries in Europe and the United States.

Finally, I would like to point out to non-Japanese readers (including curators, collectors and so-called art advisors), that a well known discrepancy, between the “art market value of an artist” and her/his position in my ranking, exists. The list does NOT reflect the speculative “art investment matrix” regarding contemporary artists in Japan.

As a reference you can compare the new list with the older ones (+ up-dates):

日本の現代アーティスト・トップ 10(2019年)
Contemporary artists from Japan, Top 10 (2019)日本の現代アーティスト・トップ-10-2019年度/

日本の現代アーティスト・トップ 92 (2017年度)
Contemporary artists from Japan, Top 92 (2017)

日本の現代アーティスト・トップ 68 (2013年度 ー 2016年度)
Contemporary artists from Japan, Top 68 (2013 – 2016)

Tokyo, 2018/12/27
Mario A

Contemporary art is always in motion. 現代アートはいつもイン・モーション(流動)である。
In the context of the global art scene, here is my list for 2018:
日本の現代アーティスト・トップ 157
Contemporary artists from Japan, Top 157

1. SHIOTA Chiharu 塩田千春
2. NISHI Tatzu 西野達
3. KUSAMA Yayoi 草間彌生
4. SUGIMOTO Hiroshi 杉本博司
5. MURAKAMI Takashi 村上隆
6. TANAKA Koki 田中功起
7. LEE U-Fan 李禹煥
8. NARA Yoshitomo 奈良美智
9. MORIMURA Yasumasa 森村泰昌
10. MORIYAMA Daido 森山大道 
11. ONO Yoko 小野洋子
12. ARAKI Nobuyoshi 荒木経惟
13. KAWAMATA Tadashi 川俣正
14. GOKITA Tomoo 五木田智央
15. IKEDA Ryoji 池田亮司
16. OHTAKE Shinro 大竹伸朗
17. SUGA Kishio 菅木志雄
18. MIYAJIMA Tatsuo 宮島達男
19. KOIZUMI Meiro 小泉明朗 
20. SHIMABUKU Michihiro 島袋道浩
21. IWASAKI Takahiro 岩崎貴宏
22. NAWA Kohei 名和晃平
23. ARAKAWA Ei 荒川医
24. OZAWA Tsuyoshi 小沢剛
25. MOHRI Yuko 毛利悠子
26. Chim↑Pom
27. Mr.
28. KAZAMA Sachiko 風間サチコ 
29. AIDA Makoto 会田誠  
30. YANAGI Yukinori 柳幸典
31. HATAKEYAMA Naoya 畠山直哉
32. MATSUTANI Takesada 松谷武判
33. IKEMURA Leiko イケムラレイコ
34. MORI Mariko 森万里子
35. TAKAYAMA Akira 高山明
36. ISHIUCHI Miyako 石内都
37. IZUMI Taro 泉太郎
38. NAKAYA Fujiko 中谷芙二子
39. KUSAKA Shio 日下翅央
40. KUWATA Takuro 桑田卓郎
41. SASAMOTO Aki 笹本晃
42. HOSOE Eikoh 細江英公
43. Tabaimo 束芋
44. TANAAMI Keiichi 田名網敬一 
45. UEMATSU Keiji 植松奎二
46. SENJU Hiroshi 千住博
47. SEKINE Nobuo 関根伸夫
48. ONODERA Yuki オノデラユキ
49. TAKAMINE Tadasu 高嶺格
50. ORIMOTO Tatsumi 折元立身
51. NIWA Yoshinori 丹羽良徳
52. KAWAUCHI Rinko 川内倫子
53. KATO Izumi 加藤泉
54. TAMURA Yuichiro 田村友一郎
55. ARAKI Yu 荒木悠
56. TEZUKA Aiko 手塚愛子
57. KANEUJI Teppei 金氏徹平
58. YAMASHITA Mai + KOBAYASHI Naoto 山下麻衣+小林直人
59. KATO Tsubasa 加藤翼
60. NAITO Rei 内藤玲
61. MAEKAWA Tsuyoshi 前川強
62. SHINODA Taro 篠田太郎
63. TAKATANI Shiro 高谷史郎
64. TERUYA Yuken 照屋勇賢
65. YONETANI Ken+Julia 米谷 健+ジュリア
66. YAMASHIRO Chikako 山城知佳子
67. ODANI Motohiko 小谷元彦
68. UJINO 宇治野宗輝
69. FUJII Hikaru 藤井光
70. SATO Ataru 佐藤允
71. HIRAKAWA Noritoshi 平川典俊
72. KUWAYAMA Tadaaki 桑山忠明
73. MISHIMA Kimiyo 三島喜美代
75. SAWA Hiraki さわ ひらき
76. SAWADA Tomoko 澤田知子
77. YONEDA Tomoko 米田知子
78. KAWAKUBO Yoi 川久保ジョイ
79. SHIGA Lieko 志賀理江子
80. OKUMURA Yuki 奥村雄樹
81. OYAMA Enrico Isamu 大山エンリコイサム
82. YASUDA Kan 安田侃
83. SONE Yutaka 曽根裕
84. SHINOHARA Ushio 篠原有司男
85. KIMURA Yuki 木村友紀
86. NA KAMURA Maki ナ・カムラ マキ
87. YAMAMOTO Masao 山本昌男
88. YOKOO Tadanori 横尾忠則
89. HIRAKAWA Youki 平川祐樹
90. FUNAKOSHI Katsura 舟越桂 
91. YANOBE Kenji ヤノベケンジ
92. SUGIURA Kunié 杉浦邦恵
93. TAKEDA Shimpei 武田慎平
94. TSUKUDA Hiroki 佃弘樹
95. NAKAMURA Yuta 中村裕太
96. ENDO Toshikatsu 遠藤利克
97. SHIBATA Toshio 柴田敏雄
98. ISHIKAWA Mao 石川真生
99. ISOYA Hirofumi 磯谷博史
100. HASHIMOTO Satoshi 橋本聡
101. – 157. artists are listed in no particular order, as their internationally focused artistic practice vary from time to time.
MITAMURA Midori 三田村光土里, KASAHARA Emiko 笠原恵実子, MORI Chiho 森千裕, SHIMADA Yoshiko 嶋田美子, AOYAMA Satoru 青山悟, AMBE Noriko 安部典子, MASUYAMA Shiro 増山士郎, NAGASHIMA Yurie 長島有里枝, MORITA Hiroaki 森田浩彰, contact Gonzo, NAITO Rakuko 内藤楽子, CHIBA Masaya 千葉正也, OCHIAI Tam 落合多武, HAN Ishu 潘逸舟, HARAGUCHI Noriyuki 原口典之, KAWATA Tamiko 河田多美子, UEDA Rikuo 植田陸雄, SHICHINOHE Masaru 七戸優, KAWAGUCHI Tatsuo 河口龍夫, NISHIKAWA Katsuhito 西川勝人, HYAKUTAKE Tetsugo 百武てつ吾, SHINGU Susumu 新宮晋, YAMAMOTO Motoi 山本基, TERADA Yukiko 寺田由希子, KONDO Aisuke 近藤愛助, YOKOYAMA Yuichi 横山裕一, MUKAIYAMA Tomoko 向井山朋子, MIYAMOTO Kazuko 宮本和子, AMEMIYA Yosuke 雨宮庸介, TSUBOI Akira 壷井明, OHMAKI Shinji 大巻伸嗣, SHIMIZU Soichiro 清水壮一郎, KURABAYASHI Takashi 栗林隆, TOMIYASU Yuma 冨安由真, SUZUKI Tomoaki 鈴木友昌, MIYAZAKI Keita 宮崎啓太, KOHIRA Atsunobu 小平篤乃生, SAITO Takako 斎藤陽子, TSUCHIYA Urara 土屋麗, KOGANEZAWA Takehito 小金沢健人, KYUN-CHOME キュンチョメ, AKAMATSU Nelo 赤松音呂, KUROSAKI Aiko Kazuko 黒崎 愛子和子, SHIMURAbros シムラブロス, OIWA Oscar 大岩オスカール, KATAYAMA Mari 片山真理, SHITAMICHI Motoyuki 下道基行, HIRAKAWA Norimichi 平川紀道, KAGOSHIMA E’wao カゴシマ イワオ, SHIRAISHI Yuko 白石由子, NAOTAKA Hiro 廣直高, COBAYASHI Kenta 小林健太, MATSUNE Michikazu 松根充和, TAKAYAMA Noboru 高山登, OGAWA Shinji 小川信治, FUJIKAWA Asana 藤川朝苗, Saeborg

751. KATORI Shingo 香取慎吾


塩田千春作:孤独と生命線の神秘な相関巣 (過去サイト・アーカイブの再投稿、2013年2月3日)
SHIOTA Chiharu: Mysterious Nest-specific Correlations Between Loneliness and Lifelines (repost from the archive, 2013/2/3)塩田千春/

塩田千春展 「魂がふるえる」@ 森美術館、総入館者数が66万6千人を記録
SHIOTA Chiharu “The Soul Trembles” @ Mori Art Museum Tokyo closes with a record number of visitors: 666.000森美術館-塩田千春/

塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu「From In Silence」展、神奈川県民ホール Kanagawa Kenmin Hall, 2007年10月18日
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu「From In Silence」展、神奈川県民ホール Kanagawa Kenmin Hall, 2007年10月18日, curator: 中野仁詞 NAKANO Hitoshi

Curator: 中野仁詞 NAKANO Hitoshi
次回ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレへの想い ー塩田千春&中野仁詞 インタビュー (2014.08.28)

塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu「掌の鍵」“The Key in the Hand” @ ヴェネツィア・ ビエンナーレ 日本館 Venice Biennale, Japan Pavilion 2015
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu「掌の鍵」“The Key in the Hand” @ ヴェネツィア・ ビエンナーレ 日本館 Venice Biennale, Japan Pavilion 2015, curator: 中野仁詞 NAKANO Hitoshi
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu “Accumulation – Searching for the Destination” 2014-2016, Suitcase, motor, red rope @ Art Unlimited, Art Basel, Switzerland, 2016, Galerie Templon, Paris
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu “Accumulation – Searching for the Destination” 2014-2016, Suitcase, motor, red rope @ Art Unlimited, Art Basel, Switzerland, 2016, Galerie Templon, Paris
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu @ Art Unlimited, Art Basel Switzerland 2013
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu @ Art Unlimited, Art Basel Switzerland 2013
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu “Waiting” 2002, Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg ドイツ
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu “Waiting” 2002, Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg ドイツ
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu 展示風景 exhibition view @ KENJI TAKI GALLERY, Tokyo 2018
塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu 展示風景 exhibition view @ KENJI TAKI GALLERY, Tokyo 2018
Left, 塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu’s first solo show in Berlin @ Prüss & Ochs Gallery 1999 “Dreaming Time” (写真は初公開)
Left, 塩田千春 SHIOTA Chiharu’s first solo show in Berlin @ Prüss & Ochs Gallery 1999 “Dreaming Time” (写真は初公開)


塩田千春作:孤独と生命線の神秘な相関巣 (過去サイト・アーカイブの再投稿、2013年2月3日)
SHIOTA Chiharu: Mysterious Nest-specific Correlations Between Loneliness and Lifelines (repost from the archive, 2013/2/3)塩田千春/

18年版「正社員の平均年収ランキング」、全体は414万円 職種別1位は829万円の…





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2019/10/31 up-date:
BT news:


森美術館で6月20日から10月27日の130日間にわたって開催された「塩田千春展:魂がふるえる」が、66万6271人の入場者数(六本木ヒルズ展望台 東京シティビューとの共通チケット)を記録した。
 この数字は、「ハピネス:アートにみる幸福への鍵 モネ、若冲、そしてジェフ・クーンズへ」(2003〜04年)の73万985人に次ぐ、同館歴代2位となる。

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