Pace Gallery, which has locations in New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, and elsewhere, will add yet another city to its portfolio when the gallery opens a new space in Tokyo next spring.
Located in a new development in central Tokyo called Azabudai Hills and set in a building designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the new location will be spread across three floors, with nearly 5,500 square feet. Around 3,000 square feet of that will be two floors of indoor galleries, while the remainder will serve as an outdoor terrace for exhibiting sculptures. Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who did the Serpentine Galleries’ Pavilion in 2013, will design the interior exhibition space.
Details of who will lead the gallery’s Japan operations as well as its inaugural exhibition have not been announced yet.
“Japan is and has always been a key city in the international cultural scene,” Pace CEO Marc Glimcher said in a statement. “Over the past few years, Tokyo’s increasing importance in the Asian art ecosystem has become even clearer. As one of the great capitals of the world it is a place where ancient and modern cultures combine with an incredibly vibrant contemporary art scene.”
Japan’s art market recently expanded with the launch of a new fair, Tokyo Gendai, this past July. With more than 75 exhibitors, the fair brought a mix of local and international blue-chip enterprises to the Pacifico Yokohama convention center, about an hour outside central Tokyo.
Blue-chip Western enterprises like Blum & Poe and Perrotin also have spaces in the city, but Pace is the first mega-gallery to open there.
Another Asian art capital, Seoul, has recently seen a flurry of activity following the start of Frieze Seoul in 2022. Pace had beat most other galleries to setting up shop in that city, establishing its presence there in 2017.
Pace’s Tokyo location, which has been in the works for some 30 years, is significant, as the development is being led by the Mori Building Company, Limited, which was behind the redevelopment of nearby Roppongi Hills. The crown jewel of that development is the Mori Tower, which hosts the Mori Art Museum, one of Japan’s leading contemporary art institutions, on its 53rd floor. Roppongi has also become a significant gallery neighborhood, with its dealers hosting openings during an event called Yukata Night during the week of Tokyo Gendai.
“Tokyo will also give us an opportunity to spend more time with our Japanese artists and collaborate more closely with our colleagues in other Japanese galleries, with whom we have had such long and productive relationships,” Glimcher continued in his statement. “We believe it is time for Japan to take its place again as one of the most prominent collecting communities in the world, and I hope that Pace can play an important role in that growth.”