Announcing the Cancellation of TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR 2020 and the Unveiling of the VIRTUAL ART BOOK FAIR

In light of developments concerning the spread of COVID-19, the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR (TABF) has made the decision to cancel the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR originally scheduled for Fall 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. We offer our sincere apologies to those involved as well as the many people looking forward to coming to the event. This was an extremely difficult decision for us to make, but after careful consideration on the how to envision an art book fair in this new age, we opted instead to hold a virtual alternative, entitled the VIRTUAL ART BOOK FAIR (VABF) – which will take place from November 16 (Mon) until November 23 (Mon/holiday), 2020.

The world has transformed under the weight of the current pandemic, restricting the freedom of movement that we had come to take for granted and taking away the ability for many in the independent publishing community to unveil new works in a physical space. However, this has also incited those in the field to each seek new paths forward and to uncover new alternatives. Each year since its founding in 2009, the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR has brought publishers, galleries, and artists to Tokyo from around the world to create a platform of innovative expression for all things printed. Our role now is to utilize our experiences and connections to create a space where people can discover new art books and meet like-minded people in this new realm of the virtual.

This will mark our first attempt at holding a virtual art book fair and things will certainly be much different than they were before. But in this age of experimentation, we promise not to lose sight of our DIY spirit nor our sense of humor as we test out new possibilities; and we are already preparing a few surprises to give you a multi-layered, multi-faceted experience of the art books. We will be updating the website with details on the experimentation process as well as the event overall, so please stay tuned.

We look forward to seeing you all online this year at the VABF!


Dates: November 16th (Mon) – 23rd (Mon/holiday)
Organizer: TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Grants: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Support: Creative Industries Fund NL, DutchCulture, Dutch Foundation For Literature, Mondriaan Fund