The TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR (TABF) started in 2009 as the first book fair in Japan dedicated to art publications. Once annually, the TABF serves as a place for artists, galleries, and publishers of unique art books from both Japan and abroad to converge in Tokyo: where creators can engage in direct communication with guests about the allure of their creations. The 10th TABF hosted in 2019 unfolded as the largest incarnation of the event yet – home to over 300 exhibitors and welcoming over 35,000 guests over a four day-span. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, however, we made the decision of cancelling the in-person rendition of the TABF that year to ensure the health and safety of participants. We instead envisioned the fair anew under the name VIRTUAL ART BOOK FAIR (VABF), and hosted the fair in an online virtual space in 2020.
With no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that it will be difficult to host the fair this year in the same manner and scale as we have in the past. We find ourselves in a world where there are no absolutes or right answers; at the TABF we have struggled with this fact, all while engaging in countless discussions about how we can host our fair in the midst of such uncertainty. Artists and creators in the art book world have adapted to the pandemic – exploring different ways of creating different art books, zines, and other endeavors. It is our hope to do the same all while continuing the role we have played in the past: to provide a platform where one can discover new art publications and uncover new talent. To that end, we strive to realize our book fair in a style fitting to the situation we find ourselves in now, in 2021.
For the 2021 rendition of the TABF, we will be hosting the fair at both an offline, physical venue, and an online, virtual venue (hereafter referred to as Offline Venue and Online Venue). The Offline Venue will be the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, where the TABF will open on Thursday, October 28th and draw to a close on Sunday, October 31st. Preceding our offline festivities, we will be opening the TABF Online Venue on Friday, October 22 – and the Online Venue will similarly close on Sunday, October 31st.
At the Offline Venue, we will be hosting the fair at a reduced scale – limiting both the number of exhibitors and of visitors to the venue – while also taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although this year’s fair won’t be as lively or action-packed as we’re all used to, fairgoers will get to view and interact with a veritable collection of different art publications from within Japan and abroad in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. In addition to an array of different exhibitor booths, guests will also be able to enjoy a variety of different exhibitions. Among them is an exhibition of 58 posters by 2020Solidarity, a project launched by artist Wolfgang Tillmans’ non-profit organization Between Bridges; 2020Solidarity aims to provide support to cultural and music venues, community projects, independent spaces, and publications. Other endeavors include an exhibit drawing attention to domestic and international art books, zines, and other printed matters created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At our Online Venue, we apply our experience in hosting the VABF in 2020 to realize a space where visitors can engage in direct communication with various exhibitors and purchase art publications online; you’ll also be able to find a selection of art books and zines by Online Venue exhibitors for exhibition and sale on our Offline Venue. We invite faircomers to enjoy an all-new embodiment of the TABF, one that connects the offline and the online worlds.
Fair Period: Friday, October 22 – Sunday, October 31 2021
Venue Link: https://online.tokyoartbookfair.com/
Core Time: 10:30 – 18:00 JST
*Core Time refers to the hours in which fair visitors can interact directly with Online Venue exhibitors in real time.
Entrance Fee: Free
Fair Period: October 28, 2021 (Thu.), 15:30-17:45 JST
October 29, October 30, October 31, 2021 (Fri.-Sun.),10:30 – 17:45 JST
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Address: 〒135-0022 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Official Homepage: https://tokyoartbookfair.com/
Entrance Fee: General Admission – 1,000 yen (tax included) *Must be purchased in advance. Tickets are each assigned set time slots 2 hours and 15 minute in length, within which time guests can enter the venue respective to their tickets.
・Tickets not subject to discount via coupon/discount codes or for MOT annual pass holders.
・Physical Disability Certificate (Shintaishogaisha techo) holders, Ai no Te Certificate holders, Rehabilitation Certificate (Ryoiku techo) holders, Mental Disability Certificate (Seishinshogaisha hokenfukushi techo) holders, Hibakusha Certificate Holders and their caregivers (up to two) may enter free of charge.
・For every adult, up to 2 children under elementary school age are admitted free of charge. No reservation is required.
Offline Venue Ticket Reservation Portal: https://bit.ly/3lImqWs
Friday, October 1, 2021 12:00 PM JST ~ 30 minutes before the end of the ticket’s respective time bracket
*Each 2 hour-15 minute time slot has a maximum capacity of 300 people.
*Sales of tickets for a certain time slot will end should we reach maximum capacity for that time bracket.
■ Important Information Regarding Offline Venue (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) Tickets
Tickets are each assigned time-slots – you must select what time you intend to visit the venue and will be able to enter the fair during the time assigned to your ticket. Please note the specified entrance time slot prior to purchase. Guests will be entering and exiting on rotation by time slot, meaning that the maximum length of time you will be able to stay within the Offline Venue will be 2 hours and 15 minutes. You can enter the venue any time during the time slot specified on your ticket, but you will be required to exit the venue by the end of your respective time slot. We are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR 2021 – we appreciate your understanding and support in making this year’s fair safe and enjoyable for all.
*The TABF may make changes to the below guidelines, cancel the event, or take other appropriate action depending on COVID-19 conditions, or to comply with restrictions and/or changes in event guidelines as issued by relevant government entities. We will publish any announcements and updates on our homepage, our social media pages, and other outlets.
*We may refuse entry into the venue or ask guests to vacate the venue should visitors refuse to follow relevant event guidelines or if we are unable to guarantee the safety of other participants.
Event Hosts, Organizers and Supporters
Exhibition Area Organizers: The Tokyo Art Book Fair, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Exhibitor Booth Area Organizers: The Tokyo Art Book Fair / Special Assistance from the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Organizers: The Tokyo Art Book Fair/ Special Assistance from the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Sponsorship provided by inuuniq Co., Ltd., Shiba Park Hotel
Support provided under the auspices of the Agency Cultural Affairs’ “ARTS for the future!” program
Special assistance provided by ZOZO, Inc, ArtSticker (The Chain Museum Inc.)