This week, while many in the art world are focused on major fairs in New York and Seoul, mega-gallery Pace is homing in on Japan—specifically Tokyo—announcing it will open an expansive new gallery space there in Spring 2024.
The new outpost will occupy the lower three floors of a building styled by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, located in the new Azabudai Hills development in central Tokyo. The interior will span roughly 5,500 square feet and will be designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, known for projects including the Musahino Art University Museum and Library in Tokyo (2010), as well as the 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavillion in London.
Azabudai Hills is a sprawling project by urban redevelopment specialists Mori Building. Conceived as a “modern urban village,” the development has been more than 35 years in the making.
Asked why Tokyo and why now, a Pace representative pointed to the gallery’s longstanding interest in the city, beginning in the 1960s when founder Arne Glimcher first began to visit regularly to connect with artists, curators, and collectors. In the decades that followed, Pace continued to be involved with the Japanese arts community.
On the heels of Pace’s expansion in Seoul last year, the representative said the gallery leaders thought this would be a strategic moment to announce the next stage in its growth in Asia. Pace currently represents several artists working in Japan, including Yoshitomo Nara, Kohei Nawa, teamLab, and Lee Ufan.
Over the past few years, Tokyo’s increasing importance in the Asian art ecosystem has become even more evident, according to Pace CEO Marc Glimcher.
Tokyo “is and has always been a key city in the international cultural scene,” Glimcher said in a statement. “It is a place where ancient and modern cultures combine with an incredibly vibrant contemporary art scene. I’m thrilled to announce that we will open a permanent gallery in Tokyo next year.”