Tokyo Views – Design Festa

With no plans in place for the weekend I stumbled across a notice for the Design Festa art fair and decided to go. Billed as “Asia’s largest art fair” I wasn’t sure just what to expect, but usually with things of this nature size indicates variety so I waded in anyway.

Waded is actually a pretty fair description. The few pictures I took were pretty much when I first arrived and a little before the main crowd assembled; after that between the variety of works on display and the quantity and variety of people viewing them I basically forgot I had a camera with me. Just as well, as I don’t think a camera could do justice to the scope of the event. Even going at a relatively fast pace it took me nearly 5 hours to get through the 4 exhibit halls and I bypassed several areas.

“Art Fair” to me conjures up images of paintings and maybe the odd ceramic or jewelry stand. While all of those could be found at Design Festa, there was much more. Textiles, leatherwork, performances, workshop areas, and a liberal use of the “general sundries” category gives an overview of the rest of the displays. I would guess the target age range is between 20 and 40, with both quality and creativity at a very high level and prices are very reasonable (particularly for the paintings – many vendors offered postcard and poster prints starting at 100 Yen for a postcard). Top it off with a mass of people attending and many of them dressed quite creatively (hardly surprising from the culture that gave the world cosplay) and a spectacle unlike any other that I have experienced is the result.

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