Ryoichi Matsuo

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Director of TEZUKAYAMA GALLERY

◆ What is your definition of “Contemporary Art”? What does “Art” mean to you?

The artworks of the artists active in the past were considered contemporary art at the time, and the artworks now are also contemporary art. Contemporary artworks are created with the influence of the past, and the expressions made in this era. Art impresses, discovers, and empathizes with people. I think art gives the viewers imagination.

◆ Art fairs have become a good way for people to explore art. What’s your opinion on hotel art fairs like OAT?

An art fair gathers galleries together, so the visitors can see works from many galleries. Also, they meet and communicate with gallerists and artists. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to see their selected works. Hotel-type art fairs like OAT allows people to easily imagine the art display at home. Hotel fairs have been held in various countries over the last 10 years. OAT is a great fair. It’s considered one of the pioneers of the hotel fairs.

◆ In terms of Art collection market, what are the advantages and disadvantages of Taiwan compared to Japan?

I think the art market in Japan is unique. It is a smaller market compared to those of other countries. However, I found it interesting in their own style, and Japanese art is always deeply connected with history. The market is very prosperous in Taiwan. And I feel that people have the energy for art. This is an excellent point of the Taiwan market.  As for the disadvantages, however, I really think that people already have a passion for artwork collection, but I hope that they continue to develop their aesthetic views on artworks.

◆ What do you think is the future prospect of contemporary art for Japan and Taiwan in the next ten years?

It's a tough question. It is unknown how the economic and national conditions will change in the future due to the effects of coronavirus. What I can say about art, as I mentioned earlier, there is a situation where artists who were active 20 years ago are once again being evaluated now. So is contemporary art, I think that the artists who are currently active will perhaps be evaluated again 10 to 20 years later, so I think it’s important for us to support those artists whose artworks reflect this era.

◆ Your (recent) favorite artist/artwork?

Kohei Nawa, Daniel Arsham, Morio Shinoda, and Alex Katz. Morio Shinoda and Alex Katz have currently still been creating even in their 90s! I truly admire their creativity and devotion to art.

◆ What’s your opinion toward “Post-Pandemic Development for Contemporary Art?”

I don't even know, and I can't really predict. Regardless of the situation, artists will continue working. Galleries will keep supporting them, and the market will be active to find new artworks. I hope that collectors will also discover the expressions that artists create during this time. I believe that artworks created in such a difficult situation will definitely be meaningful even after 10 years.