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Gallery Tour in Two Gallery Buildings, "Piramide" and "complex665" in Roppongi, the City of Art

Roppongi is home to many exhibition facilities such as the National Art Center, Tokyo and the Suntory Museum of Art, and public art can be found in various places in the city, especially in Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills. One of the art trips you can take in Roppongi is a "gallery tour." Here, we picked up two gallery buildings that stand in the center of Roppongi and introduce you to a gallery tour that even beginners can easily enjoy.

How about going on "your first gallery tour" at Roppongi, the city of art?

The best part of galleries is that you can encounter unique works of art, including works curated on ambitious themes and works by emerging artists, for free. Being able to not only view but also purchase your favorite works of art, just like a buyer, is also a valuable experience that will strengthen your aesthetic senses. Another unique feature of galleries is the opportunity to hear the gallerist give a direct explanation of the work you are interested in.

However, compared to large-scale art exhibitions, there are probably some people who feel that galleries are a bit more "professional" and difficult to get into. For those who are new to galleries, I would like to recommend two major galleries, "Piramide" and "complex665," which are located next to each other, a 3-minute walk from Exit 1A of Roppongi Station.

There are 12 galleries in "Piramide" and 3 galleries in "complex665". Yes, you may think of gallery touring as a short walk from gallery to gallery, but here you can visit more than 10 galleries in two buildings.

A small maze within Roppongi!? Experiencing galleries for the first time in "Perrotin Tokyo" within "Piramide!"

Let's first visit Piramide.

Piramide is surrounded on all sides by solid buildings with a courtyard. At the center of the courtyard is a pyramid-shaped structure reminiscent of the entrance to the Louvre. Surrounded by a complex of stairs and escalators, the space is designed to provide some suggestions, typical of a place where art is gathered.

The first gallery we went into was "Perrotin Tokyo," facing towards the courtyard.

This is one of seven branches of the gallery opened in Paris in 1990 by French gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin. The Paris gallery has had a strong connection with Japanese artists since the 1990s, having held solo exhibitions of Takashi Murakami, Kenji Yanobe, and others. The Tokyo gallery, which opened in 2017, has also hosted many solo exhibitions of high-profile contemporary artists.

Exhibition view of "Head in the Clouds" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy Perrotin.

The glass windows of the store can be seen from the courtyard, but it is best to go inside to get a taste of the gallery's atmosphere. Upon entering, you will see a receptionist on your left. Let's give the receptionist a greeting and have a look around the gallery.

Exhibition view of "Head in the Clouds" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy Perrotin.

The main exhibition halls are quiet and provide a sense of "having all to yourself" compared to art museums. Visitors can look at the works in front of them to their heart's content without worrying about others. There is also a small exhibition room next door, which makes you feel as if you are peeking into a secret base.

Exhibition view of "Head in the Clouds" at Perrotin Tokyo. Photo by Keizo Kioku. Courtesy Perrotin.

There is the "Perrotin Store," a bookstore close by. Posters, books, and goods of affiliated artists are sold. Why not look for your favorite to decorate your room?

Perrotin Tokyo
Address: 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Piramide 1st Floor
Opening Hours: 12PM~6PM
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, Holidays

Immerse yourself in creative art at the "WAKO WORKS OF ART"

We then took the escalator to the third floor. As we were about to walk in the direction of the gallery, we found a bench with a roof nearby. From the pavilion-style bench, you can see the entire building, which is like a small labyrinth, and you have a panoramic view of the building. It is a perfect space for short breaks when you need a rest from walking around the galleries.

And next, we went to one of the two galleries on the third floor, "WAKO WORKS OF ART."
This well-established gallery celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and moved here from Hatsudai in Shibuya Ward in 2011.

(c) Miriam Cahn, courtesy WAKO WORKS OF ART

The gallery has an ambitious program of exhibitions featuring the works of 18 contracted artists, ranging from masters to young artists, including Gerhard Richter, who had a major exhibition in Tokyo this year among foreign artists, and Noritoshi Hirakawa and Shizuka Yokomizo, among domestic artists. Visitors can view the creative works of these artists, selected by owner Kiyoshi Wako, who has been a longtime leader in the Tokyo gallery industry.

(c) Gerhard Richter, Yuji Takeoka, courtesy WAKO WORKS OF ART

The exhibition space, unified in white, has a structure with depth. In one corner, there is a small exhibition room where visitors can immerse themselves in the works.

Address: 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Piramide 3rd Floor
Opening Hours: 11AM~7PM
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, Holidays

Galleries at "complex665" such as "ShugoArts" are also lined with unique art

Next, we go to "complex665" next door. It is a short walk from Piramide. Galleries gather on the 2nd and 3rd floors of this building.

"ShugoArts," one of the two galleries in the building, is a modern art gallery directed by Mr. Shugo Satani. He started his art career in 2000 and moved the gallery here in 2016.

Masato Kobayashi, "The Paint of This Planet" 2021, Copyright the artist, Courtesy of ShugoArts, Photo by Shigeo Muto

As of now, the gallery features artists that are active both in Japan and worldwide who search for their own unique expressions, such as Leiko Ikemura, Masato Kobayashi, Aki Kondo, Yasumasa Morimura, Ritsue Mishima, and Shigeo Toya. From January 2023, the gallery will feature an exhibition of Lee Kit and Anju Michele.

Leiko Ikemura, "Infinitely Transparent" 2022, Copyright the artist, Courtesy of ShugoArts, Photo by Shigeo Muto

Yasumasa Morimura, Ritsue Mishima "Where Am I Standing" 2021, Copyright the artist, Courtesy of ShugoArts, Photo by Shigeo Muto

The exhibition space, which is divided into two rooms, has depth and is worth seeing.

Address: 6-5-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, complex665 2nd Floor
Opening Hours: 12PM~6PM
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, Holidays

Although we have briefly introduced the galleries, there is a restaurant in Piramide that is open from lunchtime, so you may want to take the gallery tour over lunchtime. We hope you will enjoy your gallery tour, completing all of the exhibits!

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