A Happy Coincidence

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 I truly enjoy watching artists whose work I have bought ‘grow up’ and establish themselves in the global art scene.

What role did art play in your childhood and teenage years? Were there any artists or collectors in your family?
My father is a chirographer and I grew up watching him work with his art, although I never played any role in it myself. I studied computer technology, and I am currently doing consultancy work. Although none of this upbringing has had any connection to art, I have always had an interest in the art world.

How actively do you take part in the public art scene?
I am the only one in my field and within my circle of friends who collects works of art. But since I’ve started collecting, I have become friends with other art collectors and friends of artists. We often meet at exhibitions and art fairs.

What made you want to start collecting?
I’d say it was a coincidence. I grew up in the Kiyosumi area in Tokyo. When I was at college, many art galleries had started to open there, some of which are now very famous, such as the Tomio Koyama Gallery. Being so close, I was able to visit them frequently, even if just to look around. There were constantly exhibitions put on, and I enjoyed being able to appreciate works of art for free. At the beginning I had no intention of buying artworks at all. I’d always thought they were too expensive. But by visiting these galleries, I began to realize that the prices depended on the artwork and on the artist. If I were to buy a piece by a young artist, then the price wouldn’t be too high. That’s how I started being interested in contemporary art.

What was the first artwork you purchased?
The first artwork I purchased was “The memory of Alice” by Masuo Ikeda (1934-1997); a print which I bought from an online shop. I first saw it in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo in 2005. I loved this artwork, so I just wanted to have it. At this point I had not thought about consistently collecting works of art. As such, I can say that my collection only truly begun with the purchase of “Season that the world gets filled with gold” (2007, oil on canvas 1615×1940) by Tomoko Nagai, which I bought at her exhibition in 2008.

How many artworks do you own? Where do you display your collection?
I have 118 artworks in total. I display them in my home and rotate the ones on display every season. The rest of the time, they are stored in a warehouse.

What sort of artworks do you prefer to buy for your collection?
I like micro pop. And I prefer young artists. I have a great number of works by Tomoko Nagai and Rei Sato.

Has your taste in art changed much since you started collecting?
No, it hasn’t. I still like micro pop. Although I do think my taste has become more diversified. I have recently become more interested in still life works.

What is the main motivation behind your collecting?
In Japan, contemporary art is not popular. Japanese people very often go to museums to see exhibitions, and very few people will actually buy a work of art. We don’t have many art collectors in Japan compared to China and Korea. I love art, so I hope the art market in Japan will grow over time. If no one buys any artworks, then young artists are not given the opportunity to become established in the art world. That is why I mainly collect young artists. I truly enjoy watching artists whose work I have bought ‘grow up’ and establish themselves in the global art scene.

Do you have any works in your collection from outside of Japan?
I always go to the art fairs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore and have purchased works there. I am planning on going to Art Basel this year.