Banksy exhibition scheduled to bring largest ever collection to Japan in 2020


November 6, 2019

The largest assembled collection of works from U.K.-based artist Banksy is set to be put on display for the first time in Japan at a facility in Yokohama, near Tokyo, from March 2020.

“Banksy Exhibition – Genius or Vandal?” is scheduled to open at the multi-purpose experience-based entertainment facility ASOBUILD in the city of Yokohama from Sunday March 15, 2020, running until Sunday September 27.

The unauthorized exhibition of artworks by Banksy, drawn from private collections, will be hosted in Japan for the first time after having drawn over a million visitors during previous stints in the cities of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Madrid and Lisbon in 2018, according to local organizer TV Asahi / Akatsuki Live Entertainment Inc.

The exhibition is scheduled for a run in Hong Kong in December this year prior to its arrival in Japan, where other regional showing are being planned, including in the city of Osaka.

“Banksy Exhibition – Genius or Vandal?” features more than 70 works from the anonymous street artist, including 20 unique artworks, 3D objects, limited edition prints and a multi-media experiential space that introduces the thoughts embedded behind Banksy’s works such as political messages and satire.

The Banksy exhibition also covers memorabilia from important exhibitions and events staged by Banksy, including collaborations with artists and musicians as well as from his theme-park project Dismaland which opened in 2015 in the town of Weston-super-Mare in the U.K.

The main idea of “Banksy Exhibition – Genius or Vandal?” according to the local organizer, is to allow visitors to dive into the world of Banksy and decide for themselves — “is he a businessman or a true artist, a rebel or a conformist, a genius or just a vandal?”

Banksy developed his unique style of graffiti using stencils on the underground scene in the city of Bristol, in the west of England. Works by the artist have since appeared in unexpected places around the world, on street sides, walls and bridges.

A possible artwork of Banksy was discovered in the Tokyo Bay area of the Japanese capital in January 2019. The image of a rat holding an umbrella and bag, spray-painted on a flood barrier, went on to be exhibited at the Tokyo metropolitan government building in April, after experts suggested the work highly likely to be an authentic Banksy.

The artist, whose works are perceived to be aimed at social issues, has also turned his hand to accommodation facilities and film production.

Host facility ASOBUILD, accessed directly from the southeast exit of Yokohama Station, opened in March 2019. The facility was host to temporary amusement space Unko Museum Yokohama, an attraction based on the theme of poop which garnered plenty of media attention during its five-month stay at the facility.

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