Roppongi Art Night
Photo: ©Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. ©Fujiko-Pro

Take a sneak peek at Roppongi Art Night 2022: 10m-tall Doraemon and more

Highlights to look out for at the weekend-long art festival in central Tokyo, including free, interactive art exhibits

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

It may be called Roppongi Art Night, but this highly anticipated art festival in central Tokyo runs for longer than you’d think. Scheduled for the long weekend from Saturday September 17 to Monday September 19, this neighbourhood-wide art extravaganza will feature roughly 100 events ranging from exhibitions and concerts to dance performances and talks. Many of these events will take place before and after as well as during the official programme dates, so there's a lot to see and do beyond those three days. 

Takashi Murakami posing with Doraemon for Roppongi Art Night 2022
Photo: RK, © Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. © Fujiko-Pro

What’s on the main programme 

Headlining Roppongi Art Night 2022 is famed contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, the mastermind behind this year’s theme ‘Magical Adventure’. Some of the artworks will be installed in public spaces like the Roppongi Hills West Walk and Roppongi Hills Area, so that anyone can enjoy them for free. A small selection of the exhibitions, however, will require an admission ticket. 

Due to the pandemic, the most recent editions of Roppongi Art Night had to be cancelled. This is the first time in three years that the festival is making a full return to the city – so expect big things. By ‘big things’, we mean Takashi Murakami’s giant 10-metre-tall Doraemon sculpture that will be installed at the Roppongi Hills Arena. 

Roppongi Art Night
Photo: ©MADSAKI/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. ©︎Fujiko-Pro.

Doraemon, reimagined 

There’s even more Doraemon-inspired art around the corner. Murakami has enlisted 12 artists to join him at the festival and showcase their artistic vision through the beloved blue cat-robot. Among them are Aya Takano, Madsaki, Kasing Leung, T9G and Shin Murata, who each gave the futuristic robo-cat a drastic makeover.

Roppongi Art Night
Photo: Tangent 'Inaho'

Other free art installations worth checking out 

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of non-Doraemon related projects as well. Highlights beyond Takashi Murakami’s programme include Tangent’s ‘Inaho’ installation, which is inspired by the way golden ears of rice sway in the summer wind. The piece, which will be installed at the Roppongi Hills North Tower from September 12 to September 16, is fitted with LED lights and motion sensors, so it will respond to approaching observers by lighting up and swaying.

Roppongi Art Night
Photo: Michael Lin 'Window'

Other free installations to look forward to include Michael Lin’s ‘Window’, which you’ll find at the Giotto House and the West Walk in Roppongi Hills from September 6 to September 16 and September 17 to September 19 respectively. 

Roppongi Art Night
Photo: Kazuhiko Hiwa 'Hiwadrome'

Over at the second floor of the Roppongi Hills West Walk, meanwhile, you'll find Kazuhiko Hiwa illuminating 'Hiwadrome' installation, as well as Lawrence Weiner's series 'Here for a Time There for a Time & Somewhere for a Time'. Weiner, who passed away in 2021, was an American conceptual artist lauded for his typography centred art projects, where large structures like buildings and even cargo ships were used as canvases. This upcoming showcase of Lawrence’s works is inspired by the past and present of Tokyo and the vibrant Roppongi district.

Roppongi Art Night
Photo: Lawrence Weiner ‘1/2 Begun, 1/2 Finished, Wensoever’

For the list of exhibitions and events, check out Roppongi Art Night’s website.

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