Our tour guide Yoko selected a range of galleries to visit that cover a variety of different styles. One of my favorites was the Shukado gallery. In contrast to the other galleries, where the paintings are hanging on the walls, here we were treated to examine some fine Ukiyoe prints carefully extracted from storage. The gallery assistant explained that collectors have to keep the wood block prints away from light to prevent them fading. There were some Views of Mt Fuji from the famous artist Utagawa Hiroshige, and other prints including one with a giant spider which was very striking.
At another gallery the walls were filled with the works of André Cottavoz. Now there's an artist that really laid it on with a trowel. I casually enquired about the price of the one of the, almost three-dimensional, works of art: it was 2.7million Yen. The gallery owner also admitted that the price had come down from the previous price tag of 3.2 million yen. For Cottavoz, who died recently, it seems death has not brought on a increase in the price of his paintings.
In the final gallery we visited, three of Lee Mingwei's installations are on display. The works were not for-sale, I leave it to your imagination why that is so.
Our guide was friendly and enthusiastic. If you were a tourist visiting Tokyo with limited time and a very keen interest in purchasing art, I think she would be helpful in locating galleries and talking with the staff. For residents: have a wander around Ginza, drop into some of the over 200 galleries and let me know what you see.