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Top Japanese gallery will open its first offshore branch in Macao, owner says

Gallery UG is currently staging an exhibition of Japanese artists in Macao as part of the Contempo festival, but is preparing to open a permanent branch in the SAR.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

2 Minutes

The SAR is set to get a new, high-end art dealership courtesy of Gallery UG, a leader in Japanese contemporary art. The gallery’s CEO and owner, Eiichiro Sasaki, announced the move at the Japanese culture festival Contempo’s grand opening last night.

Six Gallery UG artists are currently being exhibited at Sands Gallery as part of the two-month-long festival. The artists include Kunihiko Nohara, whose vibrant sculptures take on the textures of clouds, and Takaoki Tajima, known for his rock ‘n’ roll-style animal figures.

Macao’s status as a “gateway to the Chinese market” made it an attractive place for Gallery UG’s first permanent base outside of Japan, said Sasaki. He noted that Chinese buyers make up about a third of his customer base.

[See more: The essential guide to Macao’s galleries and public art

Macao’s regulatory environment made it easier to set up shop here than on the mainland, said Sasaki. The plan was to make Macao his hub for Greater China and stage once-off events in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

Sasaki hasn’t yet settled on a location for the Macao branch of his gallery yet, but confirmed he would like to be based in Cotai. “I’ve been [to Cotai] more than 20 times in the past 10 years and I am looking forward to spending more time here,” he said. “To me, Macao is a Disneyland for adults. I hope my gallery’s art will add to the excitement that is already here.”

Gallery UG – the initials stand for Unique Gallery – was founded in the early 2000s in Tokyo, and has made a name for itself through helping contemporary Japanese artists reach an international audience. 

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