AM was excited to have been in attendance for the 12th installment of Takashi Murakami’s self-represented artist art fair, Geisai, held in Tokyo, Sunday March 8. It was quite an experience, with hundreds of young and emerging artists presenting their own paintings, drawings, sculptures or performance art together for one whirlwind day. Plus, there were various live musical and dance performances. Since there was so much going on and our Japanese isn’t that great, we weren’t always sure what was happening, but we took lots of pictures, which you can check out after the jump.

The fair is unlike any other. There are no galleries or art dealers. Just the artists themselves, showing their own work, anyway they like. And there are hundreds of them, all filling the enormous Tokyo Big Sight convention center (which looks like some kind of alien mothership).

We were allowed to visit the fair the day before, when the artists were setting up. It was amazing to see the space transform from an empty hall into one filled with every type and style or art imaginable.

When we came back the next day, the fair was in full effect. There was so much to see.

One of our favorites was Erika Yamashiro, who participated in Geisai 11, as well as Geisai LA at Giant Robot. She only displayed one painting, but we really loved the natural yet fantastic composition.

Anyone can participate in Geisai as their is no jury to enter, but there is a jury that selects the best of the show. This year, contreversial Japanese artist Makoto Aida was on the jury, along with several other influential Japanese tastemakers. After a long day of examining every booth, they selected their winners.

The bronze prize went to Tsubasa Kato, whose work consisted of building and moving large wooden installations. The silver went to photgrapher Kikuna Mishima for her playful and colorful portraits. And the gold went to Junichi Nakayama for his installation of vibrant abstract photographs. Keep an eye on these emerging Japanese artists; they may just be the next big thing in art.