Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2015 7/26(Sun) - 9/13(Sun)

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2015 was finished.
It’s our great pleasure that we could welcome lots of visitors.


50 days, Sun 26 July to Sun 13 Sep 2015
Echigo-Tsumari Region (Tokamachi city/Tsunan town, Niigata Prefecture, 760㎢)
Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale Executive Committee
NPO Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Collaborative Organization
Honorary Chairman
Hirohiko Izumida (Governor of Niigata Prefecture)
Yoshifumi Sekiguchi (Mayor of Tokamachi city)
Vice Chairman
Kenji Kamimura (Mayor of Tsunan town)
General Producer
Soichiro Fukutake (Director, Fukutake Foundation)
General Director
Fram Kitagawa (Art Director)
Creative Director
Taku Satoh (Graphic Designer)
Network advisor
Kohey Takashima (President and CEO, Oisix Inc.)
Project Directors
Dragon Museum of Contemporary Art, Cai Guo Qiang (Artist)
Art Project in the center of city, Shohei Yamaguchi (Art Researcher)
Gejo Area, Motoki Sakai (Editor)
Matsudai Nohbutai Gallery, Ren Fukuzumi (Art Critic)
Matsudai History Museum, Shigeya Mori (Buto Dancer)
Kamaboko Art Center, Tsuyoshi Ozawa (Artist)

Page top ▲


What has art revealed?

Artworks created under overarching theme “Humans are part of nature” in previous triennales have not only revealed the nature that local people admire and sometimes contend with in order to live in this region, but also introduced their ways of working with nature. In addition to over 100 existing artworks from past triennales, different projects resonating with the seasonal rhythms of Echigo-Tsumari have been developed in between years and shed some light on the layers of the nature, history and memories of this region.

Abandon houses and closed schools projects

Depopulation and ageing are the consequences of over concentration in the modern society. Abandon houses and closed schools reflect these reality. Artist turned them into galleries, accommodations or restaurants and created not only jobs for local people but also places for people to get together. This is the role of art, creating values from existing assets and turning negative into positive.

Cristian Boltanski + Jean Kalman / The Last Class

Cristian Boltanski + Jean Kalman / The Last Class (2006)
Higashikawa Elementary school was closed due to depopulation but re-opened as a museum for a major artwork by Cristian Boltanski, presenting the absence of humans.

Marina Abramovic / Dream House (2000)

Marina Abramovic / Dream House (2000)
An old minka house (Japanese style house) turned into an accommodation for “dreaming a dream” where you can absorb yourself in the traditional lifestyle of satoyama. Marina invites you to choose your room from four different colours (red, blue, green, and purple), put on a special outfit and record a dream you have had overnight.

  • Abandon house projects
  • Closed school projects
  • Hubs
Sand control dam, avalanche defences, tunnels, snowsheds, electrical power cables and hydro-electric dams

Civil engineering have developed in order to make living in a challenging environment including earthquakes, snowslides, and floods. The region provides infrastructure to support contemporary life represented and realized in cities.

Leandro Erlich / Tunnel

Leandro Erlich / Tunnel (2012)
This illusionistic artwork was inspired by the distinctive topography of Echigo-Tsumari – with tunnel after tunnel burrowing through mountains.

Olu Oguibe / The Longest River

Olu Oguibe / The Longest River (2000)
Eighteen power poles are installed as a monument in the park adjacent to a hydroelectric dam which sends electricity to Tokyo. Each pole has engraved poem written by high school students under the theme of “memories of the river”.

  • Tunnels・Snowsheds
  • Railway tunnels
  • Bridges
  • Sand control dams
Terraced rice field, redirecting the river’s flow, Mabu (water tunnels)

People in Echigo-Tsumari has expanded agricultural field by reshaping mountains to produce rice (terraced rice field), changing the flow of rivers (segae), and digging tunnels by hand (mabu) all of these contributed to develop satoyama where humans and nature co-exist. Artists have created artworks with respect to these activities.

Ilya&Emilia Kabakov / The Rice Field

Ilya&Emilia Kabakov / The Rice Field (2000)
A gigantic artwork resembling a picture book in a landscape of rice fields, inviting the audience to interpret sculptures representing rice production over four seasons through text suspended in front of you.

Katsuhito Nakazato / Flash: Surface & Tunnel (2012)

Katsuhito Nakazato / Flash: Surface & Tunnel (2012)
Photographs of “mabu”, old tunnels dug by hand, are exhibited in the Soil Museum, where artworks under the theme of soil are presented.

  • Agricultural land
  • Buit-up area
Jomon culture

It is estimated that Kaengata-doki (frame-patterned earthenware) was established in the middle of the Shinanogawa river about 5300 years ago and had continued to develop in the area for 500 years. Kaengata-doki is known for its expressive decorations and primitive forms. The fact that it was spread around from this region, one of the heaviest snowfall areas across Japan, suggests how the social domain was laid out then. Echigo-angin is woven cloth made of thin ropes and threads of plant fibers which are woven in the same way as sudare (bamboo blind) and tawara (straw rice bag). Its origin dates back to the first half of the Jomon era (about 7000 to 5500 years ago) and it also appears in the scrolls from Muromachi era (1336-1573).

Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE

Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE (2012)
A museum where ancient jomon pottery and contemporary arts are exhibited together.

Takehiko Sanada Tokamachi/ MONYOU ~ KARAMUSHI KARAKUSA

Takehiko Sanada Tokamachi/ MONYOU ~ KARAMUSHI KARAKUSA (2012)
Angin is a textile which represents the origin of the region and its history. The artwork helps interpret the distinctive pattern of the region from the memories of the place and traces of its history.

Rivers, river terrace, heavy snowfall, deciduous broadleaf trees

Topography and weather define culture of the place. Artists have captured and highlighted the distinctive characters of nature in Echigo-Tsumari such as Shinanogawa river, the longest river in Japan, river terrace that have been created by Shinanogawa river, three to five meter of heavy snow fall in winter, and various types of deciduous broad leaf trees.

Yukihisa Isobe / Where Has the River Gone?

Yukihisa Isobe / Where Has the River Gone? (2000)
The artwork traced and replicated the original flow of Shinanogawa River for 3.5km using approximately 600 yellow flag poles. The natural winding river flow was redirected due to the development of concrete dams and riverbank reinforcements, which had a great impact on the hydrological and ecological patterns of the river.

Kyota Takahashii / Gift for Frozen Village

Kyota Takahashii / Gift for Frozen village (2011)
The one-night only installation of 10,000 LED lights in the snow field has changed the perception of darkness of the winter in satoyama. The “seeds of light” planted in the snow by members of the audience filled the entire space.

  • Terrace plain1
  • Terrace plain2
  • Terrace plain3
  • Terrace plain4
  • Terrace plain5
  • Terrace plain6
  • Terrace plain7
  • Terrace plain8
  • Terrace plain9
  • Terrace plain10

The theme of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennle 2015

Art is how people engage with nature and civilization.

The 6th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale highlights artworks representing creative approaches and techniques as well as devices to appreciate those that have been cultivated by people over generations. This constitutes an alternative “art” for the 21th century, going beyond existing definitions of art.

  • Mudslide Monument: Yukihisa Isobe: The Echigo-Tsumari region has dealt with mudslides since time immemorial. This artwork represents the trace of mudslides caused by the North Nagano earthquake of 12 Mar 2011 and the sand control dams built in response.

  • Snowshed protecting road from avalanche. YUBIWA hotel performing art company will develop stories set in abandoned snowshed.

Exchange between the region and the city

Art has become a catalyst for connecting people with people and people to places. Through networks of supporters, volunteers and private sponsors built up over many years, the festival provides a platform for exchange between the region and the city, complementing one another.

  • Nunagawa Campus (tbc)

    A new school where you learn wisdoms of life based upon agriculture will be established, based upon the Echigo-Tsumari Forest School. Teachers include Junichi Kurakake (art), Jun Sakaguchi (gymnastic), Yu Arai (house craft), Chie Ito (performance).

  • Kiyotsu Museum (tbc)

    Serves as a warehouse and gallery space to accommodate large scale artworks that are difficult to store in city.

  • Kamigo Performance Residence (tbc)

    Serves as a residence and theatre for performing artists where they stay, practice and present their performances.

Page top ▲

Participating artists with new artworks

※as of 14 October 2014

AKUMA NO SHIRUSHI (Japan) | Yukio Amano (Japan) | Masanobu Ando (Japan) | Anusapati (Indonesia) | Noe Aoki (Japan) | Heidi Axelsen & Hugo Moline & Nathan Hawkes (Australia)
Tanya Badanina (Russia) | BankART1929 (Japan) | Beaux Arts de Paris × Tokyo University of the Arts Joint Project (France / Japan) | Rebecca Belmore (Canada) | Charles-Eric Billard (Canada / Japan) | Bubb & Gravityfree with KEEN (Japan)
Cai Guo-Qiang (China / USA) | CINEMA CARAVAN (Japan)
EAT&ART TARO (Japan) | Toshikatsu Endo (Japan)
Takafumi Fukasawa (Japan)
Shilpa Gupta (India)
Hiroshi Hara + Fujiki Lab., Kogakuin University + F.A.D.S (Japan) | Noriyuki Haraguchi (Japan) | Masahiro Hasunuma (Japan) | Katsuhiko Hibino (Japan) | Yuichi Higurashi (Japan) | Takuto Hiki + Takumi Honda (Japan) | Yasuhiro Hoshina (Japan) | Huang Shih Chieh (Taiwan / USA) | Hyogen (Japan)
Ide Shigehiro (Japan) | Gentaro Ishizuka (Japan) | Yukihisa Isobe (Japan) | Yoshiaki Ito (Japan) | Satoshi Iwama (Japan) | Ilya & Emilia Kabakov ( Russia / USA)
Yoshiaki Kaihatsu (Japan) | Tadashi Kawamata (Japan / France) | Maki Kijima (Japan) | Kenichi Kimura (Japan) | Meeko Koike (Japan) | Kazufusa Komaki + Nocturnal Studio (Japan) | Junichi Kurakake + Nihon University, College of Art Sculpture Course (Japan) | Takuboku Kuratani (Japan)
Moshekwa Langa (South Africa / Netherland) | Lee Bul (Korea) | Lee Hyung Woo (Korea) | Jimmy Liao (Taiwan) | Lin Shuen Long, Assignment Theatre (Taiwan) | Liu Jianhua (China)
Junko Maruyama (Japan) | Me (Japan) | Annette Messager (France) | Strange Kinoko Dance company (Japan) | Hiroshi Miyamoto (Japan) | momonga complex (Japan) | Monjunochienetsu (Japan) | Shigeya Mori (Japan) | Shinji Morino, Kiryubu (Japan) | Toshihiro Mizutani Lab., Musashino University (Japan) | Akiko Muto (Japan)
Kayako Nakashima (Japan) | Katsuhito Nakazato (Japan) | Vladimir Nasedkin (Russia) | Nekkobangakuhozonkai (Japan) | Nibroll (Japan)
Chiyo Ogino (Japan) | Kazumasa Ohira (Japan) | Shinji Ohmaki (Japan) | Ondekoza (Japan)
Paola Pivi (Italy / USA)
Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand / Japan)
Raiko Sakamoto, Hiroshi Suzuki, Shunsuke Okuchi, Takefumi Kobayashi (Japan) | Koichi Sakao (Japan) | Sample (Japan) | Takehiko Sanada (Japan) | Kaori Sato (Japan) | Yu Sato (Japan) | Katerina Seda (Czech) | Seppuku Pistols (Japan) | Shi Hai (China) | Masaya Shibayama (Japan) | Snuff Puppets(Australia) | Hisako Sugiura & Tomoya Sugiura + Sugiura Laboratory, Showa Women’s University (Japan) | Yusuke Suzuki (Japan)
Kaori Tanaka (Japan) | Naoko Tanaka (Japan / Germany) | Seizo Tashima (Japan) | Nobuhiko Terasawa (Japan) | Takaharu Tezuka + Yui Tezuka (Japan) | Team Hong Kong (Hong Kong) | The Group of the Snow Art in Niigata (Japan) | Tokyo Denki University Yamamoto Space Design Lab. + Kyoritsu Women’s University Hori Lab. (Japan) | Shigeo Toya (Japan) | Tuneyuki Toyoda (Japan) | Ryo Toyofuku (Japan)
Haruyuki Uchida (Japan) | Yuji Ueno (Japan)
Yasuyuki Watanabe (Japan) | Fiona Wong Lai-ching (Hong Kong)
Takayuki Yagi (Japan) | Aya Yamagishi (Japan) | Asayo Yamamoto (Japan) | Sotaro Yamamoto (Japan) | Ohji Yoshino (Japan) | YUBIWA hotel (Japan)

Page top ▲

Highlights of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2015

Development of each areas

Building upon a legacy of over 200 artworks created and accumulated from five previous triennales and nearly 20 years of activities, and the hospitality of local people, and networks with other regions, the 6th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale presents about 100 new artworks, exploring local sites and contexts, making use of local assets and revealing specific challenges. The different areas that make up the regional satoyama welcome you with their distinctive landscapes to experience a wonderful journey across local places, people and cuisine, guided by art.
"Explore Sense and Satoyama with Art"

Minekata・Yamadaira Area: Golden belt of contemporary art

Both existing and new artworks by domestic and international artists will be presented in abandoned houses and closed schools.

  • Shinji Ohmaki <prior artwork>Shinji Ohmaki
  • Tadashi Kawamata / Tsumari Diorama Archive2015 proposalTadashi Kawamata / Tsumari Diorama Archive<2015 proposal>
  • Katsuhiko Hibino / Day After Tomorrow Newspaper Cultural DepartmentKatsuhiko Hibino / Day After Tomorrow Newspaper Cultural Department
  • Annette Messager prior artworkAnnette Messager<prior artwork>
[Must see in this area]
  • Richard Deacon / MountainArtworks you discover after going through small villages in the mountains. (Richard Deacon / Mountain)
Gejo and Tobitari Area: Soil

Artworks under the theme of soil are presented at Ubusuna House, an old minka house renovated into a restaurant by potters, serving local foods, and Soil Museum, a former Higashi Shimogumi Elementary School.

  • Kazumasa Ohira prior artworkKazumasa Ohira <prior artwork>
  • Takuto Hiki + Takumi Honda prior artworkTakuto Hiki + Takumi Honda <prior artwork>
  • Kaori Sato prior artworkKaori Sato <prior artwork>
  • Karekimata Project, Haruyuki Uchida / Memories of the Earth, photo by Takashi HatakeyamaKarekimata Project, Haruyuki Uchida / Memories of the Earth, photo by Takashi Hatakeyama
[Must see in this area]
  • Local ladies welcome you at Ubusuna House.Local ladies welcome you at Ubusuna House.
Kamigo Area: A new platform for performing arts in East Asia Art Village.

In addition to Dragon Museum of Contemporary Art directed by Cai Guo Qiang, East Asia Art Village presents projects by artists from Asian countries. Former Kamigo Junior Highschool will be renovated by Tuneyuki Toyoda into a residential space and theatre for performing artists.

  • Li xiaodon Prior artworkLi xiaodon<Prior artwork>
  • Lin Shuen Long, Assignment Theatre / Over The Border, Sea prior artworkLin Shuen Long, Assignment Theatre / Over The Border, Sea<prior artwork>
  • Sample prior artworkSample <prior artwork>
  • Nibroll / see / saw (2012) prior artworkNibroll / see / saw (2012) <prior artwork>
  • YUBIWA hotel prior artwork photo by Takashi NishiyamaYUBIWA hotel <prior artwork> photo by Takashi Nishiyama
[Must see in this area]
  • Natural fabrication on earth, the longest terraced river on Shinano River.Natural fabrication on earth, the longest terraced river on Shinano River.
Kiyotsu Area: Emerald belt of fresh stream and artworks

A Former Kiyotsukyo Elementary School re-opens as the annex of Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE presenting artworks dealing with materials.(Design : Sotaro Yamamoto)

  • Toshikatsu Endo prior artworkToshikatsu Endo <prior artwork>
  • Noe Aoki/furisosogumono, gorakushitsuprior artwork (Ohara Museum of Art, Yurinso)Noe Aoki/furisosogumono, gorakushitsu<prior artwork> (Ohara Museum of Art, Yurinso)
  • Richard Wilson/ Set North for Japan (74 33 2)Richard Wilson/ Set North for Japan (74°33'2")
  • Architectural Office Casagrande & Rintala / POTEMKINArchitectural Office Casagrande & Rintala / POTEMKIN
[Must see in this area]
  • Picnic on the bank of the Kiyotsu River and the Kama River, branches of the Shinano River. (Akiko Utsumi /For Lots of Lost Windows)Picnic on the bank of the Kiyotsu River and the Kama River, branches of the Shinano River. (Akiko Utsumi /For Lots of Lost Windows)

Pick Up Project

  • Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE, Special Exhibition
    Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE, Special Exhibition

    Cai Guo-Qiang, Installation view of The Ninth Wave in the Great Hall of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2014. Photo by Wen-You, courtesy Cai Studio

  • Matsudai Nohbutai, Special Exhibition
    Matsudai Nohbutai, Special Exhibition

    Selected one hundred Marginal Art Project in Satoyama

  • Hachi & Seizo Tashima Museum of Picture Book Art, Special Exhibition
    Hachi & Seizo Tashima Museum of Picture Book Art, Special Exhibition

    Seizo Tashima

Page top ▲

Events / Performing Arts

Unmissable performance and unique experiences

Upcoming performing artists from Asian countries come to Echigo-Tsumari and give performances at hubs and villages.

  • Sample
  • Nibroll
  • YUBIWA hotel
  • Strange Kinoko Dance company

Page top ▲


Explore Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

coming soon

Page top ▲


A reasonable ticket including admission fees of all artworks during Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale.

Full price Advance sales
Adults ¥3,500 ¥3,000
Students ¥3,000 ¥2,500
  • ・Advance sales from 7 march 2015
  • ・Discount arrangement for hot springs, accommodations and events / performances
  • ・Where to buy: Echigo-Tsumari Online shop, Echigo-Tsumari Hubs, and ticket sale agencies.

Page top ▲


By Train

From Nigata:80min/From Tokyo:2h/From Osaka:4h50min

By Car

From Nigata:90min/From Tokyo:3h/From Osaka:6h

More information

Photo: ANZAï, T. Kobayashi, T.Kuratani, Osamu Nakamura, (in alphabetical order)

Page top ▲