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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
Serves as a warehouse and gallery space to accommodate large scale artworks that are difficult to store in city.
Serves as a residence and theatre for performing artists where they stay, practice and present their performances.
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"
Both existing and new artworks by domestic and international artists will be presented in abandoned houses and closed schools.
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.
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.
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)
Cai Guo-Qiang, Installation view of The Ninth Wave in the Great Hall of the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2014.
Selected one hundred Marginal Art Project in Satoyama
Upcoming performing artists from Asian countries come to Echigo-Tsumari and give performances at hubs and villages.
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From Nigata:80min／From Tokyo:2h／From Osaka:4h50min
From Nigata:90min／From Tokyo:3h／From Osaka:6h
Photo: ANZAï, T. Kobayashi, T.Kuratani, Osamu Nakamura, (in alphabetical order)