Aichi Triennale 2016 promotes regional diversity in the arts

119 artists from 38 countries will converge at Aichi Prefecture in mid-August this year.

Spread across Nagoya City, Okazaki City and Toyohashi City, the multi-venue 3rd Aichi Triennale boasts a rich programme comprising contemporary art, film and opera.

Aichi Arts Center. Image from aichitriennale.jp.

Aichi Arts Center. Image from aichitriennale.jp.

Full artist line-up announced

The 3rd Aichi Triennale opens on 11 August and runs until 23 October 2016. The full artist line-up was announced last week, with 26 new names joining the previous list of 93. The list features an international roster of both established and emerging artists, with as many as 20 showing in Japan for the first time. Apart from Japanese artists, some Asian and Middle-Eastern names in the art and film sections include:

Toyohashi Arts Theatre. Image from aichitriennale.jp.

Toyohashi Arts Theatre. Image from aichitriennale.jp.

Higher regional diversity

The venue of this year’s Triennale has expanded to Toyohashi City, one of the largest Brazilian communities in Japan. In celebration of Aichi’s close ties with Brazil, the Triennale invited São Paulo-based writer and curator Daniela Castro to curate and present the works of five Brazil-based artists.

Also on the curatorial team is Zeynep Öz from Turkey. Japanese members of the team include Minato Chihiro, Haito Masahiko, Hattori Hiroyuki, Kanai Tadashi, Echigoya Takashi, Hama Haruka, Fujii Akiko and Karatsu Eri. The Triennale’s website cites regional diversity as a main defining characteristic of the current edition:

The artistic director is Chihiro Minato, who has lived in Latin America and is currently partially based in France. In addition, among the invited curators are Brazil-based Daniela Castro and Turkey-based Zeynep Öz. As a result, there are participating artists from more different countries and regions, and non-Japanese artists make up a higher percentage of the total. For Japanese artists, as well, the works presented reflect artistic activities unfolding everywhere from Hokkaido to Okinawa […].

Aichi Triennale venue: the former residence of the Ishihara Family, a registered national tangible cultural property which was built at the end of the Edo period. Image from aichitriennale.jp.

Aichi Triennale venue: the former residence of the Ishihara Family, a registered national tangible cultural property which was built at the end of the Edo period. Image from aichitriennale.jp.

“Homo Faber: A Rainbow Caravan”

The theme of this year’s Triennale was announced in May this year. Entitled “Homo Faber: A Rainbow Caravan”, the Triennale opens under the theme of “humankind’s creative journey – or ‘caravan’ – to the unknown”. Artistic Director Minato Chihiro writes, quoted by e-flux:

The Persian-derived word “caravanserai” means an inn for caravans. Although designed to serve the commercial traveler, caravanserais were nothing like the business hotels of today. The expansive courtyard of a caravanserai had stables, storehouses […] giving the whole place the aspect of a palace, rather than an inn […] Art is capable of creating a time and space removed from the mundane, where form, color, sound and even the body take on aspects never before experienced. Art can bring together travelers laden with wonder and amazement, from east, west, north and south.

Held once every three years, the Aichi Triennale showcases a mix of visual art, moving images, music and opera, offering a “prime opportunity to rediscover the connection with nature before it branched into specialised genres”. While the 2013 Triennale dealt poignantly with disaster in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the upcoming edition seems to take on a more cheerful undertone. Minato writes:

Art is a journey into the unknown. Human activity is likewise an expedition into uncharted territory. An art festival is also an undertaking analogous to a journey. Taking on board many, many people, it is an expedition caravan that travels across all sorts of borders in search of the next resonances and shapes. Let us make a “golden record” of our times […].

Michele Chan

1198

Related Topics: triennales, biennales, connecting Asia to itself, globalisation of artevents in Japan

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