September 16th, 2009

AQ Field Trip: Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial

A photo travel log of our visit to Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial in Niigata with friends from Tokyo Art Beat and Birds Design.

Last week, AQ took a short field trip to the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial in Niigata Prefecture, accompanied by our friends at Tokyo Art Beat and Birds Design.

Like the Seto Inland Sea, Niigata’s countryside has experienced rapid depopulation over the last few decades, with devastating consequences to the local economy. The triennial started in 2000, led by general producer Soichiro Fukutake and general director Fram Kitagawa. This year marks its fourth edition, with 350 artworks scattered across 750 km2.


Disembarking in Echigo Yuzawa


Tatsuo Kawaguchi “Relation-Blackboard Classroom/Relation-Farmer’s Work”


Tatsuo Kawaguchi “Relation-Blackboard Classroom/Relation-Farmer’s Work”


We stayed at Sansho House, a school house converted into a lodging facility, with bunkbeds and homemade meals with local ingredients.





Next time, maybe we’ll try for Dream House By Marina Abranovic. Guests sleep in wooden boxes with crystal pillows wearing special pajamas designed by the artist. The next morning they write their dreams in a book embedded in the bed.


Dream House By Marina Abranovic


Lauren Berkowitz “Harvest House”


Sotaro Yamamoto “Yard of Doors”

Planning. . .


On the first day, we had a tasty vegan lunch prepared by local oba-sans at Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s “Cafe Reflet”, a cafeteria furnished in all sky blue, with mirrored table surfaces.


Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s “Cafe Reflet”

nature_1


A group fav was Junichi Kurakake + Nihon University College of Art Sculpture “Shedding House”. An old, unused house was meticulously carved on every surface, including the wooden sandals in the entranceway.


Junichi Kurakake + Nihon University College of Art Sculpture “Shedding House”


Junichi Kurakake + Nihon University College of Art Sculpture “Shedding House”


Junichi Kurakake + Nihon University College of Art Sculpture “Shedding House”


For “The Last Class”, Christian Boltanski+Jean Kalman repurposed an entire school in a dark meditation on the absence of human presence.


Christian Boltanski+Jean Kalman “The Last Class”

One room reproduces the rhythm of actual human heartbeats using massive vibrating speakers and a single incandescent bulb:


Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller “Storm Room”


Claude Leveque “In silence or in noises”


Claude Leveque “In silence or in noises”


Claude Leveque “In silence or in noises”


Harumi Yukutake “restructure”

You can see many more photos by Tomomi, Ryan, Naoki, and myself on Flickr.

Until next year!

Chris PalmieriAfter studying graphic design and Japanese language and aesthetics, Chris moved to Tokyo in 2001 to begin his design practice.
He co-founded AQ in 2004 to bring design basics to cultural organizations with bilingual websites. In his current role as managing director, Chris works with clients to clarify their ideas, oversees the creative process and designs.Read more posts by Chris Palmieri


Blog

Project announcements, interviews and essays on design, typography, and the Japanese web.