Japan Center’s Art Journey through Satoyama at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale
Continuing from the successful art journeys to Kyoto in 2020 and Kanazawa & Fukui in 2021, the 5th Asia Society Japan Center Art Journey took us to Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (ETAT). In a year of art festivals all over Japan, it is one of the largest art festivals in the world and a pioneer of regional art festivals in Japan. Covering the same area as Tokyo 23 wards in the surrounding area of Tokamachi-city in Niigata, it is a festival where artists, the community, and the land come together. The area is still filled with “satoyama” life where people engage with the land and live together with the art since 2000. 333 artworks by 263 artists from 38 countries are exhibited, of which 123 works are new in 2022.
Those three days were indeed packed with art, nature, and good food. We could not cover everything, but we got to see important works such as James Turrell’s “House of Lights”, Christian Boltanski’s “Forest Spirit”, as well as the works at Hong Kong House by Stanley Wong a.k.a. anothermountainman who spoke at Art for Breakfast in September. The group was invited to Hakkai Brewery renowned for Hakkaisan by executive vice president Masato Nagumo and his team where we were able to see their grounds and taste not just their sake but their craft beer, shochu, and amazake. It was an amazing trip where we experienced the art, the local community, the land, and nature, all coming together to make this art festival an amazing experience.