⟨ Art ⟩

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

Human, Nature, and Art

Words / Ron Lam
Photography / Tezuka Architecuts

如果沒有藝術為理由,我們或許不會憧憬,於寒冷冬季,千里迢迢跑到新潟縣的越後妻有地區,踏著蒼茫的白雪,穿梭在田野之中。

當國際上大部分藝術雙年展或三年展,都選址在交通及生活便利的城市時,日本其中一個最盛大的藝術祭:越後妻有藝術祭的舉行地點,距離東京都足有三個小時的車程。邀請旅客脫離都市生活,遠道而來,稍作喘息,在自然環境之中體會與藝術共處的樂趣,是這藝術祭的其中一個目的。另一個目的,則是地區振興。

越後妻有地區有著美麗的梯田、豐郁的農地,一直以來均是稻米等各式農產品的重要產地。然而,由於年輕一代寧願另謀生計,紛紛遷往都市,區內高齡化問題日漸嚴重,農田被荒廢,房子給空置,氣氛越發冷清。2000年前,北川富朗受邀策劃越後妻有大地藝術祭的主要任務,就是借藝術之名,加強居民們的合作與交流,同時喚回已然離鄉的年青人,一同將此地的特色與動人之處顯現出來。越後妻有大地藝術祭的主角不只是藝術,還有人、大自然,以及三者之間難以割捨的連繫。

越後妻有大地藝術祭每三年舉行一次,但在每年的每一個季節,均會舉辦為期兩星期的特別活動,讓人感受這地區在不同季節下的魅力。來到2017年的冬季,將舉辦雪中藝術導賞「Snowart Trail」、雪中的花火匯演,另外還有北海道藝術家国松希根太的個人攝影及雕塑等。

In the harsh winter time, art is perhaps the only valid reason for us to travel through the snow and wind, walk across the icy fields to visit Echigo-Tsumari in Niigata Prefecture.

International biennales or triennales often take places in cities with good transport connection, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale is however quite the opposite. Being one of the most significant art fairs, Echigo-Tsumari Art Field is a good 3-hour drive from Tokyo city. By getting away from the bustling metropolis, visitors are able to depart from their usual pace of life and enjoy the peace of mind in the surrounding of nature and art. Another reason to host the art fair in this remote location is to boast the local economy.

Echigo-Tsumari is a region of beautiful ladder fields and rich farmlands. For many years, the region has been one of the main origins of rice. As more of the younger generations move to the city to seek alternative job opportunities. The area started seeing the aging problem with many farmlands being abandoned. The once vivid region started to lose its vivant colour. In around 2000, Kitagawa Furamu was invited to curate Echigo-Tsumari Art Field; His major task was to use art as a bridge to re-connect residents of the area and to regain the attention from the already departed youths, to show to the world the unique beauty of the region. Naturally, art is not the only single theme in Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, but also human, nature as well as the inseparable bonding among the three.

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale only happens once every three years, but Echigo-Tsumari Art Field also features 4 seasonal event annually. For every of the 4 seasons, Echigo-Tsumari Art Field hosts a two-week activity to share the beauty of that particular season. In Winter 2017, visitors can participate in firework show in the snow and “Snowart Trail”, a guided art tour through the snow; Additionally, there is also a solo photography and sculpture exhibition featuring the Hokkaido artist Kineta Kunimatsu.