The Triennale Takes Over The Streets

Ana B. Remos

This art festival brings together a selection of artists from different disciplines for the enjoyment of residents and tourists.


Are you aware of the space you inhabit? Are you the type of person who asks questions, or one who has all the answers? These reflections are not drawn from a philosophical postulate; they are just some of the questions presented in this year’s Aichi Triennial, a festival of the arts on view until October 27.

Kohei Nawa
KOHEI NAWA. Foam, 2013. / Photo: Nobutada Omote / SANDWICH.

The presentation titled The Awakening. Where do we Stand? Earth, Memory and Resurrection, marked the opening of the Aichi Triennial on Aug. 10. Without a doubt, the debut was a suggestive edition involving nearly 76 artists from around the world. Among them, Alfredo Jaar from Chile, Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, from Cuba, who will present War and Peace, a series textile sculptures, the Portuguese muralist Rigo 23 and Yoko Ono.

Samples of architecture, opera, cinema, music, dance, theatre and visual arts fill the streets in the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Okazaki. The aims of the festival are, “first to entertain, but also the opportunity to rediscover the world through art and experience again the charms of the urban space,” explained its director, Taro Igarashi.

Aichi Triennale
1. DAN PERJOVSCHI. The Top Drawing, 2013. / Photo: Tetsuo Ito.
2. KENJI YANOBE. Sun Child No.2, 2013. / Photo: Tetsuo Ito.
3. YOKO ONO. Parts of a light house, 1966 / 2012. / Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

The organizers have created a guide to the cities’s architectural landmarks, available to all visitors. In addition, there will be guided tours of some 20 buildings of cultural interest in the Aichi Prefecture, which sponsors the Open Architecture project.

The theater also plays an important part in the triennial: fifteen Japanese and international theater and dance troupes will reflect upon “the area where we live”, with spectacles that explore the concept of “absurdity”, present in the works of playwrights like Samuel Beckett. The event also places great emphasis in education as the seed of all learning and creation, offering a program of activities for children, which encourages their creativity, as well as seminars, workshops and roundtables for adults.

The idea behind the Aichi Triennial is not to promote a scholarly, academic festival just for the experts. According to curator Lewis Biggs, the festival’s mission is to take art to the street and make it available to everyone. “We bring art to people who would not necessarily look for it. With this in mind, the venues for the exhibits will include an empty bowling alley, which will be demolished after the show, giving the artists freedom to transform the space as they wish.


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