Echigo Tsumari Art Field

The Rice Field, a piece by Ilya & Emilia Kabakov

Project: Echigo Tsumari Art Field

Year created: 2000

Location: the Echigo-Tsumari region of Japan

What is the piece’s impact? Currently, approximately 160 artworks by artists from all over the world are dotted across the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. This project also includes the creation of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale – one of the world’s largest international art festivals, held every three years. The project has led to a revitalization of an economically depressed part of the country and an appreciation of this unique part of the Japanese landscape.

How does this project relate to this change as art? From a social standpoint, artists are invited into a process of doing art on someone’s property, requiring them to collaborate with locals in the creation of art.Urban youth are also invited to come to the country to help with the project, and the process learn with and from the elders who still live in the region… “it has become apparent that Echigo-Tsumari has become a place for hope for those living in the cities. Young people as well as those with more experienced are jointly participating in building a “new hometown”(source).  From an environmental standpoint, the project encourages people to slow down get into nature – “the rich nature of the satoyama existence in Echigo-Tsumari can impel us to review our attitude to the environment, calling into question the modern paradigm which has caused such environmental destruction. This is the origin of the concept “humans are part of nature”, which has become the overarching concept for every program taking place in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. Regional development in Echigo Tsumari is advanced with the aim to present a model for how people can relate to nature.” (source)

What makes this an artistic project? It’s  essentially a giant outdoor gallery that is replensihed every few years via an art festival.

Green Villa, a piece by Ritsuko Taho

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