Report from Niigata

I have just posted a brief photo report of highlights from the Echigo-Tsumari Triennial in Niigata. Check it out on Tokyo Art Beat‘s site. While it is impossible to summarize such a diverse and spread out exhibition, these were some of the works that I enjoyed during the opening week.

Now that I think about the show it feels like the spaces in between the artists’ work are actually more significant than many of the works themselves. The installations themselves are intriguing but their site-specificity leads one toward the landscape and people themselves, somehow bringing the little details of the inaka that so often go unnoticed into focus. If you do make it out to see the show this summer my best advice is: get lost.

The most fascinating aspects of the area are in the winding back roads and dead end alleyways.

Photo: James Jack
Photo: James Jack


One response to “Report from Niigata”

  1. Hey James!

    Love how you pay attention and mention the space in between the works of art. I haven’t seen this exhibition (and likely won’t have the honour to – Japan is FAR! heh!), so maybe in this particular context it is an obvious feature.

    However, it is true that, in most general cases, the site is not very predominantly featured. In fact, I think that often we try to hide it, blend it in the exhibit (or is it the other way around, blend the exhibit within the site?)

    But, when you stop to think about it, how can the exhibit exist WITHOUT the site? It, by it’s very definition, HAS to exist WITHIN the site, and would be completely changed if the setting itself was changed. Imagine an exhibit on photographs of clouds in the sky, first in a blue room with white accents. Then, in a dark room. Then, in a red and orange room. Totally different messages being passed on: the first draws attention to the content of the photographs, and provides continuity. The second draws attention to the dark skies, the opposite of the blue and clouds, and makes any night photography present stand out – it has a darkest, gloomier feel. The third alludes to storms and/or sunsets/sunrises. In every cases, the exhibition sites becomes an intrinsic part of the exhibit, and really, shouldn’t be overlooked.

    I haven’t had time to stop by your article on Tokyo Art Beat (active toddler on the loose!! I wrote this as she was eating her snack – sneaking moments online, love it lol! :)), but I will take a peek at it when she naps!