‘Still Alive’ - Aichi Triennale celebrates spirit of creativity and pandemic resilience
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 640 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Held every three years in Japan since 2010, the Aichi Triennale is an urban international art festival, held across four cities. The festival celebrates global visual and performing arts, showcases local culture, and brings art into people’s daily lives.
Aichi is the fourth most populous prefecture in Japan, known for its agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The three-month festival, held from July 30 to October 10 this year, also showcases its artistic sides.
On my third visit to Japan, I had the good fortune to experience the festival in Aichi, a short bullet-train ride from Tokyo. See also my earlier photo essays on the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and Bangkok Biennale.
The festival this year features the works of 80 artists in Nagoya’s Aichi Arts Centre, 19 artists in Ichinomiya, 12 artists in Tokoname, and nine artists in Arimatsu. The attractions also include music, dance, educational programmes, collaborative projects, and traveling exhibitions.
“In the post-COVID-19 era, the question of how we might recover a sense of daily life and socio-economic activity in order to build a sustainable and more equitable world is an urgent one that the entire world will face,” explains Kataoka Mami, Artistic Director, Aichi Triennale 2022.
“The theme of Aichi Triennale 2022, ‘STILL ALIVE,’ was inspired by a series of works titled I Am Still Alive by the Aichi-born conceptual artist On Kawara,” she describes. Through a series of telegrams in the 1970s, he continually proclaimed the fact of his own existence.
Featured artists at the Aichi Arts Centre, some of whose works are showcased in this photo essay, include On Kawara, Wago Ryoichi, Shiomi Mieko, Pablo Dávila, Kaz Oshiro, Hoda Afshar, Oizumi Kazufumi, Diemut Strebe, Sasamoto Aki, Momose Aya, and Mohammed Sami.
The artworks are inspired by metaphors for the passage of time, artistic photography based on lunar phases, tapestries, hairstyles, newspaper editions, recurring patterns of text, and miniature boxed depictions of reality.
“Art, including contemporary art and the performing arts, has always reflected the times, pursued the truth, and proposed new values for the future in the face of uncertainty throughout its history,” Kataoka adds.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All exhibition photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the Triennale.)
Edited by Megha Reddy