Aichi triennale 2013

Awakening – Where are we standing? Earth Memory and Resurrection

The first Aichi Triennale of 2010 brought festivity to the city with art flowing and diffusing into the urban space.

The International Art Triennale will take place again in 2013.

While reflecting on arts in the wake of the 2011 East Japan Earthquake, the coming second Aichi Triennale, Awakening – Where Are We Standing? – Earth, Memory and Resurrection, will bring together from within and outside Japan cutting-edge contemporary arts, performing arts including dance and theater, and operas which manifest and resonate with the socio-political reverberations occurring in various areas of the world.

Aichi Triennale accommodates both contemporary art and stage performances, which is one of its unique features.

Art works which traverse different genres will be eagerly pursued to encourage lovers of both art and performing arts to easily encounter arts outsides their preferred genres.

Previously, arts journeyed out from within the museums’ walls and entered into the urban spaces of Nagoya city. This time, they will extend further into the city of Okazaki and ornament its spaces.

Devices that will deliver arts to various locations within Aichi will also be planted.

To make visits to the Triennale more fruitful, tour maps will be provided for the historically and architecturally significant buildings visitors will encounter throughout the course of the venues. It will be a wonderful opportunity to open some of these architectures to the public since they are usually restricted.

We aim to make Aichi Triennale 2013 not only an event where people can enjoy the arts, but also an opportunity to stimulate the everyday and to make visible the cities’ charms once again.

We hope that the Triennale will offer visitors with a different landscape of the world.

Curatorial Statement

Preparations are now underway for Aichi Triennale 2013, eagerly anticipated following the first and highly successful Triennale in 2010, which welcomed over 570,000 visitors.

But it’s a launch on turbulent seas. Triggered by the terrible earth-shaking force of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the ocean, once bearer of so much natural bounty, assailed towns along the coastline in a catastrophe compounded by a nuclear power plant accident. The international arts showcase that is the Aichi Triennale comes at a time of enormous challenges for Japan, and a pressing need to turn the nation’s fortunes around. Thus, while naturally retaining the best elements of the first Triennale in terms of presenting cutting-edge artistic practice, Aichi Triennale 2013 will incorporate new plans and contemporary developments aimed at helping us to navigate these choppy waters.

In the late nineteenth century Paul Gauguin produced a painting titled “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” In contrast, at this Triennale we seek to ponder the question: “Where are we standing?”

Bereft of the very foundations we took for granted, and with existing frameworks in a state of flux, we need to work out what has happened to the ground we stand on: our identity. It is a question, in my view, that also prompts us to ponder in a specific way the inherent character of places. Festive scenes that spill out onto the streets, as opposed to remaining inside the box of the museum, are a feature of the Aichi Triennale, and by interposing the arts afresh, we not only open up the possibilities of urban spaces, but through the works presented, rediscover the everyday places in which we already stand.

Drawing out the power of place and altering the meaning of space are not just about art and architecture. At this Triennale, in the field of performing arts too spaces characterized by experimental fusion with the visual arts will emerge that are only accessible in the here and now.

The catastrophe of March 11 this year in which so many lives were lost sparked debate on what role art could possibly play in the face of such monumental tragedy. Nor is this a solely Japanese question.

Opinions vary, but I’m certain most would agree that one role art ought to play is that of the most powerful cultural memory device ever created by humanity to ensure the past is not forgotten. Art should also summon up memories, and resurrect hope. So that we can pick ourselves up and begin to walk, gazing up at blue skies.

The aim of Aichi Triennale 2013 will be to probe society about the power of art via memories and resurrection linked to particular places, and make the communities where we live brighter and better.

Taro Igarashi

Artistic Director

Taro Igarashi was born in 1967 in Paris, France.

After graduating from the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering in the University of Tokyo. Igarashi completed a master’s degree at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo and obtained a PhD in engineering. He lectured at Chubu University before becoming first an assistant professor and since 2009 a professor at the Graduate School of Tohoku University.

From 2007 to 2009 he was a member of the Arts Encouragement (Fine Arts Division) Recommendation Committee of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, and was Commissioner of the Japanese Pavilion at the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture.

He was also a member of the selection committee for the Choja-machi Curatorial Competition at the Aichi Triennale 2010.


Jun Aoki, Noe Aoki, Blast Theory, Mitch Epstein, Invisible Playground, Junya Ishigami, Alfredo Jaar, Aernout Mik, Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Yoshitomo Nara, Kohei Nawa, Shinjiro Okamoto, Yoko Ono, Open United Studio, Nira Pereg, Dan Perjovschi, Wit Pimkanchanapong, Walid Raad, Hiroshi Sugito, Go Watanabe, Richard Wilson, Kenji Yanobe, Tomoko Yoneda, Mamagoto, Miwa Yanagi, Carlo Montanaro, Tetsu Taoshita

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