The Aichi Triennale 2022 is at the halfway point and has attracted more than 170,000 visitors in total since its opening on July 30th, 2022. The fifth edition of Aichi Triennale is led by the Artistic Director Kataoka Mami (Director, Mori Art Museum / President, CIMAM), and goes on till October 10, 2022.
Table of Contents
The title as well as its theme STILL ALIVE was inspired by the artwork series I Am Still Alive by the Aichi-born conceptual artist On Kawara. Total of 100 artists/groups hail from 32 countries/regions spread across the five continents*: Asia Pacific (Japan 38, South East Asia 8, Oceania 8, West Asia 1), Europe (17), North America (15), South America (8), and Africa (4).
More than half of the overseas artists exhibited their works for the first time in Japan. In the contemporary art section, 49 artists/groups including Anne Imhof, Theaster Gates and Delcy Morelos, were commissioned to create new works for the Aichi Triennale 2022.
While 55 artists are based outside of Japan, 27 artists/groups managed to come to Aichi to create their works despite the strict Japanese border control due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, ticket sales for performing arts have been strong including Steve Reich Special Concert and John Cage Europeras 3&4 which were well received. From Oct 4th, Apichatpong Weerasethakul will show his first VR performance and let visitors commune with invisible ghost-like presences.
Artworks and installations
Words from the curatorial advisers
After being assigned, I started with the question, ‘Is it possible to have an international art festival when we can’t travel abroad?’ Consequently I sort of ‘curated the curators’ from across five continents whom I respect and have admired for a long time. This curatorial team suggested the artists whose work responds to the theme STILL ALIVE. Among the over 300 candidates, I weaved a story and made the final selection of 100 artists/groups. Walking through the exhibition, artists have presented works that far exceeded what I had imagined. It was as if what each curator had in mind was woven into the warp and weft of the story, crossing over the venues. By seeing the exhibition over and over again, I am sure you will see the connections between the various works. You will hear the messages from some unfamiliar or deceased artists. I hope that you will take the time to enjoy the festival and find out what STILL ALIVE means to each of you.Kataoka Mami, Artistic Director [Director, Mori Art Museum / President, CIMAM]
Rhana Devenport, Curatorial Adviser [Director, Art Gallery of South Australia]
I had a positive and cheerful impression of the theme STILL ALIVE. I felt faith in art and in creation. What I had in mind was to prepare and run the exhibition through a healthy process. The art industry is often criticized for its poor working environment. I aimed to build up the exhibition with a hale and hearty environment. While selecting artists, I was interested in art brut and outsider art, so I recommended artists based in welfare facilities. I Am Still Alive, by On Kawara is proof of survival. For those who are in the welfare facilities, creating a work is a pleasure and a joy, as well as a connection to society. Their works are also proof of their survival. As the Aichi Triennale unites plastic arts with music, performance, or traditional crafts, I was glad to introduce these art brut works while maintaining a reasonable distance between them.Nakamura Fumiko, Curator of Contemporary Art [Senior Curator, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art]
I proposed artists to stitch between the other curators’ ideas. I thought about life, physicality, decay, and the existence and extinction of the body. Besides realizing Kataoka’s vision, I am also faced with the proposition of how to sustain the Aichi Triennale itself. I first got involved as a curator in 2013, then as the chief curator in 2019, and now in this edition. STILL ALIVE is a theme that not only confronts us human beings but is also pertinent for the festival itself. Lewis Biggs, my colleague curator of the Aichi Triennale 2013, says that the significance of an art festival is to ‘measure the time.’ What we should do now and how the festival can contribute to society in the long term. Simryn Gill is not a participating artist but I have often recalled what she once said in an interview article ‘(it’s a politics of) how we can be political without being political.’ And this attitude can be felt throughout the exhibition. As I move from one venue to another, I find myself revising the theme STILL ALIVE over and over again from different angles.Iida Shihoko, Chief Curator Independent Curator
I felt that the theme STILL ALIVE coincides with a time when people are actually greeting each other to establish that they are doing fine despite the pandemic. The theme will interest even those who do not usually come into contact with the arts or theaters. I thought of artists who deal with words and performances in different forms such as voice, music, and poetry. Their works give us a sense of being alive and are a response to life. I receive their works with my body and with a sense of reality. They remind me of things that I knew but have forgotten. A sense of buried sensations comes back to life. Aichi Triennale is a great chance to experience various physical senses responding to both performing arts and contemporary art.Fujii Akiko, Performing Arts Adviser [Producer, Aichi Prefectural Art Theater]
When I heard about the theme STILL ALIVE, it reminded me of the 800 volunteers. Forty to fifty percent of them are newcomers to the organization, which has been in existence since Expo 2005 in Aichi. I referred to the visual thinking method developed at MoMA in the 1980s and 90s. It originated from the hypothesis that it is possible to weave a context through the creativity of the non-professionals, general viewers beside the historical context of the art. Volunteers have received this training and it is very impressive to see how they learn this method. As the exhibition opens, I feel that the creativity of the viewers will begin to flourish. I believe that artists are the initiators, and art is only possible when the viewers are present and they speak about it. Viewers attach various contexts to art. I look forward to seeing people spin a story about their personal life, and hearing a unique story that I could never have imagined.Aida Daiya, Curator of Learning [Artistic Director, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media YCAM]
The Aichi Triennale is an urban international art festival, held every three years since 2010 across a wide region including the Aichi Arts Center and other city venues. The festival spans a wide range of fields, synthetically exhibiting performing art and other forms together with a contemporary art core, and make Aichi Prefecture a beacon of the artistic avant-garde.