Echigo Tsumari Art Field

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The 2015 triennial will be held from July 26 to September 13, 2015

The rural Echigo-Tsumari region of Niigata Prefecture is home to over a hundred fascinating and entertaining modern art installations exhibited throughout the area's 760 square kilometer landscape. Created by both Japanese and international artists, the artworks are often designed to incorporate the local environment and culture, and can be found in a wide variety of locations, such as in several of the local town centers, in old abandoned schools, or incorporated into the region's ubiquitous rice fields.

Every three years the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale takes place across the art field. For these events the artwork is updated and expanded, and nearly 200 temporary pieces are displayed in addition to the permanent installations. The festival first took place in 2000 as part of a successful revitalization plan to attract visitors to the region which has suffered from depopulation and a series of natural disasters. The next art triennial will be in summer 2015. Smaller festivals and events take place in the years between.

House Memory
Fireball Engine World

Besides the art exhibits, Echigo-Tsumari offers an attractive, rural landscape of terraced rice fields, forested hills and small villages. Agriculture continues to dominate the landscape of the region, and it is a good place to see "satoyama", the traditional lifestyle of living in harmony with nature.

However, the Echigo-Tsumari region is also dealing with grave problems, including a rapidly aging society and dramatic depopulation as many of the region's young people leave to escape the extreme winters and find better opportunities in the cities. One of the aims of the art field has been to bring people back to the area and involve the local population in sustainable attractions.

The landscape of Echigo-Tsumari

Furthermore, the Echigo-Tsumari region was hit badly by the Chuetsu earthquake in October 2004, which killed 39 people, injured thousands and damaged many buildings. More recently, a strong earthquake hit the region on March 12, 2011, one day after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and destroyed or damaged many homes and artworks, many of which have since been repaired.

Guide to the Echigo Tsumari Art Field

What To See

Last updated: October 24, 2012
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