Today I headed to Nakanojo in northwestern Gunma Prefecture to check out the Nakanojo Biennale which started on September 12, 2015 and will carry on for a month through to October 12, 2015. This contemporary art event is held once every two years, and I was pleased to be able to go this year. Most of the art installations are indoors and can be viewed between 09:30 and 17:00. I arrived earlier at Tsumugi, a community exchange area not far from Nakanojo Station, and bought my admission passport and guidebook.
The art festival is spread across a number of towns in Nakanojo, including the hot spring towns of Shima Onsen and Sawatari Onsen. Travelling between the different areas is best done by car and then each town on foot as parking may not be available near some of the exhibits.
Despite the cloudy weather, I had an enjoyable time at the Nakanojo Biennale looking at the different art works. Many of the installations make excellent use of empty schools and homes, drawing inspiration from the surrounding countryside landscape. Many of the works I saw mixed texture and form, while some pieces included sensory aspects like smell and sound. Some of my favourite pieces were in lumberyards which exuded a raw industrial feel. Some performing art events are held typically over the weekend, and their schedules can be found in the guidebook.
Below are some of the things I saw at the Nakanojo Biennale and would recommend it to those who enjoy art or being out in the countryside.