Aichi Triennale is happening this year and it’s just 90 minutes from Tokyo

This is one of Japan’s biggest art festivals, attracting big names including Chiharu Shiota and On Kawara

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

It’s a big year for artists and art lovers as some of Japan’s biggest contemporary art festivals are back. And we’re not just talking about the long-awaited Setouchi Triennale. Aichi prefecture, for instance, will be hosting its fifth Aichi Triennale from July 30 through October 10. 

Aichi Triennale
Photo: Andy Keate, courtesy of the artist and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art AalborgRoman Ondak, 'Event Horizon', 2016

Dozens of local and international artists have been invited to exhibit their works at the Aichi Arts Center this year, which comprises several facilities including the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art and the Aichi Prefectural Theater. The arts centre is a five-minute train ride from Nagoya Station, which in turn is just an hour and a half away from Tokyo on the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen.

ケイト・クーパー インフェクション・ドライバーズ 2018 Image courtesy of the artist
Photo: Courtesy of Kate CooperKate Cooper, 'Infection Drivers', 2018

In theory, you could make a day trip out of it. However, you should stay overnight as the festival also stretches into nearby historical towns like Arimatsu in Nagoya, famous for its traditional Edo-style architecture, and Tokoname City in Chubu, which has a long and fascinating history of pottery. 

河原温 ソル・ルウィットに宛てた電報 1970年2⽉5⽇ 《I Am Still Alive》(1970‒2000)より LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut, USA © One Million Years Foundation
Photo: LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut, USA © One Million Years FoundationOn Kawara, 'Telegram to Sol LeWitt', 1970

The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Still Alive’. It’s both an affirmation of hope in times of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a nod to Aichi-born conceptual artist On Kawara, who began a series of works in the 1970s titled 'I Am Still Alive'. 

Participating artists include Chiharu Shiota, Mit Jai Inn, Cao Fei, Roman Ondak, Aki Sasamoto, Kate Cooper and Kaylene Whiskey, among many others. They will be presenting pieces ranging from photography and sculptures to performance art and multimedia works. 

モハンマド・サーミ 《難民キャンプ》2020 Courtesy of the artist and Modern Art, London
Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Modern Art, LondonMohammed Sami, 'Refugee Camp', 2020

Advance tickets are now available: ¥1,500 (university students ¥1,000) for single-day access, ¥2,500 for multi-day passports (university students ¥1,700). After July 29, one-day tickets will cost ¥1,800 for general admission (¥1,200 for university students) while multi-day passes will cost ¥3,000 for the general public (¥2,000 for university students). Admission for high school students or younger is free. 

Book your tickets here

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