MIND TRAIL 奥大和 心のなかの美術館
Photo: ©Okuyamato CR Promotion Committee

The new Mind Trail art festival is taking over the forests of Nara – and it’s free

Running from October 3 to November 15, Mind Trail is an outdoor art exhibition you have to explore on foot

Emma Steen
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Emma Steen
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Coronavirus may have put a spanner in the works for a lot of art festivals and museums in the past few months, but Seiichi Sato has designed a unique new exhibition that works around the new normal. One of the brilliant minds behind art and design company Rhizomatiks, Sato has unveiled a new art festival called Mind Trail, which will take place in the forests of Nara from October 3 to November 15.  

MIND TRAIL 奥大和 心のなかの美術館
Photo: ©Okuyamato CR Promotion Committee

During Japan’s state of emergency, when people rarely went outside, Sato noted the beneficial effects of spending time in nature, both for exercise and mental well-being. He found that coming into contact with soil and being surrounded by lush evergreen forests, lakes and rivers calmed his mind in times of stress. 

Sato wants to integrate the benefits of nature with the uplifting effect of an art festival, and has chosen three different parts of Nara for the event locations: Yoshino, Tenkawa and Soni. The list of participating artists includes Chizo Ueno, Mitsuaki Kimura, Saki Rikiishi, Atsushi Nishijima and Mihiro Hosoi, whose works will be installed along quiet forest paths where people can experience them on foot. Sato hopes that the change in atmosphere from a stuffy museum to a soothing forest will also provoke philosophical thoughts about the relationship between life, art and nature. 

MIND TRAIL 奥大和 心のなかの美術館
Photo: ©Okuyamato CR Promotion Committee

The details of each exhibiting artwork have yet to be announced, but the exhibitions for Yoshino, Soni and Tenkawa will start on October 3, 18 and 10, respectively, and run until November 15. Admission is free for all visitors.

Based on the original reporting by Shiori Kaneko.

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