Aichi Triennale, Ichinomiya, Japan
Artistic Director: Kataoka Mami
While primarily a painter, Yoshitomo Nara’s practice encompasses drawing; sculptures made of wood, FRP, ceramic, and bronze; installations that incorporate scrap materials; and photographs that document everyday landscapes and the encounters he has during his travels. Nara’s practice is entirely rooted in his mental and emotional stimulus, the feelings of curiosity sparked by what he sees and hears, and his interest in literature. He was strongly influenced by the music he listened to as a nine-year-old boy, and while many of those songs were in foreign languages, he used his imagination to overcome the language barrier—internalizing the vision of the world depicted on the record covers and understanding those works of art as if he were inhabiting them himself. While many of his contemporaries make their work with an audience in mind, Nara typically creates his works in a more personal mode; they originate from a struggle to express the self. The figures portrayed in Nara's works are born out of his deep introspection and a spiritual, ritualistic pursuit of the transcendental.
About Aichi Triennale
The theme of the 2022 edition of Aichi Triennale, STILL ALIVE, was inspired by a series of works entitled I Am Still Alive by the Aichi-born conceptual artist On Kawara, who continually dispatched the fact of his own existence during his lifetime using telegrams starting in the 1970s. This international art festival will offer a multi-dimensional interpretation of the words STILL ALIVE, revisiting the origins and sources of contemporary art while also focusing on the gaps between domains that have come to be classed according to fixed categories, all the while shuttling back and forth between the past, present, and future. Through the medium of art, Aichi Triennale promises encounters with uncertainty, the unknown, a diversity of values, and overwhelming beauty, while also serving as an opportunity for thinking about how we can create an ideal, sustainable future together. COVID-19, on the other hand, has curtailed transnational activities and projects, and directed our attention to the regions where we actually live and work. In terms of “regional rediscovery,” one of the distinctive characteristics of art festivals held in different cities, Aichi Triennale will also incorporate the proud history, local industries, and traditional culture of Aichi Prefecture, exploring the question of how to rejuvenate and revive these elements by taking the present time as a starting point, while also promising to be a creative response to the question of how to connect local cultures around the world to a wider global context.