YOKOHAMA TRIENNALE 2014
Main Venues: Yokohama Museum of Art – Shinko Pier Exhibition Hall
The Yokohama Triennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art that is held in Yokohama once every three years. The exhibition features internationally prominent artists along with up-and-coming figures, and presents the latest trends and expressions in contemporary art.
Since the inaugural event in 2001, the triennale has been held four times, with the fifth exhibition scheduled for 2014. During this period, the world has been in a state of constant flux and the future remains unpredictable, as borne out by our own experiences in the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred several months prior to the fourth Yokohama Triennale in 2011. Under these circumstances, the exhibition has set out to address the relationship between Japan and the world, as well as the individual and society, and to reexamine the social role of art from a variety of perspectives.
Announcing Yokohama Triennale 2014 and the Appointment of Artistic Director
On the occasion of the fifth edition of the Yokohama Triennale, set to be held from August to November 2014, we are pleased to announce the appointment of the artist Morimura Yasumasa as artistic director.
The Yokohama Triennale, launched in 2001 to foster new ways of creating culture, has been held four times in the past. Based on a theme that embodies the specific issues and topics of the era, the triennale presents a wide range of works by artists who are internationally prominent as well as up-and-coming.
Since 2011, a year which marks the beginning of a great change in the Japanese consciousness due to the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake together with the tsunami and nuclear power plant disasters, an effort has been made to access the flexible concepts and views of artists, whose attitudes and ideas have the potential to help us reexamine our way of living and thinking. Thus, we have asked Morimura to serve as artistic director of the Yokohama Triennale 2014.
Since opening its port in the late 19th century, Yokohama has actively incorporated a variety of different cultures, and since implementing the Creative City Yokohama policy in 2004, the city has also strived to better utilize the potential of art and culture. The Yokohama Triennale is the core project in this undertak- ing. And while building on past achievements, the Yokohama Triennale 2014 will pursue new values that are essential to the current era through the medium of art and work to expand the channels that enable us to connect with the world.
We hope to receive the support and cooperation of many people in organizing the event, and we kindly ask that you consider covering the Yokohama Triennale 2014 in your publication.
Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale
Outline of Yokohama Triennale 2014
Program name: Yokohama Triennale 2014 Period: Early August to early November 2014 *Specific dates will be released as soon as they are finalized.
Venues: Yokohama Museum of Art and Shinko Pier Exhibition Hall Organizers: City of Yokohama, Yokohama Arts Foundation, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), The Asahi Shimbun, and Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale Artistic Director: MORIMURA Yasumasa
Statement by MORIMURA Yasumasa Artistic Director of Yokohama Triennale 2014
The Conscience of Art / Art of the Unknown
The future is unknown. But a ship has set sail from Yokohama Port, and to be completely honest, the journey is likely to be risky with me as the captain.
Being an artist, I’ ve never had the chance to serve as the artistic director of any international exhibitions. I am taking the wheel for the first time and the ship has already left port without my having had a chance to learn how to steer.
But it seems to me that this kind of slightly reckless launch is exactly what’ s needed for an international exhibition today.
Since 2000, international exhibitions have sprung up everywhere, both in Japan and abroad, and there is no longer anything special or different about them. The scale is merely large. And the festive air is merely an amusement. Many are reduced to a symbol of populism, globalism, and localism. Market principles have exerted a consciously strong influence on the art world, prompting questions not only from those concerned but also from viewers. And though these people may still be in the minority, they are bound to increase as time goes by.
I’ m not a fundamentalist, so I have no desire to unilaterally decide that art should be one way or another. And I would never opt for try to limit art by applying rigid constraints and eliminating all of the works that did not conform to them. But at the same time a total absence of rules would only lead to difficulties. Though I want to maintain a forum for free expression, I want to get rid of the idea that freedom should be the sole conviction.
So, what exactly are my convictions? I believe in the “conscience of art.” If there is a god of art, I would ask that the works that we present to him or her be offerings that can be presented without shame.
Thus, a professional curator, who knows that the key to success lies in one’s ability to deal with that head wind called “reality,” might see my views as little more than the dreams of an idealist and admonish me for being so naive in light of the fact that I have never assumed the weighty mantle of artistic director. And it’ s true – having a childish artist whose only standards of value are dreams and ideals at the helm is ex- tremely perilous. Yet with the outlook of an insecure novice trying to recapture the fading spirit of adven- ture, I am setting out on this voyage with a fresh preparedness as I head into the unknown of the art world. And this in itself is sure to lead to some worthwhile proposals.
Though the nearly two-year journey will be a long one, I hope you can keep a close eye on the ship’s progress with a sense of curiosity and affection. I look forward to working with you all.