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Yokohama Triennale 2017

Concept

 Today, even as the global network broadly expands beyond the existing framework, the world is being rocked by conflicts and disputes, refugee and immigrant issues, and the United Kingdom’ so-called Brexit from the EU, among other things. In addition, in the environment inundated with the amount of information far beyond human processing capacity and highly and increasingly complex, rapid development of social network has caused our society to progressively resemble island universes and, furthermore, the activities of various small-scale collectives that seem to resist the logic of world powers or centralized governments are accelerating.

 With such a landscape as its backdrop, Yokohama Triennale 2017 , under the title “Islands, Constellations and Galapagos” will reexamine the state of global connectivity and isolation from various angles. The exhibition will potentially consider, among other things, the following: the archipelago-style existence of regions and cultural spheres; the world that is generally growing conservative; distinctive e volutions and diversifications that happen within the closed environments; and what kinds of potentials human imagination and creativity may manage to cultivate, faced with the world in which such conflicting concepts and aspects intricately and fluidly intertwine.

 Today, at this turning point of an era, Yokohama Triennale 2017 aims to capture anew the complexity, profundity, and nexus of the world that cannot be grasped merely through a digital perspective (the worldview consisting of 0 and 1). With the courage of ancient sailors who sailed the open seas with stars as their guideposts and with human imagination that painted mythological images and wove narratives in the sky by connecting the stars, we hope to recapture them from multifaceted perspectives. The triennale intends, then, to provide the place where, together with a diverse range of people, we contemplate what we shall consider wisdom for our future.

Yokohama, the Opened Port

2017 marks the 150th year since Taisei Hōkan (the return of political power to the Emperor), which signified the collapse of the feudal system and the beginning of modernization in Japan. Yokohama was one of the first ports Japan opened to foreign ships after over two hundred years of seclusion policy, inducing the said collapse and subsequent modernization, so the themes of connectivity and isolation are directly linked to its historical background. In planning Yokohama Triennale 2017, with the image of various things and ideas coming together at the time of the port’ —and the country’ —opening in mind, and with the hope that this triennale will not merely serve as an exhibition of contemporary art but also provide occasions for conversations/discussions, contemplation, and sharing/co-existence, we decided to host two separate series of gatherings, titled Conception Meeting and Yokohama Round, through which we will explore various concepts.

Conception Meeting

We have initiated a series of Conception Meetings this summer, with the three directors and six experts from the fields of art, anatomy, and philosophy, among others as participants. The meetings have been convened for the purpose of holding multidisciplinary discussions that transcend the barriers of existing ideological frameworks and specializations and reflecting them on the Triennale’s planning, concepts, and contents.

Yokohama Round

Starting in January 2017, well before the opening of the Triennale, and continuing up to the closing of the exhibition, Yokohama Round will welcome experts from even wider variety of disciplines and hold a series of public forums in which we will consider various issues and possibilities that the words “islands,” “constellations,” and “Galapagos” may evoke. In addition, we plan to collaborate with educational institutions including local universities.

October 11, 2016
Yokohama Triennale 2017 Directors
Akiko Miki, Eriko Osaka, and Tomoh Kashiwagi