8th Yokohama Triennale “ Wild Grass : Our Lives” Announcement of the Final List of Artists

Total of 93 artists 31 premiering in Japan & 20 presenting new commissions

The 8th Yokohama Triennale, titled Wild Grass: Our Lives, will open at the newly renovated Yokohama Museum of Art, the former Yokohama Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch, BankART KAIKO, Queen’s Square YOKOHAMA, and Motomachi-Chūkagai Station Accessway. Under the umbrella title of Wild Grass, partnering institutions such as BankART 1929 and Koganecho Area Management Center will present parallel thematic exhibitions.
The Artistic Directors, Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu, started conceptualizing the theme with the Chinese writer Lu Xun’s anthology Wild Grass, penned from 1924 to 1926, during a turbulent period in Chinese history. In 20th-century China, Lu Xun was a singularly solitary individual who constantly rebelled against existing situations and simultaneously a thinker who stayed attentive to the movements of the world, contemplating the fate of individuals and humanity within them. In Wild Grass, Lu Xun affirmed his conviction to confront desperation and to find a way out of complete darkness. The exhibition theme Wild Grass: Our Lives aspires to Lu Xun’s philosophy of the universe. It signifies a way of life that elevates the unquenchable force of individuals to a respectable existence that transcends all systems, rules, regulations, and forms of control and power. It is a model for flexible expression of individual subjectivity.

The Triennale, consisting of seven thematic chapters, features 93 artists/groups from 31 countries/regions, with 20 new commissions. It opens with Our Lives, which is a landscape where multiple challenges are intertwined with a disorganized yet irrepressible force of life. Here, various states of emergency and precarious existences are considered an everyday norm, instead of exceptions. It sets the tone of the entire exhibition, confronting our crisis-ridden reality while emphasizing the resilience and agency of the individual in the face of despair. At the heart of Our Lives, is the Directory of Life. It is a selection of essays by artists, thinkers, and social activists who have been reflecting on our time, history, and life in their specific situations since 2000. Their writings outline the political, intellectual, and cultural energies that lurk in everyday life. These practices and ideas allow us to discover utopian possibilities in our own historical situation.

It is followed by two chapters, My Liberation and All the Rivers, which look at subjective agencies, attempts, imaginaries, and actions that create horizons of possibilities for individuals within confined systems. Three remaining chapters, Streams and RocksDialogue with the Mirror, and Fires in the Woods, align with these promising horizons by highlighting the symbolic power of youth, awakened self, and cracks in the flows of life. The chapter, Symbol of Depression, echoes Our Lives through a profound critique of modernity. The exhibition makes visible the correlation between art and reality and the importance of ongoing and critical engagements with life and society for artistic practitioners. Overall, it is a timely response to the current art world where the intellectual capacity and the political agency of art are at risk as a consequence of the prevailing capitalization of art and the logic of the art industry.

For the full list of 93 artists, please see the Artists & Works page.