The Oku-Noto Triennale is set in Suzu City, the tip of the Noto Peninsula on the northern coast of Japan. This coastal area was a prosperous centre of commerce and cultural exchange during the golden age of maritime trade. The Noto Railway connecting the central to the northern Noto Peninsula exceeded 100km in its heyday. Surrounded by the sea and woods, Suzu has a rich ecosystem of satoyama and satoumi, which is listed as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage. The gift from nature nurtures its traditional industries, namely wine and pottery making, as well as its unique cultures, such as agehama-style salt making, the Kiriko giant lantern parade and hospitality rituals. This humble way of living with nature is inherited from generation to generation. Ever since the urbanisation and depopulation, Suzu has gradually become the most remote area in the Noto Peninsula dotted with abandoned railway tracks and empty platforms.
The Triennale is to use art to revitalise the "furthest edge of the world", while the "Station by the Sea" Residence and Exhibition Programme is set in the Former Ukai Station, on which artists will explore the nature, history, culture and human relations during their stay, and embark on a quest for inner self and cultural journey through art. The proposal, "😂", by the Hong Kong artist Dylan Kwok, addresses the norm that people are addicted to with mobile devices to receive endless messages on the internet and social media platforms in this digital technology and social media-driven era. Human relationships seem attached, yet is more distant than before. During his stay in Suzu, the artist will mimic as a shopkeeper on the station. He will introduce a novel way of communication, which is different from the current popular ones. The audience will handwrite their genuine experiences and post the warmth and joy with their love ones.
Over Coronavirus concerns, the Oku-Noto Triennale Executive Committee decided to postpone the Triennale originally scheduled for September till October 2020 to next year. To tie in with the Triennale, the "Station by the Sea" Residence and Exhibition Programme will then be postponed.
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