When I travel for many days to countries where the cost of living is high, I often think ‘how do I enjoy as much as possible while saving money.’ Anyway, I prefer this kind of travel over extravagant trips. This time, although I went to Japan Alps Art Festival 2017 as a visitor, I didn’t buy a passport (2,500yen). But I enjoyed myself mainly viewing free art exhibits for the whole day. This is my best kind of day. 🙂
Honestly, I almost copied and pasted all of each art exhibit explanation from the official page. Because I often don’t completely understand even if I read the explanation of what the art is. 😅 But I like art, unique and cool things…
Art No.27 Tying Cloud Knots by Yasuaki Igarashi ↑
The braid begins at the lake and is woven vertically up into the sky until it is eventually bound to the clouds. It’s expressing the cycle of nature, in which the water from the melted snow of the Northern Alps returns back to clouds. It symbolizes the connections and act of helping one another, too.
First thing, around 9:30 am, I went to the Art No.27 “Tying Cloud Knots” exhibit, which I wanted to see and take pictures of before it became crowded.
Around this lake is a campsite where I saw a few campers. When I stood on the quiet lakeside, I felt peaceful. Also, I heard this pier is a famous spot from an animation movie.
Art No.24 Beyond the Veil by Caitlind R.C. BROWN & Wayne GARRETT
Brown and Garrett learned that there were more than 8 million vacant houses in Japan and were shocked by abandoned houses around Lake Kizaki. They focused on regional population decline issues and they put up a large white veil on several abandoned houses. They expressed the global problem faced by modern cities of the world.
Art No.30 Shinano-Omachi Tangible Landscape by “Mé” of the creative team
The creative team Mé focused on the landscape of Shinano Omachi as seen out of a window of a house on the top of Mt. Takagari.
Rooms of the house were all white and there were no sharp corners. Artists made these shapes using wood, then many workers applied putty. I paid for this exhibit (300yen). I thought the rooms were comfortable. It was worth it to pay for this exhibit.
Art No.32 Windy by Kuei-Chih Lee, Taiwan
Based on the theme of “wind,” Lee created a sculpture form of wind using the trees and branches from the forest near Mt. Takagari. “Windy” reveals the relationship between Taiwan and Japan, both countries in the path of typhoons, as well as the importance of the ecological balance between humans and nature.
This art is in the forest and I walked from art exhibit No.30 to here, but it’s not so far and there were many shade trees. I enjoyed it as it was similar to hiking in the mountains.
Art No.33 Bamboo Waves by Nikolay Polissky
In his first visit to Japan, he was deeply moved by the beauty of the bamboo forest in Yasaka, a small farming village. It gave him the feeling of the idyllic scenery of traditional Japan. The unprecedented bamboo structure of “Bamboo Waves” was built with the help of the local people and overlooks the landscape of Yasaka.
Art No.8 The First Kurobe Dam by Takashi Kuribayashi
Mr. Kuribayashi created an installation in one of the empty stores in the town shopping district by combining a 1/40 scale model of the Kurobe Dam* and a hot foot bath. Those black mountains are made of soil. Although this hot water is not spring water, visitors still soaked their feet in it.
*Kurobe Dam is the highest dam in Japan.
Art No.2 Swaying House Rintaro HARA＋Yu HARA
Based on the water, it shows how things sway in nature. The artists created a place that seemed to sway back and forth, inviting nature, history and the stories handed down through generations into the house, connecting people to the land and people to people.
This is upstairs in the house. And I heard there was a humidifier making the soap bubbles, so this room was humid. Visitors could help create the bubbles by pulling a rope, which I tried I pulled it slowly, then they showed up. I enjoyed it a few times. 😄
Art No. 1. Garden of Beginning” across from the Shinano-Omachi Station by Rintaro HARA＋Yu HARA
Here is the information center across from the station of Shinano-Omachi. It also contains art scattered throughout, showing many motifs and animals of the Northern (Japanese) Alps, which expresses the feeling of excitement of the beginning of a journey.
I could get a free water, but it’ was only one bottle a person. 😀
Art No.14 Tatsu by Patrick TUTTOFUOCO
Tuttofuoco thought the art festival would help revitalize the region, as the dragon helped the people in the legend of this area. He directed his focus on the eye of the dragon, a symbol of the water god, and visualizes a new dragon in the present day.
Hmm… I took a picture of the art but actually, I had trouble understanding its meaning. But I heard if we stand on the local dam, we can see the likeness of those eyes in the mountain.
Art No.11. Spring of Soil by Yusuke Asai
The artist and workers drew a big picture on the wall with soil. The images it contains were derived from a combination of the local landscape, inspiration from the area residents and from the artist’s imagination.
Art No.16. Trieb– Forest in Rain by Toshikatsu Endo
Drawing water from the forest stream and splashing it out as if there were faucets attached to the trees. It represents the overwhelming volume, form, weight and sound of the water from the Northern Alps flowing swiftly beneath the ground in Shinano Omachi.
This was my favorite exhibit. It was quiet and so comfortable, with water drops, a stream and many shade trees. I thought I wanted to daydream in this forest. 😌
Art No.17 Water Surface Landscape- Lights underwater -Mountain Monolith by Goro Hirata
The natural landscape and two filtering systems for the water.
Hmm… I took a picture of the art but honestly, I didn’t get it, as well.
Others: Animal bed
When I went to the Art No.17, there was a staffer from the art festival. He said, “a deer or boar probably slept in this hollow.” It was so interesting, as I don’t see this in my daily life. 😀
Art No.15 Arc ZERO by James TAPSCOTT
The artist created a ring of fog that illuminated and surrounded the arched bridge on the road to Hotokezaki Kannonji Temple, seen as a “gateway” leading from this world to the next.
It’s better to go over the bridge in the evening time, as it’s more beautiful when the sun sinks and the forest is becoming dark.
Below three arts (Art No.30, No.8 and No.2) need fee 300yen each.
I think this art festival plays a role for revitalizing the community of this city. So, I didn’t pay for the passport, I ate lunch, dinner and I bought many foods at the supermarket in the town. Above all, I met the local people, who were nice. 🙂
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