art place japan


Can you imagine a place like this? Well you don’t have to, because it’s real:

Every three years, three hundred square miles of land in northwestern Japan are transformed into the most ambitious and largest-scale art installation in the world: the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. One hundred sixty of the world’s best-known landscape artists, sculptors, and architects create artworks in two hundred villages that dot the mountains and terraced rice fields of the Japanese countryside, with the intent of rediscovering relationships between nature, art, and humanity, forging collaborations between global artists and local communities, and connecting people to each other and the land.

Half a million people make the annual pilgrimage to witness this unique art project. Art Place Japan offers an exhaustive full-color catalog of the eight hundred artworks created during the past fifteen years. For those lucky enough to visit, this book, the first in English on the subject, also offers detailed information on how to visit the often-remote sites, with travel information and a newly commissioned map that locates the projects throughout the Niigata Prefecture.

So there you have it! And if you can’t get yourself there, this lovely new book – Art Place Japan: The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the Vision to Reconnect Art and Nature by Fram Kitagawa – can help you at least pretend!


{1. Harumi Yukutake (Japan), Restructure, 2006-ongoing; Image credit: Masanori Ikeda  / 2. Kyota Takahashi (Japan), Gift for Frozen Village, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 ; Image credit: Osamu Nakamura / 3. Antje Gummels (Germany/Japan),
 Traveling Inside, 2009
; Image credit: Isamu Murai   / 4. Chiyoko Todaka (Japan),
 Yamanaka Zutsumi Spiral Works, 2006; Image credit: Hisao Ogose}

Available at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / PAPress / IndieBound

comments (8)

  1. Cecile /// 11.13.2015 /// 10:29am

    Yet another reason to go to Japan…. sigh…

  2. Carla /// 11.13.2015 /// 2:02pm

    I couldn’t think of a better excuse to travel to Japan! It seems wonderful

  3. Lisa /// 11.14.2015 /// 11:10pm

    So wonderful to see this represented on your blog! 🙂 Just had a symposium on “Socially Engaged Art in Japan” at my university 😀

  4. Leah /// 11.18.2015 /// 1:06pm

    Oh, Jealous Curator! After seeing this I realized you HAVE to see a Canadian version at the amazing installations at Les Jardins de Metis (also called the Reford Gardens), which is on the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec! Every summer this beautiful garden hosts a variety of garden designers who make what are basically art installations at their International Garden Festival. I think you would love it. If you look at the website, it is under “Festival” and all the different years are documented. The head of the garden Alexander Reford is an amazing guy. If you come see it, let me know because we go there in July!

  5. the jealous curator /// 11.18.2015 /// 6:03pm

    wow! so cool! (ps. i love quebec… i got married there!)

  6. Must-Reads for Creatives 11.22.15 - In Tandem /// 11.22.2015 /// 7:49am

    […] Art Place Japan (world’s largest art installation!) >>>  […]

  7. om pom happy /// 11.27.2015 /// 7:45am

    wow… so beautiful…. would love to visit!

  8. Jeroen Stok /// 08.14.2016 /// 1:32pm

    Amazing! Dreamlike – it would be right to travel to Japan just for the sole purpose to visit this show.