The Setouchi Triennale 2022 is scheduled to start in pretty much a year. So far information is really scarce about it, but the first official pieces were made available a few days ago!
And yes, it’s about its schedule.
It should be taking place on the following dates:
- Spring: April 14 – May 18
- Summer: August 5 – September 4
- Autumn: September 29 – November 6
This is all I have for you right now.
I know, this is not a lot. And to be honest, while I want to be optimistic, I also want to be realistic. It’s the Japanese way to always announce schedules when they’re supposed to be announced, even if it means rescheduling at a later date. The fact is that the situation remains volatile and uncertain. The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial should be starting very soon, but it has just been postponed. No other date has been announced yet. The pandemic is still raging on, and no one knows when it’ll be over.
Since April, worryingly so, many Japanese people and Japanese institutions have been trying their best to resume a somewhat normal life, and as a result, the number of infections at the moment is the highest in Japan since the beginning of the pandemic.
Until now, Japan has been really lucky compared to the Americas, Europe, and some other places in the world, but I’m afraid it’s been pushing its luck a little bit too much these days.
Let’s not forget that the vaccination campaign has barely started here. As I’m typing this, only 0.8% of the population has been vaccinated! The current date for the start of mass vaccination is set to September. So while the Triennale will probably be able to start as scheduled, its “international” dimension is still up in the air. Will Japan have reopened its borders by then? Nobody can tell.
So, please mark your calendars, but maybe with an asterisk or a question mark next to the dates.
I wish this post could be a bit more upbeat, but the situation doesn’t really call for upbeat at the moment.
The other information I have to give you about the Setouchi Triennale 2022 is that some plans have already changed. Back in 2019, there were a few hiccups with some artworks – luckily unnoticed by the visitors. You may or may not know which artworks I’m referring to, but know that a handful was barely finished, or even half-assed (let’s not name names, if you know, you know, if you don’t, well… sorry, but I’m not going to spill the beans – reread my old posts, I dropped some hints). I don’t really know the reasons for the problems that arose, but time seems to have been the source of at least some of them.
In order to avoid this issue in 2022, it had been decided that participants would be selected and announced as early as last winter, more than a year in advance. And well… It couldn’t happen. Difficult to meet artists, and for them to come and visit the sites when international travel is pretty much non-existent at the moment.
I assume that the executive committee and the festival directors have a shortlist ready, but no public announcement (it was planned for last January). No date for an announcement either.
Anyway, having a schedule for next year is a positive sign. The preparations are underway, just slower than usual.
At least it has given me time to reorganize and to update my Setouchi Triennale general information page:
Make sure to bookmark it. I’ll be updating it every time I get new information between now and the end of the Triennale 2022. I’ll write a post here about big updates. I’ll announce the smaller ones on social media.
I’m leaving you with one of my very favorite artworks from 2019. I never found the time to tell you about it before. Of course, this damn pandemic messed up all of my plans too this past year. It is For something exists inside by Ai Yamada. It was located on Takamijima but was unfortunately only temporary despite being beloved by many people.
And if my schedule is not as insane as last year, I’ll try to complete my retrospective of the 2019 edition before 2022. We’ll see.
(side note: if you have doubts about how much teachers actually work when they teach online, the answer is about double if not triple the usual amount)