Held every 2 years, the Tokyo Biennale is an international art festival that sets the city of Tokyo as its main stage. The festival is a new type of event that aims to dig deep into the city, as it is created together with the area’s local citizens, as well as a wide variety of artists and creators from around the world.
- Tokyo Biennale 2020/2021
- Unseen Everyday Scene ― Purity×Earnestness×Deviation ―
- July to September 2021
*Please note that some event periods may be changed.
- General Non-Profit Incorporated Organization Tokyo Biennale
- Taito City
Chiyoda City Tourism Association
Embassy of Iceland in Tokyo
Embassy of Israel
- Special Support
- Ishibashi Foundation
- Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, asian cultural council, Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, Japan : 2021 Fund for Creation of Society by the Arts and Culture
see this page
- Special Sponsor
- Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co. Ltd.
- Nippon Paint Co., Ltd.
see this page
- Special Cooperation
- 3331 Arts Chiyoda
Artist initiative Command N
- Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd.
- General Director
- Masato Nakamura, Kazuko Koike
- Project Producer
- Shinobu Nakanishi
- Creative Director
- Naoki Sato
- Liaison Director
- Kiyoshi Hashimoto
- Social Project Director
- Tatsuya Ito, Naoki Sato, Tsukasa Nishida, Ren Fukuzumi, Kiyoshi Kusumi, Yoshitaka Mori
- Across the 4 wards – Chiyoda City, Chuo City, Bunkyo City, and Taito City – of the Northeastern area of central Tokyo.
Historical architecture, Public place schools, Rooftop of shops, Idle facilities (both indoor and outdoor)
- Ticket price
- Announcement of ticket information is scheduled around March 2021
Art x Community x Industry
A new city and culture to call our own, built by our own hands in our own place
The Tokyo Biennale aims at creating activities to become events shared by everyone through many kinds of encounters made between us all.
New groups of people have gathered in the area comprising of local citizens with deep roots, as well as those from all over Japan and the entire world. While all kinds of people are living, working, and enjoying the cosmopolitan city of Tokyo, art is what connects them from across different backgrounds as it brings to life our neighborhoods’ histories and draws out the future. From here, the concept of “us” emerges and each person may even discover a new “me”.
Under the theme of “Purity x Earnestness x Deviation”, the key words are “art x community x industry” as we work with people in the area to build our own culture in our own place with activities surrounding the concepts of “HISTORY & FUTURE”, “EDUCATION”, “WELL-BEING”, and “RESILIENCY”.
The Tokyo Biennale is a celebration for the new city and culture that we ourselves will build.
Art x Community x Industry
HISTORY & FUTURE
The future cannot be discussed without knowing the memories left in the places where we live. Starting with bringing up the memories from Edo’s history and culture, problems in contemporary society will be drawn out in order to think about the future. In turn, the future will be visualized through memories hidden in history.
Tokyo Biennale will become the catalyst for actualizing STEAM (skills of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics), which integrates fields that are usually held separate in our education system. Through the programming, students of all types of fields will cooperate and become involved with local citizens, which will result in the nurturing of human resources adept at problem-solving.
WELL-BEING refers to the good physical, emotional, and social state of individuals. In society, this is the continued state of political, economic, cultural, and environmental wellness. Tokyo Biennale will think in-depth about both the WELL-BEING of “me” and “us”.
The old saying goes that “Fires and fights are Edo’s flowers”, referring to the town firemen at the core of the disaster prevention community. Edo’s disaster prevention holds deep roots in its local communities. Through Tokyo Biennale, connections between local communities will be revived as a measure towards a society capable of action in cases of disaster.
The event develops a wide genre of projects involving disciplines such as art, architecture, design, fashion, culinary culture, technology, and more. We will include works for viewing, interactive installations, live talks,and events that provide experiences that stimulate the senses.
- Invited Art Projects
- Tokyo Biennale is a cluster of art projects crafted by leading artists and creators pulled from each industry.
- Open Call Projects
- With the mission to “Dive into Tokyo, Engage with the People!”, Tokyo Biennale calls for artists with a sharp eye on our era who can uncover new values in our society. This is a project consisting of both a domestic and international open call. We invite Kiyoshi Kusumi as the project director in charge of planning and promoting the domestic open call. For the overseas open call, we welcome resident artists from around the world to create and present their projects here in Tokyo.
- Social Projects
- Include, “Projects for Resiliency in Tokyo”, “Projects to Foster International Critical Spaces”, “Projects to Build Academic Community”, “Projects Utilizing Schools”, and others. Through these projects, the Tokyo Biennale will allow art to integrate into the community with its continued involvement and also offer programs to educate people.
Information on the event will be posted on the official website and pamphlets in cooperation with projects that will be held in the venue area around the same time. We will try to connect the areas by clarifying that events occur frequently and simultaneously in the venue area.
※ We may not be able to meet your wishes. Please note.
Born in Odate City (Akita, Japan) in 1963. Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts (Department of Painting). A socially aware artist pushing forth diverse art projects with focus on “art x community x industry”. In the early 1990’s, he set up guerilla art projects – “THE GINBURART” in Ginza and “Sinjuku Shonen Art” in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district (1993). From 1996 on, the artist caught global attention by transforming corporate identities into artworks, one major example being the McDonald’s golden arches. In 1997, he formed an alternative artist initiative called “Command N”. Activities of this group include the international video installation “Akihabara TV” held multiple years in 1999, 2000, and 2002. His work was displayed in the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) Japan Pavilion “First & Slow” exhibition. From 2004, he founded a number of art projects including “himming” in Himi (Toyama Pref.) and “ZERODATE” in Odate (Akita Pref.) Nakamura then founded 3331 Arts Chiyoda in June 2010 as an independent and sustainable art center. Through Command N and 3331, Nakamura has founded 10 art bases and held 740 art projects, in addition to overseeing close to 3,100 events with the collaboration of 2,000 artists, 180 core staff members, and 1,350 supporting staff/volunteers. With an extensive background in a variety of expressive activities, starting in summer 2020 he is taking on the challenge of developing the Tokyo Biennale, an art festival that will dig for the cultural and artistic resources underlying the city of Tokyo.
Born in Tokyo. Graduate of Waseda University in Literature. Founder/Curatorial Director of SAGACHO EXHIBIT SPACE, Japan’s first alternative-space for Contemporary Art (1983-2000). Published:“WHERE DID ISSEY COME FROM? The Life and Work of Issey Miyake” – HeHe, 2017.
2017 AVON Award of Merit. 2019 JAPAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL Special Achievement Award. MUJI Advisory Board Member.
Professor Emeritus, Musashino Art University.
Photo: Taishi Hirokawa