B01Social Dive (International)

The Nights of Chiyoda

Ting-Ting Cheng

2021.07.10(Sat) - 09.05(Sun)

Free Admission

<Tokyo Biennale 2020 SOCIAL DIVE Artist-in-Residence Projects>

Chiyoda ward is the least populated ward in Tokyo and has the largest difference in population between day and night. “The Nights of Chiyoda” is an audio walk consisting of three stories titled “The Island,” “The Peninsula,” and “The Underground,” which examine the history and culture of Japan. By downloading a special app and starting the walks from designated starting points, the souls of people from the past will return to the present and begin to speak to the viewer. Spirits, souls, histories, and forgotten pasts that appear at night will be retold in this work, and the souls of past lives will begin to accompany the viewer with every step. Through this experience, you will realize that Chiyoda Ward is not only a place for tourists, the wealthy, and the imperial family. It is also a land where soldiers, immigrants, commuters, lovers, families, and colonials lived.

Supported by:National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan

(As of June 2021)

1: “2 March 1981” documentation of audience participation, 2018, Fordham Park (London, UK), Photo by Ting-Ting Cheng
2: “The Nights of Chiyoda” image sketch of streets around Yasukuni Shrine (Tokyo, Japan), 2020, Drawing by Fabio Sayegh
3: “The Nights of Chiyoda” image sketch of streets around the HQ of Chongryon (Tokyo, Japan), 2020, Drawing by Fabio Sayegh

How to experience the work

Please download the app to experience the audio walks.

[Step1] Please download the app Chito by clicking on the URL below

Google Play
App store

[Step2] After downloading the app, please download the walk that you want to experience by clicking the arrow on the right.

[Step3] Once installed, please go to the starting points indicated below.

The Peninsula: starting point
The Underground: starting point

[Step4] After arriving at the suggested starting points, please click the arrow again to start. After that, please follow the audio instruction to experience the work.

*The walks can only be experienced between 6 – 10pm
*You would need a smartphone and headphones to experience
*Please turn on Wifi and allow the APP to access your GPS location while experiencing
*Each journey is around 30 mins

[About “The Island”] Please read before experiencing the work

“The Island” is a fictional work created by artist Ting-Ting Cheng about Taiwanese Japanese soldiers in the Pacific War who are now enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine.
As an international art festival that promotes multicultural coexistence, Tokyo Biennale respects the diverse perspectives, historical viewpoints, and freedom of expression of artists. This does not, however, mean that as an institution Tokyo Biennale endorses a particular ideology or historical standpoint. Even though several differences in historical understanding have been found between the artist and Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo Biennale decided to exhibit this work with the understanding that it is a fictional story created by the artist, and in respect to the artist’s intentions to look at the war from the perspective of other Asian countries other than Japan, transmit the misery of war, and promote international understanding and world peace.

This script was originally made as an audio walk to be experienced around Yasukuni Shrine. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Cheng was unable to come to Japan as planned, and the collaborative process with Yasukuni Shrine could not be developed. Therefore, the starting point of the script in the vicinity of the shrine could not be determined at this time.
Following consultation with Ms. Cheng, the decision was made to only show the starting point of “The Island” within the text, thus allowing the audience to decide how they wish to experience the work.

Tokyo Biennale hopes to invite Ms. Cheng and start a dialogue between the artist, Yasukuni Shrine, and community members after the pandemic has ended, with the aim of realizing the project as intended.

Thank you for your understanding.

Click here to listen to “The Island”


Ting-Ting Cheng (Artist)

Cheng Ting-Ting is based in Taipei and London. She graduated with an MA in Photographic Studies at University of Westminster and MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. In her practice, she examines our cultural, national and racial identities through reinterpreting archival materials to construct narratives in the current context. Cheng had solo shows at Taipei Fine Art Museum, Galerie Grand Siècle (Taipei), Identity Gallery (Hong Kong), Gallery Nomart (Osaka, Japan), Luis Adelantado (Valencia, Spain), Iniva (London) and more. She participated in Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architechture (Shenzhen, China), III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil (São Paulo) and group exhibitions at KuanDu Museum (Taipei), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art (Taichung), National Art Museum of China (Beijing) among others. She was an artist-in-residence at Addaya Art Centre (Palma, Spain), GlogauAIR (Berlin), Ben-Uri Museum, Iniva (London), CFCCA (Manchester), cheLA (Buenos Aires), Zero Station (Ho Chi Minh City), Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts (Seoul), Taitung Art Museum (Taitung) and more.

Photo by Ting-Ting Cheng