ART FESTIVALS AND RURAL REVITALIZATION: ORGANIZING THE OKU-NOTO TRIENNALE IN JAPAN

Agnès Sarale, Hironori Yagi, Menelaos Gkartzios, Keishi Ogawa

Abstract


Organizing rural art festivals is considered an effective intervention in support of rural revitalization in the face of aging and population decline in Japan. Several studies have identified the impacts of art festivals on economic and social rural development internationally. Little research, however, has focused on the management process of such festivals. The objective of this paper is to identify and examine the management processes crucial to an arts festival’s success, especially in terms of preparation, organization and community outreach. We focus on the first edition of the Oku-Noto Triennale, which took place in Suzu City, a remote coastal area of rural Japan in 2017. The Triennale was held from September 3, 2017 to October 22, 2017 with 39 groups of artists. Data for this study was primarily obtained through qualitative interviews with Suzu’s City Office, the coordinator of theArt Front Gallery, a Tokyo-based art gallery, and community members involved in the festival. Our case study revealed thatseveral factors were found to be crucial to the festival’s success. The organizing team’s flexibility, for example, assigning additional municipalities’ employees to site operations, was pivotal. Experienced actors, such as outside professionals and residents with prior experience organizing previous projects, who could address and overcome the difficulties they faced during the preparation, also deserve mention. The festival also succeeded due to the involvement of residents. In total, 1,176 people were involved as registered supporters, and 434 residents were involved as local volunteers during the festival (counted in working-days). The organizing team worked hard to convey the underlying concept of the art festival to the local residents. By organizing the festival, the residents met and formed bonds with new people and also strengthened their ties with one another.


Keywords


Rural Development; Art Festival; Community Revitalization; Local Involvement

Full Text:

PDF

References


Crawshaw, J. and M. Gkartzios. 2016. Getting to know the island: artistic experiments in rural development. Journal of Rural Studies 43: 134-144.

Crawshaw, J. and M. Gkartzios. 2018. The way art works: Insights for community development. In S. Kenny, B. McGrath and R. Phillips (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Community Development. London: Routledge, pp. 177-192.

Demetriou. D. 2009. Zen and the art of rural regeneration. The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2009/aug/01/art-festival-japan-echigo-tsumari

Echigo Tsumari Exective Committee. 2018. About Echigo-Tsumari Art Field: http://www.echigo-tsumari.jp/eng/about/overview/. 2018-02-16

Favell A. 2015. Islands for life: Artistic response to remote social polarization, Sustainability in Contemporary Rural Japan: Challenges and Opportunities. London: Routledge, pp: 109-124.

Gibson, C., G. Waitt, J. Walmsley, and J. Connell. 2010. Cultural festivals and economic development in nonmetropolitan Australia. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 29(3): 280-293.

Gibson, C., J. Connell and J. Walmsley. 2010. The extent and significance of rural festivals. In Gibson, C., and Connell, J. (Eds.), Festival places: Revitalising rural Australia. Bristol: Channel View Publications, pp: 3-24.

Gkartzios, M. and J. Crawshaw, 2019. Researching rural housing: with an artist in residence. Sociologia Ruralis. DOI: 10.1111/soru.12224 (In Press).

Gursoy, D., K. Kyungmi and M. Uysal. 2004. Perceived impacts of festivals and special events by organizers: an extension and validation. Tourism Management 24: 171-181.

Karasawa. T. 2007. The Process of Human Resources Development by Cultural Policy: Fieldwork in “Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2003 and 2006”. Doshisha University Policy & Management Review. 9(1): 133-142. (in Japanese).

Kitagawa F., 2015. Art Place Japan: The Echigo-Tsumari Triennale and the Vision to Reconnect Art and Nature. Princeton Architectural Press, New York.

Kobayashi. R. 2005. Research on Revitalizing Depopulated Regions through the Use of Art (Part Two): Evaluation of the Cultural Aspects of the Nature Art Festival and “Echigo Tsumari Art Necklace Construction”. Hokusei Review, Junior College 3: 11-27 (in Japanese).

Kobayashi R. 2014. The Role of Art Projects for the Aging Society of Japan in the Context of Rural Regeneration: Entering a New Era of Asking Why We Need “Art” Projects? Japanisch-Deutches Zentrum, Berlin, pp 101-124.

Kudo S., E. Mutisya, and M. Nagano. 2015. Population Aging: An Emerging Research Agenda for Sustainable Development. Social Sciences 4: 940-966.

Maerkle. A. 2017. Contested Constellation. Frieze: https://frieze.com/article/contested-constellation

Mahon, M. and T. Hyyrylaïnen, 2017. Rural place development through commodification of art and culture; an investigation of the construction of art narratives. Paper presented at the European Society for Rural Sociology congress, 24-27 July, Krakow, Poland.

Oku-Noto Triennale Executive Committee. 2018. Artists: http://oku-noto.jp/en/artists/. 2018-02-16

Oku-Noto Triennale Executive Committee. 2018b. Comprehensive Report of Oku-Noto Triennale 2017 (in Japanese).

Statistics Bureau of Japan. 2015. National Census: https://www.e-stat.go.jp/regional-statistics/. 2018-02-16

Sumi. E. 2013. A Questionnaire Study of Echigo-Tsumari Art Field 2012. The Journal of Economics, Niigata University. 94: 251-280. (in Japanese).

Whatley. K. 2018. Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale: Niigata’s fields of art and inspiration. The Japan Times: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2018/07/01/arts/echigo-tsumari-art-triennale-niigatas-fields-art-inspiration/#.W3ihh-hKjIU




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20956/jars.v4i1.1662

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

JARS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


website hit counters