Northern Ibaraki Prefecture, home to six regional cities and the venue for KENPOKU ART 2016, is a place of fascinating contrasts. Richly endowed with nature, the combination of scenic ocean and mountains lend it a truly unique atmosphere. Life is rooted in traditional culture and society, but the region, located just outside the metropolis of Tokyo, is close enough to feel the latest technology and culture.
Looking back on the history of Ibaraki Prefecture, we see that the region played a major role in Japan’s modernization in the Meiji era and thereafter. Mines were opened toward the end of the Edo era, and the discovery of copper mines in the surrounding area of Hitachi contributed to the development of industry. On the other hand, Izura in Kitaibaraki is known as the place where Tenshin Okakura, who advocated the importance of Asian aesthetics, moved and set up an art community to work toward developing modern Japanese art.
More recently, the artist Christo conducted his project The Umbrellas centered in Hitachiota, which attracted worldwide attention for its groundbreaking style of artistic communication. As home to several universities, including the University of Tsukuba, and the site of the international exposition, Tsukuba Expo '85, Ibaraki Prefecture is a hub for the development of both art and science and technology in Japan.
As an art festival, KENPOKU ART 2016 builds on this long legacy. Through it, we highlight the spirit of innovation in Ibaraki and focus on collaboration between art and cutting-edge science and technology while engaging in dialogue with nature. In the present day, art is no longer limited to paintings and sculpture. Media art using science and technology and even art applying biology that may transform the next generation are emerging. Ibaraki is the perfect place for this art festival, which introduces the new potential of art.
To be creative is to live. That is why we constantly produce daily necessities such as food as well as skyscrapers, airplanes and even spaceships for the future. We modify, depending on the time and place. However, making something always requires ingenuity and innovative “technology.” When making something, be creative. Joy comes from going forward with new attempts, unique ideas, and original perspectives.
It is art that makes the integration of nature, science and technology, and humanity possible. We believe that only art can reveal a new vision for the future by bringing together diverse knowledge and creative minds, encouraging collaboration beyond individual fields of work and activities rooted in community, and imparting philosophical perspectives and the joy of living.
With this conviction, we would like to bring cutting-edge artworks that can evoke “astonishment and moving moments” to the towns of the region and their rich environment of sea, mountains, and everyday life. In this way, we will make KENPOKU ART 2016 a very unique art festival, one that is deeply rooted in local communities and that can only be produced “here and now.”
Title: Sea, Mountains, Art !
17 September - 20 November 2016
Northern Ibaraki Prefecture
Hitachi, Hitachiota, Takahagi,
Kitaibaraki, Hitachiomiya and Daigo
General Director: Fumio Nanjo
(Director, Mori Art Museum)
More than 80 artists and groups
from Japan and other countries