【Exhibition Details】

Title: “WHY Tokyo Biennale? Visions for 2020”
Period: September 22 (Sat) – October 14 (Sun), 2018
Hours: 11:00-20:00
Closed: Open throughout exhibition period.
Admission: Free ※Some related events have a fee. Please see event pages for details.
Venue: 1F Main Gallery
Organized by: Tokyo Biennale Citizens Committee, 3331 Arts Chiyoda, General Non-Profit Incorporated Artistic Organization Command N
Support by: The Tokyo Cultural Resources Alliance

【Exhibition Description】

The “The Japan International Art Exhibition (Tokyo Biennale)” was an international exhibition that went on in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum during the post-war reconstruction period. Within its continuous years of exhibition, the 10th running in 1970 carrying the theme,“Between man and matter”, left a profound trace in the history of Japanese art.
In today’s Tokyo, where we find the continued diversification of artforms, this exhibition proposes the creation of a “Tokyo Biennale” for tomorrow’s era. This idea led to the set-up of the “Tokyo Biennale Citizens Committee” working towards the launch of the “Tokyo Biennale” in the year 2020. The committee has gathered directors at the forefront of wide-ranging fields that include art, architecture, fashion, community design, entertainment, and more, who are in collaboration with area directors serving as vital bridges between the localities encompassed by this plan.
For this exhibition, visions for a Tokyo Biennale in 2020 are presented, drawing out resources from “The Japan International Art Exhibition (Tokyo Biennale)” of 1952–1970, while showcasing the new structures for the Tokyo Biennale and revealing the multi-layered history rooted in each locality. Moreover, as an introduction to the “Tokyo Biennale 2020”, part of the planning process will be presented in the form of paintings, film work, sculpture, and other creative expressions. As the title, “WHY Tokyo Biennale?” suggests, this exhibition questions the meaning behind a new Tokyo Biennale for this age and invites visitors to participate in a space where they can join in the thinking process.


From “me” to “us”
The city’s creativity reawakens, a space for open experimentation

Cultural activity has the power to connect disparate things and to draw each other together. With the city’s varying values and lifestyles, it is becoming difficult for people living in Tokyo to see the “where, who, and what” of things going on around them. The individual existence of “me” stands out, but it is difficult for them to sense the reality of the neighborhood itself, the past and future, all the things that go into the “us” that live there. Yet in Tokyo, even entire society itself, what we call “anxieties” may be felt by any person at any place or time, they cannot be subdued by the thoughts or existence of the “individual”. I believe that when the individual consciousness of “me” opens up to become the bird’s-eye view of “us”, then we may reach the center of our problems for the first time, which may even lead to solutions.
The “Tokyo Biennale” was an international exhibition that went on in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum during the post-war reconstruction period. The exhibition, carrying the theme of “Between man and matter ” , ended in 1970 as its 10th running. A half-century has passed since then, and the forms and methods of art seen in Tokyo have changed drastically. Therefore, my aim is to launch the Tokyo Biennale in 2020 as a space for open experimentation posing new frameworks and structures. This is not an international event for the sake of art, it is a framework for carefully taking in the cultural resources that dwell in the city and bringing out their possibilities, which will widen our sense of “me” into a consciousness and creativity that encompasses “us”. As so, the participants in this exhibition are not only artists. The exhibition will involve approaches from fields of art, design, architecture, town planning, and much more.
The first question I want to ask is, “what will happen from here on?” I want to start answering by sharing with you a small piece of our future vision and to open up discussion in this exhibition titled, “WHY Tokyo Biennale? Visions for 2020”. While serving as an exhibition that presents the “Tokyo Biennale”, I also see this as a gathering space for people who wish to join the challenge of becoming “us”.

Tokyo Biennale Citizens Committee Joint Representatives
Kazuko Koike (Creative Director)
Masato Nakamura (Artist)


The venue will be used to present visions by each director and to hold discussion events that observe Tokyo through multiple lenses of art, culture, science, community, design, and more. Please check the link for how to sign up and the event details.

<Public Press Presentation>
Contents including the description and structure of “Tokyo Biennale 2020”, as well as the visions displayed in this exhibition will be presented by the Joint Representative and other directors involved.

Date & Time: September 22 (Sat) 14:30-15:15 *Free entry
Speakers: Kazuko Koike, Masato Nakamura (Tokyo Biennale Citizens Committee Joint Representatives, Tokyo Biennale 2020 directors, area directors, and other members
Admission: Free
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/08/

Circling Around “Why?” – Joint Representatives “Tokyo Biennale” Talk Event
Tokyo Biennale Citizens Committee Joint Representatives Talk About “WHY Tokyo Biennale?”
Date & Time: September 25 (Tue) 19:00-21:00 *Free entry
Kazuko Koike (Creative Director / Towada Art Center Director / Musashino Art University Honorary Professor)
Masato Nakamura (Artist / 3331 Arts Chiyoda Supervising Director / Tokyo University of the Arts Professor)
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/04/

How will the city change through “Tokyo Biennale”?
“Thinking about the ‘Tokyo Biennale’ from the Perspective of Tokyo’s Cultural Heritage”
Date & Time: September 29 (Sat) 13:30-15:30 *Free entry
Haruka Kuryu (BUNKYO YOUTH Representative / The Tokyo Cultural Resources Alliance “The Future of Honjo’s Memory” PT Chairman)
Akiko Shinohara (Regional Planner / NPO Taito Cultural & Historical Society Director / Machi akari Co., Ltd. Director / The Tokyo Cultural Resources Alliance “Research in Renovation Town Building” Project Manager)
Kiichiro Domyo (Domyo Co., Ltd. CEO / The Tokyo Cultural Resources Alliance “National House Vision” PT Project Manager)
Yoshio Yanagi (The University of Tokyo III/GSII, Specially-Appointed Professor / The Tokyo Cultural Resources Alliance Executive Director)
Shunya Yoshimi (The University of Tokyo III/GSII, Professor / The Tokyo Cultural Resources Alliance Manager)
Masato Nakamura (Artist / 3331 Arts Chiyoda Supervising Director / Tokyo University of the Arts Professor)
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/07/

How do we capture a new process and meaning that belongs in neither “Art” nor “Science”?
“Artificial intelligence ∞ Artists ∞ Artificial life”
Date & Time: October 5 (Fri) 19:00-21:00 *¥1,500 entry
Takashi Ikegami (The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Professor)
Gaku Shinbori (Architect)
Noboru Tsubaki (Contemporary Artist / Kyoto University of Art & Design Professor)
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/02/

It feels open, but it’s not!? What is necessary in common space to activate the function of neighborhoods?
“Sharing Common Space”
Date & Time: October 8 (Mon / Holiday) 15:00-17:00 *¥1,500 entry
Masataka Baba (Architect / Open A Director)
Masayoshi Takeuchi (Architect / MIKAN Joint Director)
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/05/

How to Launch the “Tokyo Biennale”? Public Meeting to Exchange Opinions in the Free Context of the Exhibition Space
“Powwow/47 ‘How to Launch the Tokyo Biennale’”
Date & Time: October 12 (Fri) 19:00-21:00 *Free entry
Tokyo Biennale Citizens Committee (※正式な英文タイトル確認) Members
Tokyo Biennale 2020 Planning Directors, Area Directors, Other Members
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/09/

In the age of multiple layers of information – “Tokyo” and “Design” drifting along people’s lives considered in terms of “local industry” and “sense of being”
“Tokyo’s Local Industry, Sense of Being, and Design”
Date & Time: October 13 (Sat) 15:00-17:00 *¥1,500 entry
Daijiro Ohara (Graphic Designer)
Sekiyurio (Designer)
Yoshihisa Tanaka (Graphic Designer / Artist)
Yuma Harada (Designer)
Naoki Sato (3331 Arts Chiyoda Design Director)
Details >>> https://tokyobiennale.jp/2018exhibition/event/01/