Sapporo International Art Festival


Carsten Nicolai, unidisplay, 2012. Installation view at MMK, Frankfurt am Main. (Courtesy of the artist; Galerie EIGEN+ART Leipzig/Berlin; and The Pace Gallery. Photo by Axel Schneider)

A self-defined “Creative City,” this summer the Japanese city of Sapporo will see the inaugural edition of the International Art Festival open under the theme “City and Nature,” aiming to examine how urban and natural environments can coexist in the future. Directing proceedings will be guest director Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose own artistic practice is the stuff of legend: Yellow Music Orchestra, which he formed in the late 1970s with fellow group members Hanuomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, changed the landscape of electronic music. Specifically for the festival, Sakamoto has created Whitescape (2013 – ongoing), an ambient piece to which layers will gradually be added up until the festival’s opening. Venues like the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art will present thematic exhibitions with work by Subodh Gupta, Naoya Hatakeyama, Anselm Kiefer, Tetsumi Kudo, Carsten Nicolai and Tomás Saraceno (through September 28). On the occasion of this exhibition’s opening, there was a screening of Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2010), the documentary by Sophie Fiennes about Anselm Kiefer’s work in an abandoned French factory. SIAF 2014 will stage a special performance of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet’s dance BABEL (Words) (2010) at Sapporo Art and Culture Hall on 22 August and a live performance by Alva Noto with Sakamoto at Sapporo Education and Culture Hall on 27 September. (Stuart Munro)

Sakamoto has since withdrawn from the festival seeking recovery after being diagnosed with Cancer. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Kaleidoscope, Sapporo IAF,

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