KOBE Biennale 2013

KOBE Biennale 2013:Encounters with Art in the Port
さく "Saku"
October 1 (Tue.) to December 1 (Sun.), 2013 (62 days)
■Main Venues

Kobe Meriken Park area
Port of Kobe
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art ,the Museum Road zone
Sannomiya / Motomachi area

Approx. 300 million yen
■Organized by
The organizing Committee for KOBE Biennale, and The City of Kobe
■With assistance form
Hyogo Prefectural Government
■Official website
Theme:さく "Saku"

By taking advantage of Kobe's pioneer spirit and long-cultivated cultural strengths in diverse areas, KOBE Biennale has been dedicated to the creation of an attractive city through the support of diverse cultural activities that add color to modern society and give birth to unprecedented artistic expression and values.

Today, people emphasize interpersonal relationships in a struggle to reconstruct the trust that has collapsed in both international society and local communities. Under such circumstances, we should make efforts, and start such efforts today, to make our society a better place so that people believe in a bright future and succeed in achieving their respective desires and dreams. We should have a firm belief that we can make it through combined effort and wisdom.

Building on KOBE Biennale's past achievements attained through the 2007 "Deai" (Encounter~People,Community,Arts) project, the 2009 "Wa" ( harmony) project, and the 2011 "Kira" (sparkle) project, we have set our new goal for KOBE Biennale 2013, by deciding on "Saku" (meaning "blooming") as the theme for the latest festival (the 4th KOBE Biennale), since we believe that the seeds of our efforts to overcome difficulties will bloom to grow into new strengths in diverse forms, like colorful flowers in full bloom, encouraging us not to stick to conventional systems or old ideas.

After getting through difficulties, we will surely be able to find something - we hope to find blooming flowers and their bright future. Even if they are small flowers, we have a lot of hope for each of these blossoms.

~Drawing upon the Arts for urban Development "Implementation of Culture Creation City"~

KOBE Biennale 2013 has several aims: to use the power of art to inspire people to reconsider and re-evaluate local resources, and to spread the word about the wonderful resources that Kobe has; to serve as a gathering of creative talent; to serve as forum for interaction of Art Culture and an inspiration for a diverse range of projects for citizens to participate in; and to promote cooperation in activities of Art Culture. Through this, we hope to further invigorate the city and to contribute to the generation of further vitality together with citizens and artists.

1.Reconsidering and re-evaluating local resources and spreading the word about Kobe's attractions

We will communicate the attractiveness of the city of Kobe - an urban port close to mountains - to people inside and outside the country, by taking advantage of the artistic assets of the city, such as the sea, mountains and towns, as well as citizen's knowledge and local intellectual property owned by universities and companies in the city, and evaluating these local resources from a new angle.

2.A gathering of creative talent

Competition-style art events will be held to discover budding talented artists and provide them with opportunities to further develop their abilities to become internationally competitive. We will also invite foreign internationally-renowned artists to exhibit their artworks, for the purpose of raising the overall quality of KOBE Biennale and promoting the development and accumulation of creative and diverse human resources, contributing to the development of Kobe as a design city.

3.A forum for interaction of arts and cultures and an inspiration for a diverse range of projects for citizen participation

We encourage all citizens of any background, as well as volunteer civic organizations such as Kobe ART Supporters, to participate in the KOBE Biennale initiative. We will provide people with opportunities to encounter diverse arts and cultures, to help Kobe citizens improve their creativity and sensitivity.

4.Promoting cooperation in artistic and cultural activity

Through collaboration with diverse art festivals inside and outside the country, we seek to expand art networks in Asia and throughout the world.

Main project sites

The main sites of KOBE Biennale 2013 include the Port of Kobe, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, the Museum Road zone, the Sannomiya/Motomachi area, and Kobe Meriken Park, which is one of Kobe's most symbolic waterfront spaces with a wonderful mountain view, attracting many visitors from Japan and abroad.

Kobe Meriken Park area

Shipping containers - a symbolic object that represents Kobe's tradition as a port town characterized by active exchanges of people, goods and information - are used as an effective tool for "art-in-container" international exhibitions to be held in this area. We will also hold outdoor exhibitions at waterfront spaces. Here we seek to promote the interaction and fusion of a broad range of arts and cultures.

Port of Kobe

A cruise ship service is available, enabling visitors to enjoy both artworks and the wonderful waterfront cityscape of Kobe.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art ,the Museum Road zone

High-quality artworks will be exhibited at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, BB Plaza Museum of Art and Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sannomiya/Motomachi area

Through the implementation of art events, we promote the utilization of local cultural resources, including art galleries located underneath the elevated railroad near Motomachi Station or on the street.

Exhibitions, other projects

KOBE Biennale 2013 will feature exhibitions and performances not only of modern art, but also of a wide spectrum of Art Culture genres, selected through competitions. One of the major aims of the event is to promote the fusion and interaction of all kinds of Art Culture by training the spotlight on culture as a whole, including traditional culture and lifestyle culture, in addition to conventional art.

■Art in a Container International Competition
Dry containers will be converted into unique exhibition spaces to house the Art in a Container International Competition. Artists will be challenged to use their boundless creativity to come up with an expression of the power and potential of art within the 40ft confined of container.

■SHITSURAI ART International Competition
Artists use their creativity and boundless imagination to effectively utilize waterfront spaces to exhibit Japanese traditional "shitsurai" art, which is a set of furnishings for decorating a room or space.

■Art Exhibition at the Port of Kobe Competition
Visitors can take a cruise ship to enjoy a view of the port and the cityscape of Kobe viewable from the sea side. They can also enjoy art exhibitions at waterfront spaces.

■Painting art competition
Large wall surfaces will be utilized to exhibit new-style drawings. A competition will be conducted among these wall artworks.

■Green art competition
We will hold a green art exhibition using flowers and plants, with the hope that these natural artworks will give people peace of mind and enrich their lives.

■International competition of creative toys
People-friendly, environment-conscious toys - some are created through traditional techniques and others use natural materials - will be presented.

■Contemporary ceramic art Competition
Contemporary ceramic artworks to be exhibited in this project are characterized by the combination of traditional expression styles inherent in Japanese handicraft art and the new approach that emphasizes self-expression.

■Music & art stage competition
We present innovative creations through the collaboration of music and art.

■Guest Artist Exhibitions
Internationally renowned artists of contemporary art will be invited to Kobe, and their high-quality artworks will be exhibited.

■Exhibition of future ikebana art
Ikebana artists from all over the country will exhibit their artworks of flower arrangement that seek to impart modern expression in the newest styles while respecting the traditional mentality of Japanese ikebana art.

■Exhibition of calligraphic art
The world of calligraphy will be presented through exhibition of a wide range of works including traditional and innovative free-style works.

■Exhibition of artists from Kobe, Hyogo
Through the exhibition of artworks by Kobe artists, we will disseminate local art and culture.

■Art galleries and concerts in Kobe
Art galleries, chapels, shrines and other local resources will be utilized to share and appreciate the artistic assets of Kobe.

■Exhibition of Artworks by University Students
Exhibits will be presented by groups of students or schools. The objective here is to provide students with a presentation opportunity and also introduce to the public experimental educational activities.

■Public exhibition of artworks by disabled artists (Heart Art Kobe Exhibition)
It is our fond hope that the wonderful art produced by disable artists will help create a forum for communication. Exhibitions will be held on a broad scale in the hope of sparking a great network of interaction.

We will further discuss plans of other exhibitions to communicate the attractiveness of the unique lifestyles and culture of Kobe more extensively.

Collaboration, Participation, Interaction

■Collaborative project with the Design City Kobe initiative
We collaborate with the Design Creative Center Kobe, which will be opened as a center of creative and exchange activities of the Design City Kobe initiative, to promote activities to communicate the attractiveness of the city of Kobe in a comprehensive manner.

■Collaboration with local communities
We will promote collaborative projects of art and cultural events in cooperation with local communities in Kobe, and also actively promote collaboration with art and cultural facilities and organizations in diverse areas, to expand art networks of diverse areas both inside and outside the country, including networks of Hyogo Prefecture, areas around the Inland Sea of Japan, the rest of Asia and the world.

■Collaboration with universities
We promote collaboration with universities and education specialists. Here, we aim to promote the development of creative human resources by increasing opportunities for young artists to communicate their artworks and facilitating exchanges with diverse arts and cultures.

KOBE Biennale sponsors events held by art- and culture-related organizations that support the objectives of KOBE Biennale, not to mention local citizens, in order that both sponsor's and benefactor's events may prosper. We also collaborate with the Art Market project and other projects that aim to promote Kobe food culture, and conduct joint events with them within the Biennale venues, which help us to ensure hospitality for visitors to the Biennale sites and enliven the whole KOBE Biennale program.

Citizens are encouraged to participate in KOBE Biennale as volunteers in a range of roles, including promotion, pre-events, support for creation of artworks, venue operation and administrative help. Through such popular participation, we aim to broaden the scope of cultural activity in Kobe.

One of the features of KOBE Biennale is the range of workshops held by participating artists. Not only do the workshops serve to boost interest in and understanding of art, they are also an effective way for people to get a feel for the enjoyment of creating a work of art.

■Forums for interaction
KOBE Biennale attracts a very large number of artists, designers, creators and citizens. The event acts as a forum for interaction with superb opportunities for networking and unlimited inspiration for new creation.

For inquires

The Organizing Committee for Kobe Biennale (Kobe City Hall No. 1 Building, 17F) 6-5-1 Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-8570
Tel: +81(0)78-322-6598 FAX: +81(0)78-322-6136 E-mail: kb_office@kobe-biennale.jp