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Release | Isao Tanaka

What is Sapporo International Art Festival 2017 coming up in another month?

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It’s almost one month until “Sapporo International Art Festival”, which will be held for two months from August 6, 2017, to October 1st, 2017. This is the second time of the once in three years art festival, but many people should be still wondering what exactly is an art festival. I will show the outline of the festival in this article.


35 places will be venues for the art festival for two months! 

大友良英さんphoto▲The guest director Yoshihide Otomo (Photo by Erika Kusumi) 

The guest director, who will be the representative and the core of the festival, is Yoshihide Otomo. He is a musician active in various parts; from experimental music to jazz to pops. He is well known for producing music used in the famous NHK morning TV drama “Ama-Chan”. Recently, his field expanded even more and creates exhibit works by collaborating with artists. Furthermore, he founded “Project FUKUSHIMA!” in Fukushima, where he spent his teen years, after the Great East Japan earthquake.

The venues of the art festival led by Mr. Otomo are 35 places in Sapporo City. First of all, I would like to introduce these two venues! 

モエレ沼公園photo▲Moerenuma Park 

Moerenuma Park has a certain artistic atmosphere because the world-renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi created the basic concept. In that environment, art pieces which Mr. Otomo also took part will be exhibited; such as lined-up used record players and bicycles display from the glass pyramid and Moerenuma. 

モエレ沼公園自転車1▲Moerenuma Park exhibition plan (The art piece by Ryusuke Ito)

Other than that, there will be balloon shaped sculptures and art robots. Visitors can enjoy the collaborations of Isamu Noguchi art pieces and other artists’ art pieces, both inside and outside. 

札幌芸術の森photo▲Sapporo Art Park

In another base of art in Sapporo, Sapporo Art Park, many artists such as the world-renowned artist Christian Marclay, will exhibit various pieces under the theme of “sound”. 

Many things will happen in many places in the central Sapporo, which is in between Moerenuma Park in the north and Sapporo Art Park in the south, too, such as… 

レトロスペース坂会館photo(内観)▲Retro Space Saka Hall (Photo by Tsubasa Fujikura) 

The places which will be introduced as “Three Treasures of Sapporo” in this art festival is the hidden gem Retro Space Saka Hall (the picture above), Tairyo Izakaya Tecchan, and Haruko the waxwork from Hokkaido Sex Museum. The three art pieces, reformed specially for the festival, will gather at Susukino Venue and create a unique environment! 


Sapporo’s no.1 shopping street Tanukikoji will be one of the venues, too. At Sapporo Plaza 2.5, we will welcome the legendary man in the television industry and play videos and hold talk shows about TV. 

札幌市電×指輪ホテルイメージ▲“Sapporo Street Car x Ring Hotel” plan (Photo by Noriko Takuma)

Sapporo Street Car, which the route looping was enabled in 2015, is another venue. There will be a play performance with residents and noise music performances in the street car. 

Many places will be the venues other than above: Mt. Moiwayama Summit, Sapporo Shiryokan (Former Sapporo Court of Appeals), The Hokkaido University Museum, Sapporo Odori Underground Gallery 500 meters museum, JR Tower Planis Hall, Miyanomori International Museum of Art Sapporo, and Sapporo Maruyama Zoo. 


Go round “Junk of The Constellations” with a passport

​without recordsのphoto▲Otomo Yoshihide + Aoyama Yasutomo + Takayuki Ito <without records - most ver.2015> (Photo by Ryuichi Maruo)

The main theme of Sapporo International Art Festival is “What is an Art Festival?”. And the sub-theme which was announced by Mr. Otomo on May 11th was “Junk of The Constellations”. As Isamu Noguchi reformed Moerenuma Park from garbage dump to sculpture art pieces, re-creating something that thought to be junks by artists… the art festival looks like to be something like that. The art pieces reformed in various viewpoints are put in 35 venues like stars. The visitors connect those stars by visiting each piece, and the constellations made by doing that will be an answer to the question “What is an Art Festival”. That is what Mr. Otomo thinks. 

パスポートphoto▲The passport. 

Well, you don’t have to think so hard, and visit one of the venues first! By encountering artists and their works, your interests to this art festival will gradually rise for sure. The festival will be held for two months, so you don’t have to rush. The passport is very useful for those who want to take a time to enjoy Sapporo International Art Festival. The passport can be used at charged venues for unlimited times. The details are on the Sapporo International Art Festival official website. * Some venues and events require separate charges. 

Did you get an outline of Sapporo International Art Festival 2017? The art festival is calling for volunteers, too. For those who want to participate in multiple venues and encounter various people, visit the website written below. 

Sapporo International Art Festival 2017 Official Website

Sapporo International Art Festival 2017 Volunteer Website
  • What is Sapporo International Art Festival 2017 coming up in another month?

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Isao Tanaka