A young and energetic Egyptian artist Warl Showky who succeeded a solo exhibition at MoMA in 2015 exhibited a film “Cabaret Crusades III: The Secrets of Karbalaa”. It is a puppet show of the Crusades viewed from the Arab interpretation, not from Christian view. In a huge dark room, the ground was filled with rugs and viewers can sit on them. Puppets of Venetian glasses make sounds of blinks and the story calmly goes on with quiet and soft narration. Beautiful music and visual arts create a sorrow yet exotic world.

Wael SHAWKY,2015
Warl Showky “Cabaret Crusades III: The Secrets of Karbalaa” 2015 © Wael Shawky, Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

The 3rd venue, Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall opened a underground space specially for this Triennale and installations of a contemporary artist Yanagi Yukinori, known for Inujima Art Project, was exhibited. The entrance was dark and musty. After going through strange sounds and humid air, there is a room surrounded by red lightings. This piece entitled “Article 9” resolved and scattered sentences of the 9th article of the Japanese Constitution. The installation which intended to pose a problem in the poor condition of the underground space was quite impressive.

Yanagi Yukinori “Article 9” 2016

The Triennale successfully used large spaces. Based on the title and theme, several pieces of each artist were dotted in the space like stars and islands and connected like constellations. The unusual genius of Yokohama Minato Mitai Area created free and relaxed exhibition spaces.

On this report, I introduced artworks, which especially focus on history among tons of art works and they made me recognized the weight of history and current world’s problems.

Yokohama Triennale 2017 “Islands, Constellations and Galapagos”
Date: August 4th – November 5th, 2017 (Closed)
Place: Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1, Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall (Basement)
Organizers: City of Yokohama, Yokohama Arts Foundation, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), The Asahi Shimbun, Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale

Text: Aya Ono
Translation: Hanae Kawai

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