Northern Ibaraki Prefecture, home to six regional cities and the venue for KENPOKU ART 2016, is a place of fascinating contrasts. Richly endowed with nature, the combination of scenic ocean and mountains lend it a truly unique atmosphere. Life is rooted in traditional culture and society, but the region, located just outside the metropolis of Tokyo, is close enough to feel the latest technology and culture.
Looking back on the history of Ibaraki Prefecture, we see that the region played a major role in Japan’s modernization in the Meiji era and thereafter. Mines were opened toward the end of the Edo era, and the discovery of copper mines in the surrounding area of Hitachi contributed to the development of industry. On the other hand, Izura in Kitaibaraki is known as the place where Okakura Tenshin, who advocated the importance of Asian aesthetics, along with Yokoyama Taikan and others, moved and set up an art community to work toward developing modern Japanese art.
More recently, the artist Christo conducted his project The Umbrellas centered in Hitachiota, which attracted worldwide attention for its groundbreaking style of artistic communication. As home to several universities, including the University of Tsukuba, and the site of the international exposition, Tsukuba Expo ’85, Ibaraki Prefecture is a hub for the development of both art and science and technology in Japan.
As an art festival, KENPOKU ART 2016 builds on this long legacy. Through it, we highlight the spirit of innovation in Ibaraki and focus on collaboration between art and cutting-edge science and technology while engaging in dialogue with nature. In the present day, art is no longer limited to paintings and sculpture. Media art using science and technology and even art applying biology that may transform the next generation are emerging. Ibaraki is the perfect place for this art festival, which introduces the new potential of art.
Being creative leads to living better and a richer life. Throughout history, humans have exercised their ingenuity, creating things of all sorts and innovating technology in the process. Joy comes from going forward with new attempts, unique ideas, and original perspectives. Through art, we want to share this joy with the people of Ibaraki.
It is art that makes the integration of nature, science and technology, and humanity possible. We believe that only art can reveal a new vision for the future by bringing together diverse knowledge and creative minds, encouraging collaboration beyond individual fields of work and activities rooted in community, and imparting philosophical perspectives and the joy of living.
With this conviction, we would like to bring cutting-edge artworks that can evoke “astonishment and moving moments” to the towns of the region and their rich environment of sea, mountains, history, and everyday life. In this way, we will make KENPOKU ART 2016 a very unique art festival, one that is deeply rooted in local communities and that can only be produced “here and now.” It is my hope that through this festival, not only local residents, but also many interested people in Japan and foreign visitors will discover the beauty and charm of northern Ibaraki Prefecture.
General Director, KENPOKU ART 2016
KENPOKU ART 2016
Northern Ibaraki Prefecture, with its scenic ocean and mountains, is blessed with abundant nature. In addition to the Izura coast, where Okakura Tenshin, Yokoyama Taikan and others based their creative art activities, and the forests that captured the world’s attention with The Umbrellas by Christo, it has many resources that are unique to the region, such as its distinctive climate, natural features, history, culture, food and local industries. KENPOKU ART 2016 is an international art festival that will be held in the setting of the vast “KENPOKU” region, the largest stage ever in Japan for an art festival. By highlighting the appeal of these resources through the power of art, it aims to discover new values and revitalize the region.
KENPOKU ART 2016
Sea, Mountains, Art!
September 17 (Sat.) ‒ November 20 (Sun.), 2016 [65 days]
6 cities in the northern Ibaraki Prefecture
Hitachi, Takahagi, Kitaibaraki, Hitachiota, Hitachiomiya and Daigo
KENPOKU ART Executive Committee
(Chair: Masaru Hashimoto, the governor of Ibaraki Prefecture)
The Japan Foundation, 2021 Arts Fund through the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, Embassy of France / Institut français, Ministry of Culture Republic of China (Taiwan), The Finnish Institute in Japan, Australia-Japan Foundation, Embassy of Israel, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc
Tokyo University of the Arts, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki University, Silpakorn University (Thailand), Institut Seni Indonesia Denpasar (Indonesia), LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore), De La Salle University (Philippines), Vietnam University of Fine Arts (Vietnam), ARCUS Project Administration Committee, The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Tokyo Metropolitan University, WonderCorporation, Local post offices in Ibaraki
Epson Sales Japan Corp, JAPAN MATERIAL Co.,Ltd.
East Japan Railway Company Mito Branch office, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Number of artworks
Approx. 100 (including projects, from approx. 20 countries and regions)
① Izura/Takahagi seaside area (surrounding area of Tenshin Memorial Museum of Art, Ibaraki and seaside area of Takahagi City)
② Hitachi Station area (surrounding area of Hitachi Station on the JR Joban Line)
③ Oku-kuji clear stream area (area along Kuji River in Hitachiomiya City and district in front of Hitachi-Daigo Station on the JR Suigun Line)
④ Kujiragaoka area in Hitachiota (streetscape in the center of Hitachiota City)
KENPOKU ART Executive Committee
Masaru Hashimoto (Governor of Ibaraki Prefecture)
Haruki Ogawa (Mayor of Hitachi)
Taichi Okubo (Mayor of Hitachiota)
Masayo Odagi (Mayor of Takahagi)
Minoru Toyoda (Mayor of Kitaibaraki)
Shinichiro Mitsugi (Mayor of Hitachiomiya)
Hisao Watahiki (Mayor of Daigo)
Head of the Kanto District Transport Bureau, Chair of the Federation of Ibaraki Prefecture Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry, Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Federation of Small Business Associations, Chair of the Ibaraki Employers’Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Agricultural Co-operatives, Director of the JETRO Ibaraki Trade Information Center, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, Dean of the School of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba, Director of the Izura Institute of Art and Culture, Ibaraki University, Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Senior High School Cultural Federation, Chair of the Ibaraki Cultural Foundation,
Chair of the Ibaraki International Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Federation of Cultural Organizations, Chair of the Hitachi City Science and Culture Foundation, Chair of the Ibaraki Design Promotion Conference, Deputy Director of the Kasama Nichido Museum of Art, Executive Vice President of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Tourism and Local Products Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Travel Agents Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Hotel and Ryokan Association, General Manager of the East Japan Railway Company Mito Branch Office, Chair of the Ibaraki Bus Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Hire-Taxi Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Rent-a-Car Association, President and CEO of the Ibaraki Shimbun, Director of NHK Mito Broadcast Station, President and CEO of IBS, Deputy General Manager of the Hitachi, Ltd., Power Systems Company Hitachi Works, Manager of the Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Ibaraki Branch Office, Manager of the JX Nippon Mining and Metals Corporation Hitachi Works, Chair of the Junior Chamber International Kanto District Ibaraki Bloc Council,
Chair of the Young Entrepreneurs Group of Ibaraki Prefecture, Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Federation of Youth Leagues of Societies of Commerce and Industry, Chair of the Ibaraki Prefectural Federation of Young Managers’Association, Chair of the Ibaraki Employers’Association Youth Management Institute
Kazuyoshi Terakado (President and Director, Joyo Bank)
Masami Fujikawa (President and Representative Director, Tsukuba Bank)
Issei Ogawa (Chair, Ibaraki Prefectural Assembly)
Minoru Toyoda (Chair, Ibaraki Association of City Mayors)
Takaaki Kotani (Chair, Ibaraki Association of Towns and Villages)
General Director: Fumio Nanjo
Curator: Yukiko Shikata
Curator: Kodama Kanazawa
Creative Director: Junji Tanigawa
Communications Director: Chiaki Hayashi
Official Designer: Ken Okamoto
General Manager: Kousuke Kuwabara