This year saw the return of some of Japan’s biggest arts events, if not roaring, then excitedly murmuring. The Setouchi Triennial opened on April 14, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial on April 29, and the Aichi Triennial on July 30, and all three ran through the fall.
Most of the events took place before Japan’s borders fully opened to tourists on October 10. 11, and for Setouchi and Aichi, the number of visitors decreased by about 30% to 40% compared to previous editions. But people still had plenty of opportunities to queue for crowded boats to participating islands and jostle to take selfies with no extras in the background. Visitors, mostly masked, were asked to disinfect their hands and take mandatory fever checks, but the return to crowded in-person events signaled a confident step toward a new normal for Japan’s art scene.
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