Lonely Planet Writer

Ai Weiwei heads up Japan’s Yokohama Triennale art festival opening this week

The sixth Yokohama Triennale – a major arts festival in the Japanese bayside city of Yokohama – will officially open on 4 August. With the title ‘Islands, Constellations and Galapagos’, the three-month-long festival features exhibitions from a total of 38 local and international contemporary artists, including renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whose large-scale installation piece of lifeboats and lifejackets, Safe Passage, hangs on the façade of the Yokohama Museum of Art.

Safe Passage by the artist Ai Weiwei at the Yokohama Triennale

Other highlights include a Christian Jankowski piece Heavy Weight History, in which a large public sculpture is ‘massaged’; a weave of 2000 bamboo shoots (reminiscent of Japanese shimenawa ropes that hang at shrines), Big Tree, by Indonesian artist Joko Avianto; and work by Italian satirical sculptor Maurizio Cattellan. Running alongside the exhibitions will be a series of events and public forums.

Heavy Weight History exhibit at the Yokohama Triennale
Heavy Weight History by Christian JANKOWSKI. Photo by: Szymon Rozynski

Exhibitions and events will be held at various venues in Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city just 20 minutes by train south of Tokyo. The festival runs until 5 November. See the Triennale website for full details and ticket information.

Zhao ZHAO's Project Taklaman at the Yokohoma Triennale
Project Taklaman, 2016 by Zhao ZHAO

See why Lonely Planet voted Yokohama one of its favourite destinations in Asia here.