Tag Archives: outdoors

The Largest Art Festival in the World: The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 


Kyota Takahashi (Japan), Gift for Frozen Village, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015. Photo by Osamu Nakamura

Every three years in Japan an exciting event kicks off; one that invites visitors to enjoy the great outdoors while simultaneously visiting the largest art gallery in the world. For 50 days, visitors to the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale traverse 200 villages across roughly 190,000 acres of mountainous terrain located in Niigata, Japan. The entire land is dotted with site-specific artworks created by 160 artists from all over the world, making it the largest, most ambitious art festival in the world. And each piece is united by a single theme: humans are part of nature.

Originally initiated in 2000, the festival recently wrapped up its 6th iteration. And now, in an exhaustive look at the past 15 years, curator and director of the Triennale Fram Kitagawa has put together a book called Art Place Japan that includes all 800 artworks ever created for the festival, as well essays and traveling tips. But seeing it all has never been an objective. Organizers will admit that the sprawling nature of the festival is an “absolutely inefficient approach deliberately at odds with the rationalization and efficiency of modern society.” The intention is to interact with the beauty and richness of the land, which serves as a canvas for art.

Kitagawa’s book will be out November 14, 2015 and will be available through Amazon and other retailers.


Chiyoko Todaka (Japan),
Yamanaka Zutsumi Spiral Works, 2006. Photo by Hisao Ogose


Takahito Kimura (Japan), Sun and Footprints, 2012
. Photo by Osamu Nakamura


Katsuhiko Hibino (Japan), The Day After Tomorrow Newspaper Cultural Department, 2003–ongoing. 
Photo by T. Kobayashi


Chiharu Shiota (Japan), House Memory, 2009–ongoing. Photo by Takenori Miyamoto


Shintaro Tanaka (Japan), The ○△□ Tower
and the Red Dragonfly, 2000–ongoing. Photo by Anzai


Yoshio Kitayama (Japan), To the Dead, to the Living, 2000. Photo by Anzai


Akiko Utsumi (Japan), 
For Lots of Lost Windows, 2006-ongoing

. Photo by T. Kuratani


Harumi Yukutake (Japan), Restructure, 2006-ongoing. Photo by Masanori Ikeda


Yayoi Kusama (Japan), Tsumari in Bloom, 2003–ongoing. Photo by Osamu Nakamura

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Total Landscapes: Vertigo-Inducing Stereographic Projections 

This blog is no stranger to stereographic projections, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this. These wonderful aerial collages using photographs shot from atop electric towers, cranes, high rise buildings and bridges are by Netherlands-based photographer Wouter van Buuren. Captured in locations across the Netherlands, China, and New York, the projections condense panoramic horizons into compact worlds that at times look like giant glass marbles. Click the images above to see the landscapes much larger, and see more work in his portfolio. Wouter just opened a solo show at Witzenhausen Gallery in Amsterdam through February 4.

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17 Countries, 343 Days, 6,237 Photographs: A Five Minute Trip Around the World 

Last year artist and photographer Kien Lam quit his job and bought a one-way plane ticket to London. Camera in hand he embarked on an epic backpacking journey around the world shooting over 6,000 photographs that he compiled in this lovely short video set to music by William Lam. Resisting… urge… to buy… plane tickets. Beautiful work. (via stellar, gizmodo)

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First Look: Lightning Drawings by Cassanda C. Jones 

Artist Cassanda C. Jones has just completed a new series where she meticulously arranges long-exposure photographs of stormy skies, using small fragments of lightning strikes to form line drawings of electrified rabbits and circles. The works are yet to be titled, but will be available as large format ink jet prints in editions of two. All images courtesy the artist and Eli Ridgway Gallery, San Francisco.

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Arno Rafael Minkkinen 

Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish photographer who has lived and worked in the United States for the better part of 45 years. His work explores an uncanny juxtaposition between the human body and landscapes, where body parts function as integral parts of trees, rivers, skylines, and rock formations. Many of his photos require extreme physical risk, dangling his body from cliffs, holding his breath underwater, or at times facing his greatest psychological fears. One of his more incredible photos he shot while in school at RISD in the 1970s. It shows him leaping, nude, off a snow-covered hill toward an icy, flowing river. At the precise moment the shutter clicked he managed to contort and conceal his entire upper body behind his right leg and buttock creating what anyone today would assume is a photoshopped image. A barren, torsoless leg sticking out of the winter snow.

Nearly a year ago it struck me that I needed to write a post about him for Colossal, and on his one-page website I discovered a teaser for an upcoming redesign. So I waited. And waited. And at long last the new site is up and I was thrilled to discover Minkkinen has published dozens of his photographs organized into 10 portfolios, practically his life’s work. He also has a lovely 12-step introduction entitled How to Work the Way I Work, that details the methods he uses in his art. My favorite:


Artists who believe they control everything control what they know. Artists who allow outside forces to intervene are like canoes going down rapids. The rocks are there. If you fight them, you fly off the bow. If you allow the current to take you, you can pass through swimmingly. It is a rare gift at every bend.

Minkkinen currently has a solo show at Infocus Gallery in Köln, Germany through October 30.

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