Ishikawa Pref. Art Festival Sparks Hope for Earthquake-Hit City

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A family takes a photo in front of Faig Ahmed’s “Door to Yourself” in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday.

SUZU, Ishikawa — Despite the city still showing scars from a strong earthquake in May, the modern art festival Oku-Noto Triennale 2023 started on Saturday in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, featuring 59 groups of artists from 14 countries and regions.

The city experienced an earthquake registering an upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in May, but the artists and art enthusiasts visiting the city are energizing Suzu and supporting its recovery.

The festival, which is held every three years and uses the entire city as its venue, began in 2017 with the goal of promoting Suzu’s nature and culture through art. This year’s festival was postponed by three weeks as a result of the earthquake.

“Although there was an [earthquake], we managed to open,” said Suzu Mayor Masuhiro Izumiya, who is also the chairman of the festival committee, during the opening ceremony at La Porte Suzu. “We want to make [the art festival] a beacon of hope for recovery.”

A restaurant designed by architect Shigeru Ban opened near the Suzu Theater Museum in time for the festival. The restaurant, which offers a panoramic view of the ocean, was crowded with diners.

In other parts of the city where art was on display, people were seen taking pictures and holding guidebooks.

“I loved the previous art festival, and I’ve grown fond of Suzu,” said Go Kimura, 54, who was visiting from Yokohama. “I was worried about the city because of the earthquake, so I was even more eager to come this year.”

The art festival will continue through Nov. 12. It is closed on Thursdays, but outdoor exhibits can still be viewed.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People look at Chiharu Shiota’s “The Boat Which Carries Time” in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday.