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Rural event blends art, nature

by Eriko Arita

A countryside exhibit of more than 200 modern-art works aims to harmonize art and nature.

The “Echigo-Tsumari Art Festival of the Earth” is being held in the vast Echigo-Tsumari region in Niigata Pref., until Nov. 23.

Works and installations by artists from around the world will fascinate visitors.

One of the works, “Hachi & Seizo Tashima Museum of Picture Book Art” was created by Seizo Tashima. Tashima transformed an old school into a museum. In creating it, Tashima interviewed former students and decorated the building with objects themed on the students’ memories of the school.

To see the exhibits, purchase a festival “passport” that costs ¥2,500 for adults, ¥2,000 for university students and the elderly, and ¥500 for children. The passport is available at information centers near the event at Tokamachi Station and Matsudai Station on the JR Hokuhoku Line.

It takes 110 minutes from Tokyo by train, and three hours by car. Local taxi drivers can also be hired as guides.

You can also join a whole day tour by bus that visit major art works. The tour is conducted on weekends and holidays.

For more information, call (025) 595-6688 or visit www.echigo-tsumari.jp.