Deep in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale is preparing its hundreds of exhibitions, events and installations — some new, some already permanent — for its seventh edition.

The first festival in 2000 was initiated by Fram Kitagawa, who also directs the Seto Inland Sea’s Setouchi Triennale. The events, he says, are designed to “bring energy back to the region(s)” and to also encourage new ways of thinking about art, beyond what he calls the “urban focus of 20th-century art.”

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