Theme announced for the 8th Yokohama Triennale

8th Yokohama Triennale Logo Visual. Courtesy: Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale


On June 28, the Organizing Committee for the Yokohama Triennale announced the theme and two new venues for the 8th Yokohama Triennale, which will take place next March. Titled “Wild Grass: Our Lives,” Yokohama’s historical buildings, Former Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch and BankART KAIKO, have also been added as the venues for the exhibition.

Beijing-based artistic directors Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu, who found resonance with the philosophy and outlook of Chinese writer Lu Xun (1881–1936), have conceived the theme for the 8th Yokohama Triennale from his prose poetry collection Wild Grass (1927). Written almost 100 years ago during a period of turbulence, Xun used the metaphor of wild grass—fragile and defenseless, yet strong and resilient at the same time—to express his way of finding a thin thread of hope in the depths of despair.

In response to the challenges we face today, as well as the irreconcilable contradictions of globalization exposed by the rapid global spread of Covid-19, which began in 2019, the joint artistic directors propose the life philosophy of “wild grass” as a model for an unregulated, “flexible expression of subjectivity,” per the press release, which “elevates the irrepressible force of individual life to a respectable existence that transcends all systems, rules, regulations, and forms of control and power.”

The exhibition will revisit a selection of historical moments from the early 20th century, including the resonance of Japanese and Chinese print movements in the early 1930s, the rise of subjective imaginary in the postwar cultural construction in East Asia, the reflection on modernity after the global radical movements of the late 1960s, and the critical and emancipatory energy of postmodernism in full swing in the 1980s. It will explore possibilities of dialogue between individuals and existing rules, and institutions by drawing inspiration from the practices and ideas of anarchism that emerged following the proposal of the end of history. (Click here for the full text on the Triennale’s theme and concept)

The organizers have also announced two new venues for the exhibition: Former Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch, completed in 1929; and Former Yokohama Raw Silk Inspection Bureau Warehouses B and C (now KITANAKA BRICK & WHITE), completed in 1926, which houses the alternative art space BankART KAIKO. The 8th Yokohama Triennale will use the two historical buildings, built in the same period as the publication of Wild Grass, and the Yokohama Museum of Art, which opened at the end of the Cold War, as a stage to explore wider contemporary issues. In addition to the exhibition, a variety of free public programs will be held in partnership with various venues around Yokohama Station, Motomachi Chinatown, and the Yamate district.


8th Yokohama Triennale “Wild Grass: Our Lives”
Friday, March 15, 2024 – Sunday, June 9, 2024
Venues: Yokohama Museum of Art, Former Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch, and BankART KAIKO
Artistic Directors: Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu


Former Daiichi Bank Yokohama Branch

BankART KAIKO Photo: OHNO Ryusuke

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