Mitsukejima and Jianhua Liu’s “Drifting Landscape” in Suzu. All photos by A. D. McCormick unless otherwise noted.

After the Town Lost Its Train

Schools are closing. Populations are shrinking. Towns are fading away. Rural Japan is turning to art festivals for a fresh start.

Suzu is on the tip of the Noto Peninsula in Japan. Map by Google.
Suzunari Road Station.
Preparing for the summer festivals in Suzu.
The Inland Sea of Japan in 2016.
Approaching Naoshima by ferry during the 2016 Setouchi Art Triennale.
“Drift Spirit At the Back of Beyond” by Masayoshi Koyama. Photo by Nohagi Naka, from the Oku-Noto Triennale website.
Tobias Rehberger’s installation, “Something Else Is Possible,” along the abandoned Noto Line in Suzu.
The sign from Tobias Rehberger’s installation, “Something Else Is Possible.”
“Utsushimi” by the Raqs Media Collective, viewed by day.
“Utsushimi” by the Raqs Media Collective, viewed by night. Photo by Nohagi Naka, from the Oku-Noto Triennale website.
“MA-MO-NAKU” by Adel Abdessmed.
A residential building in Suzu.
A scene from “JUEN: Time Flies” by Ohji Yoshino.
A scene from SUZUPRO’s group installation in Suzu.
A scene from SUZUPRO’s group installation in Suzu.
Shoko Aso’s installation, “Shape of Faith,” in a former bathhouse.
“The boat which carries time” by Chiharu Shiota. Photo by Nohagi Naka, from the Oku-Noto Triennale website.
A cabaret restaurant wall in Suzu. Inside, Eat&Art Taro’s “‘Cabaret in preparation’ at world’s end” offers an interactive art and food experience.
“Silhouette Factory” by Bunpei Kado at the Suzu festival.
Art festival banners in Suzu.

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A. D. McCormick

A. D. McCormick is the director of the Art Island Center on Naoshima.