• Issue
  • Mar 26, 2022

Festivals of 2020: Remotely Together

Screenshot of the Yokohama Triennale 2020 press conference. Image by Peter Chung for ArtAsiaPacific.

If two years ago you had told a professional curator that they would have to install an entire mega-exhibition using only messaging and video apps, they never would have agreed to it. But like many things in 2020, the once unthinkable became the only option—in this case, for the organizers of major international events in countries where foreign arrivals were prohibited. While big Asian biennials on the calendar for 2020 in Gwangju, Seoul, and Kochi, as well as the Kathmandu Triennale, postponed their dates to the following year, a few festivals carried on regardless of the limitations compelled by the pandemic. The most ambitious of those was the Yokohama Triennale, which was delayed from its original dates by only a couple of weeks to mid-July. But because Japan was still closed to non-residents, the artistic directors of the 2020 edition, the New Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, along with the artists and other collaborators, were only able to oversee their projects remotely.