北川フラム(きたがわ・ふらむ)日本を代表するアートディレクター。アートフロントギャラリー主宰。1946年新潟県高田市(現上越市)生まれ。東京芸術大学卒業。「大地の芸術祭 越後妻有アートトリエンナーレ」、「瀬戸内国際芸術祭」の総合ディレクター。Furamu Kitagawa is one of the leading art directors of Japan and the president of Art Front Gallery. Born in 1946 in Takada City (now Joetsu City), Niigata Prefecture, Kitagawa attended and graduated from Tokyo University of Arts. Kitagawa has served as the chief director of the Art Festival of the Earth, also known as the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, as well as the Setouchi International Art Festival.

長年の文化活動により、2003年フランス共和国政府より芸術文化勲章シュヴァリエを受勲。2006年度芸術選奨文部科学大臣賞(芸術振興部門)、2007年度国際交流奨励賞・文化芸術交流賞受賞。2010年香川県文化功労賞受賞。 2012年オーストラリア名誉勲章・オフィサー受賞。Kitagawa’s long years of contribution to the arts was recognized when the government of France awarded him Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2003. Kitagawa has won other prestigious awards, including the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts (in the category of Arts Promotion) in 2006; the Award for Promotion of International Exchange and Advancement of Arts and Culture in 2007; the Kagawa Prefectural Award for the Person of Cultural Merits in 2010; and the Award for the Honorary Officers of the Order of Australia in 2012.

「三越伊勢丹 もてなしの教室」第9回目の話し手は、アートディレクターの北川フラムさんです。「大地の芸術祭 越後妻有アートトリエンナーレ」、「瀬戸内国際芸術祭」の総合ディレクターを務め、

We are pleased to welcome art director Furamu Kitagawa as the host of our ninth installment of Mitsukoshi Isetan’s hospitality Lessons. Kitagawa has served as the chief director of the Earth Arts Festival: the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, as well as the Setouchi

地域における新しいアートシーンを作り続ける北川フラムさん。地域に息づく人々との交流から生まれる芸術祭の現場のお話から、 “もてなし”のヒントをいただきました。

International Art Festival, and has continuously contributed to new art scenes in local communities. He has shared his unique insights into hospitality based on his experience in organizing art festivals through his in-depth collaboration and relationships with local communities.


「大地の芸術祭 越後妻有アートトリエンナーレ」は2000年から始まって、今年第6回目が終わりました。しかし、最初からうまく行ったわけではなく、4年半で

A pioneer in regional art.

We began the Earth Arts Festival: the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in 2000 and completed its sixth year this year. But we had a bumpy start. We were not able to convince the local residents even after


holding over 2,000 talks in four and a half years. But they finally gave in and said they might as well take charge themselves. This new form of art influenced art worldwide, and contributed to a larger movement of regional art, which is representative of our era in which we face very challenging environmental problems on a global scale.



An earth-shattering art festival.

I began traveling to Setouchi in 2006 to organize The Setouchi Art Festival. Officially, a steering committee was formed in 2008, and the first festival took place in 2010. We will have our third next year. Naoshima, one of the venues of the festival, has gained worldwide recognition in various forms. For example, the festival was selected as one of the top seven places to visit by Travellers,


a travel guide published one of the world’s leading travel agencies. It had a good start from the beginning, and the second one was absolutely sensational. For the third festival next year, we expect to see a very large number of visitors. This is a big deal for the residents of the Setouchi islands. On Ogi Island, with a population of 160 people, the number of visitors to the festival exceeded the annual number of visitors to the island. Residents were seriously concerned that the island might sink.



A search for a “human” way of life.

City life offers a lot of excitement and stimulus, generating excessive consumption. This works when we’re young. But gradually we begin to question if we are making the right choices, and if this is a “human” way to live. But since we work in this society and live in this country, we don’t have a choice. In the past


people accepted their fate and did nothing, but things are starting to change. Consciously or subconsciously, people are starting to visit Echigo-Tsumari, the world’s snowiest region, or the very remove islands of Setouchi. While visitors have interest in modern art, they cited “an opportunity to speak to the local residents” as the highlight of the trip in a survey as they were leaving the islands. This is one of the definitive factors that draw people to the islands.



Bring a smile to the elderly.

“Bring a smile to the elderly in Echigo-Tsumari and Setouchi”—that’s our slogan. People who are older than me experienced hardships before, during, and after the War. Today’s world simply focuses on efficiency and discriminates the elderly by labeling them as “welfare recipients.” We do not respect them at all. Can we let this happen? But focusing on making improvements to a


community often leads to unintended results. Instead, we have to think about the specific issues of the community. The most important aspect of community building is that residents are not made to feel like they are behind the times, and that they take pride in the lives they have lived. I think this is the most important aspect of community building. People need to reaffirm what great lives and communities they—and their ancestors—have built, and to take pride in what they have accomplished.



The true meaning of “art”.

For me, the role of art is to embody the reality of a community and to show the relationship between the community and nature. Art has always played this role ever since the time of the cave paintings at Altamira and Lascaux. In other words, art must show where people belong. The global environment is about to hit rock bottom. The logic of capitalism itself is no longer working. Despite these limiting circumstances, we must do whatever we can in a given


environment. Let’s recall the characters used for “art,” or bijutsu. It is a bit misleading since the character for “beauty” is used. But in fact art means artificial; it signifies some sort of human involvement. Art means skills used to depict the relationship between nature and civilizations, or people. Originally, art—mankind’s best friend—is the process of trial and error for answering the question of where mankind belongs on this planet. This is exactly what we began in Tsumari and Setouchi. Perhaps Japan is the origin of the art of the 21st century and beyond—the era of the global environment.



Art as a substitute for shrines and temples.

What do so many people visit the Setouchi International Art Festival? It’s true that the festivals offer modern art, but that does


not explain why as many as 1 million people visit. At the root of the phenomenon is people’s dissatisfaction with city life. But art also serves as a substitute for shrines and temples. I believe art is beginning to play this important role.



Choosing inconvenience over convenience.

Traveling to Setouchi energies me and puts me in a positive mood. I notice a big difference when I cross over to the islands. This doesn’t happen when I’m on the mainland, where I’m still bound by my daily routine. When I go to Setouchi, I always feel this sense of having completed a journey. I want to offer this travel experience in Echigo-Tsumari and Setouchi. In this sense, one of


our themes is to purposely leave things inconvenient. Without the luxury of convenience, you feel a sense of relief when you run into strangers. You even greet them. I want to help build relationships between people, and promote real human interactions. This idea grew in my mind gradually—and for many others too. People who get involved in the project work very hard and really enjoy the experience. Now they are using the experience as an opportunity to learn.


一般的に言っている“this is japan.”は、僕は嘘だと思っています。本当に汗をかいて旅をする。自分で考えてやることであったり、五感でいろいろなことが接触していくことが本当。里山の生活とか、コミュニ

Japan as an island nation.

I think what people generally say about “this is japan” is completely wrong. For me, it’s about traveling through Japan, while thinking on my feet and wiping away sweat, and experiencing life directly with my senses. I think what is important is our very unique relationship


to soil, as seen in the life in rural areas and expressed as one of the appeals of local communities. Japan is an island nation in the Far East. If we think of Japan as a nation of islands, or archipelago, perhaps we can make more interesting discoveries about Japan. Making such discoveries through our travels and activating our senses—this is an experience we probably cannot gain in city life.


Some thoughts from Mitsukoshi Isetan staff after hearing Mr. Kitagawa speak:

地元の方を巻き込んだ“アート”が成立していて、富裕層の方がわざわざ都会から足を運ばれる……。すごい奇跡が起こっているのが芸術祭なんだと思います。今後は、このような“奇跡”を百貨店、店頭、商品に落とし込んで、“祭り”を提案していけるように思考していきたい。(銀座店 婦人子供特選営業)

The festivals feature “art” created with the involvement the collaboration with local residents, drawing visitors from all strata of society, including the wealthy. I think these art festivals are literally making miracles. I am inspired to infuse our store, displays, and products with “miracles” and bring a festive spirit to our customers.

人とのふれあいの大切さと、自ら取り組むこと(自走)の楽しさを感じることができるお話でした。そしてそこにアートが加わると、こんなに一人一人の感じ方や考え方が変わっていく。写真を見るだけで不思議な感覚を味わいました。(新宿店 紳士・スポーツ営業部メンズアクセサリー)

Mr. Kitagawa’s talk really conveyed the importance of people-to-people communication and the joy of participating in and completing a project. And art plays a big role in changing how we each feel and think. I had a very strange, transformative experience just by looking at the photos.

アートを通じて世の中が変わっていく様子を、情熱的な内容で伺えて、とてもモチベーションになりました。三越伊勢丹の、ヒトとしての価値を深堀りし、お客さまへ還元していきたい。(新宿店 婦人営業部INTデザイナーズウェスト)

His passion for the power of art to change the world was a great motivation for me. I’m inspired to explore the question of what it means to be a human being, and take a more human approach to serving customers at Mitsukoshi-Isetan.

地域を活性化する、元気にするには、一方的な手段ではなくその地域の人々の暮らしを尊重し、それを具現化した表現で共有していくことが大切なんだと感じました。(府中店 服飾2婦人服1)

Mr. Kitagawa taught me that, in order to invigorate and energize a regional community, we must respect the lives of the local residents instead of imposing an idea and to share them through an artistic expression.

「“人”が関わって完成するART。ARTは時間を蘇らせることができる」、この言葉が非常に心に残りました。芸術品だけがARTではない。店頭でお客さまと作り手と自分たちをつなげるもの・ことこそがARTだと思いました。(新宿店 紳士・スポーツ営業部メンズアクセサリー)

“Art is created by the direct involvement of people. Art can reproduce the past.” These words left a strong impression. Artistic goods and crafts are not the only form of “art.” The act of connecting the customers, the hospitality providers, and the manufacturers—that’s real art.