The Echigo-Tsumari Art Field is an amazing project that sees works of art dotted around the Tokamachi area. Old schools, rice terraces, parks, traditional buildings and abandoned spaces all become settings for striking works of contemporary art. Don’t be surprised as you drive around the region to come across a interesting-looking creation around the next corner!
There are works all over the place, but if you are looking for a concentration of artworks in one place, then Matsudai Station could be a good stop. Head across to the Nohbutai and start to explore the many works of art around the building and on either side of the river.
There are giant rice farmer sculptures working the fields, and a path through the woods with many interesting pieces set in the trees. The Nohbutai has several pieces that are great for children to play in and on, and should you go there on a weekday it is not uncommon to see some of the local pre-school kids enjoying themselves on the works of international artists. This engagement is central to the aims of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field.
In viewing the artworks, the visitor passes through terraced rice fields and forests of native beech, encountering festivals and traditional customs, thereby experiencing the landscapes and cultures of Echigo-Tsumari through all five senses. Through this experience, we recover the memories of an origin that we had forgotten, and develop new links connecting people to each other and to the land.
If the weather is good it is an beautiful place for a picnic too.