Yokohama Triennale 2020 "AFTERGLOW"

Artistic Director: Raqs Media Collective
Dates: 17 July – 11 October 2020
Beyond the exhibition: Episōdo – Real-world and online events that extend the footprint of the Triennale (Nov. 2019 – Oct. 2020)

The Yokohama Triennale, an international contemporary art exhibition, has been held every three years since 2001, introducing the new concepts and ideas that are shaping culture through a broad range of works by international established and emerging artists.

Yokohama Triennale 2020, the 7th edition, was led by Raqs Media Collective, a collective of three artists (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) based in New Delhi as its artistic director. The collective is the first non-Japanese artistic director in the Yokohama Triennale’s history. The Triennale opened to the public on 17 July due to COVID-19 regulations.

The title, “AFTERGLOW”, was chosen in reference to how, in our everyday lives, we unknowingly experience the residues of light sparked at the beginning of our time, as in the case of how the “white noise” on our analog televisions included fragments of cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the cosmic Big Bang. By referring to the Big Bang’s destructive energy that propelled creativity and over time, gave birth to life on this planet, and its radiation that is toxic as well as therapeutic, Raqs Media Collective took interest in the cycle of destruction/toxicity and recovery/care in the human activities of the contemporary age. Together with the artists, audience, and others, Raqs Media Collective explored ways to co-exist with toxicity for human sustenance and survival in this world in flux, rather than eliminate it.

“AFTERGLOW” consisted of an exhibition, and “Episōdos”, or a series of events that illuminated moments of deliberation. The “Episōdos” began in November 2019 in Yokohama, prior to the exhibition that opened in July 2020, and unfolded in locations both inside and outside of Japan. In addition, Raqs Media Collective has shared its sources for its deliberation through a Sourcebook, to expand its views and visions toward the world at large.

Yokohama Triennale 2020 “AFTERGLOW” poster