The Biennale has showed from the last edition, the will to confront with other cultures that mastered a thousand-year-old tradition of paper usage, this is thereason why in 2018 China was invited as a guest country, and always following this new line of cultural interaction the 2021 edition will host Japan.
Japan is second only to China as far as the tradition of paper used in and for the most varied ways is concerned.
Tradition and Innovation
The Washi, so called Japanese paper, has achieved the rights to be part of the oral and intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Unesco from 2014. This paper is commonly used for traditional arts such as Ikebana, the art of floral composition, or Origami, the art of folding paper, or Shodō, the famous Japanese art of calligraphy, even to Sumi- a monochromatic pictorial style that can just be performed on this type of Japanese paper.
The paper is part of the Japanese tradition not only in the artistic but also in the architectural field, in this context it is mandatory to make an honorable mention for the architect Shigeru Ban, who has made cardboard and paper his stylistic code, becoming today the more famous and important architect who uses these materials both for humanitarian purposes (he dedicates himself to situations of hardship and urgent need to build structures and housing quickly) and to museums or large complexes such as the one built in L'Aquila after the earthquake.
To give a voice to this tradition are waited Japanese figureheads of institutional and artistic importance. Biennale’s commitment is also the one to realise, thanks to a collaboration with an Italian and a Japanese university, a pavilion dedicated to Japanese art, naturally constructed with the materials that are protagonists of the event, so as to create a particular and unique focus on the Japanese artworks and artists.