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In France and Japan, Trains Now Bring the Art to You

May 13, 2016

The Genbi Shinkansen (photo via @i5uzum/instagram)

Japan’s major passenger railway company JR East has just launched what officials call “the world’s fastest art experience” with a traveling art gallery aboard one of its bullet trains, or shinkansen. Zipping at speeds up to 200 miles per hour, a train named “Genbi Shinkansen” on the Jōetsu Shinkansen line now holds a group exhibition of contemporary works by six Japanese artists, the Japanese collective Paramodel, and New York-based artist Brian Alfred.

Individual carriages of the train, which runs through the Niigata prefecture, are devoted to different artists, and the included art all relates to the region’s landscape and culture or, more broadly, to the notion of traveling. The photographer Mika Ninagawa’s images actually cover the train’s exterior, showing views of an annual fireworks festival held in Nagaoka City. Inside, Alfred contributes an animation compiled from images of sceneries he’s seen while traveling; photographer Naoki Ishikawa shows picture of lagoons in Niigata.

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