Announcement of SIAF2024 Theme and Dates

The SIAF Executive Committee, chaired by Sapporo Mayor AKIMOTO Katsuhiro, has decided, together with Director OGAWA Hideaki, on the theme of the Sapporo International Art Festival 2024 (SIAF2024), which is slated for the 2023/2024 winter.
That theme is LAST SNOW. By posing this theme as a question for us all, Director OGAWA is calling for future-oriented creation and action.

In addition to the theme, the Committee has announced the sub-theme and period of SIAF2024, as well as the open programs and ongoing programs scheduled for fiscal 2022. These programs and SIAF2024, the latter of which will start in January 2024, are expected to be truly something to behold.

News Release

Director's Message 

The theme of Sapporo International Art Festival 2024 is "Last Snow".

Humanity lives in the midst of constant crises, with events such as the global pandemic since 2020 and the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Technological development is accelerating, resulting in rapidly transforming societies. Furthermore, the effects of global climate change are slowly but surely changing our lives. It is predicted that by the end of the 21st century the meaning of “snow" - which should exist in Sapporo as a matter of course - and the scenery it creates will be different from what they are today.

This art festival focuses on transformation and creation for such a future for our planet, society, community, and life.

What is snow, and how will Sapporo be different 100 years from now? What kind of future can the hybrid of art and science and technology envision? What new ways of thinking, education, innovation, systems, and actions are necessary to live in harmony with the future Earth? What kind of communities will we create, and what kind of future humanity will live there?

Last Snow is a call for creativity and action for the sake of our future.

Do we simply wait for the future to arrive and accept it?
Or can we seize this moment as our last chance and begin to create our own future?

The sub-theme of the festival is “Where the Future Begins”. The art festival also has a subtheme in the language of the Ainu people, who have built their own culture in the northern lands. Upaste, a term derived from upas meaning “snow”, embodies an original interpretation inspired by the festival’s theme; to start running towards a future with snow, and to recognise each other through snow.

In 2024 the Sapporo International Art Festival will create an "experimental zone" in Sapporo which, through art, provokes questions and inspires actions for the future. We look forward to experiencing “where the future begins" together with you.

OGAWA Hideaki, Sapporo International Art Festival 2024 Director

Outline of SIAF2024

(as of June 10, 2022)


  札幌国際芸術祭2024 (Japanese)
  Sapporo International Art Festival 2024 (English)
  Usa Mosir un Askay utar Sapporo otta Uekarpa 2024 (Ainu)






  はじまりの雪 (Japanese)
  Where the Future Begins (English)
  Upaste (Ainu)

 About Upaste

Upas means “snow” in Ainu.
The word is composed of two parts: “u-” [together] and “pas” [to run]; upas refers to the visual effect of snowflakes swirling together as they fall, as if chasing one another.
The word upaste is a protologism coined for the Sapporo International Art Festival 2024.
By adding the suffix “-te,” the word takes the causative form. The intention is for upaste to intimate snowflakes flying, tumbling, swirling together as one.
Since paste (which has a different etymology than “pas”) can be translated as “to be aware of” or “to recognize,” adding “u-” [together] also intimates mutual recognition and shared understanding.
This snow-derived Ainu word responds and remixes LAST SNOW, the theme of the Sapporo International Art Festival 2024. Hopefully this invented Ainu word can also invite us to run, tumble, and scramble together in synchrony, reaching out for our future while recognizing one another.

The Ainu sub-theme was prepared by Mayunkiki
(SIAF2020 Ainu Culture Coordinator)


  Saturday, January 20 – Sunday, February 25, 2024 [37 days]
  *A pre-opening period is being considered for some venues.


  OGAWA Hideaki
  (Co-Director of Ars Electronica Futurelab/Artist)

Open Program

 ・ Podcast Program "SIAF Director’s Lounge" *Broadcast starts on June 15 (Weds)

Ongoing Programs

 ・ SIAF Art Mediation Research 2022
 ・ SIAF Lab’s S.I.D.E. Project "Side Effects"

Director OGAWA’s video message (June 10, 2022)