Guest Country 2020

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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 the reason why in 2018 China was invited as a guest country, and always following this new line of cultural interaction the 2020 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 Washiso 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.


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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.






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Visit the sculptures

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visit the sculptures


The edition is over, but there is still the chance to see some of the monumental cardboard sculptures present at the Outdoor exhibitions!

Here is a map of the sculptures you can still visit: "Mother" by Laurence Vallières; "Hoodie" by Michael Stutz;"Pyramid of Peace" by Heike Schaefer; "Via dal recinto" by No Dump; "U.E.C. 9000" by Labadanzky; "Silent Shell, Chaotic Shell" by Eu Tazè; "Paperman" by James Lake; "Liminal Space" by Manuela Granziol.




Call 2020

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Are you an artist, architect or performer?      Apply to the Calls for artists for the next Biennale 



Call for arts OUTDOOR & INDOOR 

Download the Rules and Regulation and the Application Form in order to propose your idea




officially closed the 14th of December 2019.


The squares where will be possible to exhibit the sculptures are: Piazza San Martino; Piazza Napoleone; Piazzale Verdi; Loggiato Petrorio; Piazza Guidiccioni; Piazza San Frediano; Piazza San Francesco; Piazza Cittadella; Piazza Antelminelli; Piazzale Arrigoni.




art exhibition and performance,

officially closed the 31st  of January 2020.

We ask to be true to the new Indoor call published on the 8th of January 2020.







2014 Edition

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Contemporary Art Biennale – VII EDITION
28th June / 2nd August 2014

The theme chosen for this edition is: Liquid Identities. A combination of two words that are the mirror of contemporary society and the individuals belonging to it. We are bombed every day by informations influencing our way of thinking and living. On a global scale this is also involving the political and economic scale. We live in a century in which our identity is undermined by a constant sense of personal dissatisfaction and lack of understanding of the reality surrounding us. We feel small in a big world and in perpetual race to gain development and success.



2018 Edition

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2018 edition


The 9th edition of Lucca Biennale took place between the 4th August and 27th September. The theme of this edition was "Chaos and Silence": chaos intended as an atmosphere of eccessive stimuli and surplus of information, but which is also creativity; and silence intended as peace and clarity in response to the chaos, but which is also isolation and disconnection.

It was the biggest edition since the beginning of the Biennale, when it comes to the numerous presence of artists and visitors, and also for the wide range of events, works and projects presented. The 2018 edition saw the presence of 59 works of art thanks to 47 artists presents in the Indoor exhibitions (Palazzo Ducale and Mercato del Carmine), 7 monumental sculptures in the same number of squares for the Outdoor exhibition, and over 5 thousand visitors.

The Design & Architecture section featured the creation of a cardboard tent project, designed by Nicholas Bertoux, and for the architecture section a visitable cardboard structure was built, designed and built by the architecture department of Tongji University.

For the first time in the course of the Biennale, a special space was dedicated to performances: Martina Zena presented "Play Human", and Gianfranco Gentile performed "No People Boat", both using the medium of paper.

To further expand the programme of the Biennale, Network Days were also held: an occasion for conferences and networking, held over the course of two days, to encourage artists and professionists to meet and exchange knowledge. For children, Lucca Biennale created a diverse program of creative workshops: the Educational Labs, designed to accompany children in the discovery of paper art, inspired by the works exhibited.

During the 9th edition, Lucca Biennale hosted a guest country for the first time, creating an atmosphere of international cooperation and hosting a platform for China: the birth place of paper, chosen as the first country to inaugurate this section, dedicated to focusing on a country and its Paper Art, assisting in the creation of a specific project.

Click on the icons below to view a detailed description of each section.















The Festival

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Lucca Biennale is among the most important events dedicated to paper applied to art, design, architecture and creativity, as paper is also an ancient material locally produced in the area of Lucca. It's one of a kind: every edition a theme tied to current events is chosen which the exhibition adheres to, to underline the connection between art and society. It gives the spectator food for thought, guided by the most innovative techniques of paper art.Lucca Biennale presents art exhibitions, projects, events, conferences and workshops.Thanks to an international call for artists, the most innovative and prominent figures of the Paper Art world take part in the Biennale, exhibiting their works during the Indoor exhibition (inside a historical building) and Outdoor exhibition (in the open air), or in the other sections: Design & Architecture, and Performances.

Other than the artistic exhibitions, Lucca Biennale is also a place to meet and grow, through the Network Days (talks and events dedicated to networking, to encourage artists and professionals to engage and exchange knowledge) and Educational Labs (creative workshops designed to accompany children in the discovery of paper art, inspired by the works exhibited). For every edition, Lucca Biennale hosts a guest country, giving it a space and platform to showcase its traditional and innovative use of paper in the world of art.

Visit now

The edition is over, but there is still the chance to see some of the monumental cardboard sculptures present at the Outdoor exhibitions! Discover the exhibition: 8 monumental carboard sculptures are hidden under the walls of Lucca. Click here to discover the map and visit them all!


Monumental sculptures in cardboard, created during an artist residency following an international call for artists. The Outdoor artists are hosted in the city of Lucca for a month, with complete supply of material, equipment and assistance. The monumental works are then installed in key locations of the historical town centre.



The most contemporary artworks of the current Paper Art scene are showcased in one or more exhibitions of the historical town centre of Lucca. The works are chosen for their innovative technique and compliancy with the theme of the edition, selected through an international call for artists.



The potential of paper is explored through architecture and design projects, selected through an international call for artists.



Lucca Biennale becomes a stage for contemporary performances that use paper. The chosen projects are selected through an international call for artists.



An occasion for conferences and networking events, that unfold in the course of various days. The Network Days encourage artists and professionals to engage and exchange knowledge.



Lucca Biennale has created a diverse program of creative workshops: the Educational Labs, designed to accompany children in the discovery of paper art, inspired by the works exhibited.

For every edition, Lucca Biennale invites a guest country, creating an atmosphere of international cooperation and cultural value. The guest country receives a dedicated space and the chance to create its own specific project.



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