14 Must-See Art Pieces at the Setouchi Triennale 2016 in Japan!

  • VARIOUS AREAS
  • EVENT
  • The Setouchi Triennale or Setouchi International Art Festival is an international modern art festival that takes place on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, which separates the main island and Shikoku island of Japan. First held in 2010, this festival that takes place once every three years was made to bring back vitality to the islands of the Seto Inland Sea that have been losing their activeness and unique culture due to the aging populations there.

    There is an extremely large amount of artwork that is on display throughout the islands of the Seto Inland Sea and it is near impossible to include all of them in this article. So I have chosen one piece from each of the 14 locations (mostly islands) that are a part of the Setouchi Triennale 2016 from the perspective of a digital artist.

    ship-on-sea

    1. Naoshima

    Naoshima Pavilion (Artwork No. 005)

    naoshima-pavilion

    The Naoshima Pavilion is a large landmark on Naoshima designed by Sou Fujimoto that is located right off the shore and at night, this piece turns into a magical looking object that has the lightness and buoyancy of a mirage.

    2. Teshima

    Was du liebst, bring dich auch zum weinen (Artwork No. 022)

    teshima-was-du-liebst

    I’m not sure how accurate this translation is, but the title of this work roughly translates to “the things you love, also make you cry.” This work turned an abandoned house into a restaurant filled with camouflage print, stripes, and polka dots. This seemingly other-dimensional restaurant itself is a work of art.

    3. Megijima

    Equipose (Artwork No. 050)

    megijima-equipose

    This piece made by the artist Harumi Yukutake features over 10,000 pieces of handmade mirror glass. With the sunlight hitting the installation at different angles throughout the day, this piece changes its appearance at every second and when the wind shakes the pieces of glass, the entire space is filled with an otherworldly light.

    4. Ogijima

    Walking Ark (Artwork No. 065)

    ogijima-walking-ark

    This piece made by Keisuke Yamaguchi was inspired by the story of Noah and the Ark. The four mountains on the ark are attempting to walk across the ocean. This represents the ark going out towards the ocean in an attempt to stop any calamity from occurring.

    5. Shodoshima

    Voyage through the Void (Artwork No. 074)

    shodoshima-voyage

    This piece is based on a boat that came to the Seto Inland Sea in old times. This piece is extremely interesting as the lights installed change according to the sounds of the waves that it picks up.

    6. Oshima

    Blue Sky Aquarium (Artwork No. 115)

    oshima-blue-sky

    This installation is located in a dormitory and was named Blue Sky Aquarium because it attempts to bring the world underwater up to the world on land. This work features crying mermaids, shipwrecks, and numerous sea creatures.

    7. Inujima

    Inujima “Art House Project” C-Art House / “Ether” (Artwork No. 124)

    inujima-art-house

    The C-Art House located on a hill that looks over the Seto Inland Sea is a 200-year-old building that has been renovated into an art gallery. This installation is made from a leveling string that has been tied throughout the indoor space.

    8. Shamijima

    Stratums (Artwork No. 132)

    shamijima-stratums

    This installation directed by Tanya Preminger was made by piling up granite dirt frequently found in Kagawa prefecture. The mound covered by grass is approximately 6.5 meters high. This interactive installation allows visitors to climb up the hill to enjoy the beautiful view of the Seto Inland Sea from the top.

    9. Honjima

    Sora-Ami: Knitting the Sky (Artwork No. 142)

    honjima-sora-ami

    This exhibit was put up as a result of the fish net knitting workshops that took place in various places on the mainland during the spring. This exhibit allows people to enjoy the changing nature of the ocean seen through the vertically installed nets.

    10. Takamijima

    Takamijima Project / Journey of rust (Artwork No. 150)

    takamijima-project

    This piece located on an empty space that overlooks the sea is made from no longer used metal objects including various electronics and daily items. The surfaces of the objects that have been polished cause the sunlight to reflect off the many surfaces creating an unusual feel to the ship-shaped installation.

    11. Awashima

    Project for Awashima (Artwork No. 161)

    awashima-project

    This installation is located in the building that used to be Awashima Kindergarten. The monotone space that has been created through bending nonsystematic lines represent the space that small children used to occupy. The non-organic nature of the space brings forth various emotions in the viewer.

    12. Ibukijima

    Unsinkable Ship (Artwork No. 165)

    ibukijima-unsinkable-ship

    This piece is made from fishing nets, floats, and various other everyday objects that remind the viewer of schools of fish and the swirling waves in the ocean. The floats made by the people of the island along with elementary and middle school students is breathtaking as it is placed in this enormous indoor space and provide the viewer with a deeper meaning of the installation.

    13. Takamatsu

    Liminal Air ~core~ (Artwork No. 171)

    takamatsu-liminal-air

    The City of Takamatsu serves as the entrance into these islands that are part of the international art festival. These two colorful installations that are located at Takamatsu Port are partly covered in glass that reflects the port, sea, and buildings that surround the area, and the tower changes its appearance according to where and when you look at it from.

    14. Uno Port

    Chinu – the Black Sea Bream of Uno (Artwork No. 182)

    uno-port-chinu

    This installation has been made from empty cans, PET bottles, and other trash that have been collected from households around the island. This exhibit was actually created for the first Art Festival that took place three years ago, but it has been retouched to be once again put on exhibit for the 2016 festival.

    General Information

    setouchi-art-festival-map

    If you are planning to visit Setouchi Triennale 2016, I highly suggest getting the 3-season passport. The passports are available for 5,000 yen each for adults, and 3,500 yen for high school students. It would usually cost over 25,000 yen in order to visit all of the locations so these passports are extremely cost efficient.

    The spring season is already over but the summer season goes on from July 18th to September 4th, and the fall season goes on from October 8th to November 6th. The 3-season passport is valid throughout the entire year.

    If you have any interest in modern art and/or the wonderful islands of the Seto Inland Sea, the Setouchi Triennale would make the perfect vacation. Why not tour around the islands of the Seto Inland Sea to enjoy the culture of these islands and various works of art made by artists all around the world?

    Setouchi Triennale 2016 Website

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    The 10 Best Things to Do in Naoshima If You’re Not an Art Fan