One of the more exciting things about our upcoming Japan trip is that we will be visiting the Setouchi Triennale 2013! There were major yays and massive self-patting on the back when I first found out that the 2013 triennale is going to take place over three sessions (Spring, Summer, Autumn) and that our Naoshima dates coincide with (the last week of) the spring session.
So the plan is for us to spend two nights on Naoshima and do a bit of island-hopping to visit the artworks. Taking place over several islands in the Seto Inland Sea area, the art festival will feature over artworks and projects from 75 artists all over the world. You can find the full list of participating artists here.
Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller – Storm House
Want to experience a storm the Japanese way? Take refuge in the Storm House on Teshima where you can do just that. Sensory supplements (i.e. howling winds, lashing of the rain on windows) included. I’m just hoping that there won’t be any real storm outside.
“Onba” are strollers and are usually simply made out of wood or remodeled from trolleys. On hilly Ogijima, they are especially helpful to the island inhabitants when it comes to ferrying things around the island. I once saw a onba competition on TV in Japan: old Japanese ladies strutting down a walkway parading their customised onba. It was very endearing. The Onba Factory is a group of 5 artists who think that “women pushing unique handmade Onba should create beautiful scenes” and started their project by repairing, painting and “zhng-ing” the strollers. You can see some of their works here.
While also part of the Setouchi Art Festival, the Art House project on Naoshima is open to visitors for most part of the year. Located near the Honmura port, the project consists of 7 formerly abandoned houses which are now repurposed as art venues and installations.
The Art House Project takes empty houses scattered about residential areas, and turns the spaces themselves into works of art, weaving in the history and memories of the period when the houses were homes. Meetings between visitors to the island and the island’s people in places where they go about their daily lives also provide occasions for a variety of interesting encounters.
Hiroshi Sugimoto – Go’o Shrine 護王神社
There is a mediative quality about Sugimoto’s photographs, and I would really like to see this and see how/if he has managed to bring that to an actual space.
Shinro Ohtake – Haisha はいしゃ
This space used to belong to a dentist, hence its name (which means “dentist” in Japanese). I’m sold just on the exterior of the art house.
Yoshihiro Suda – Gokaisho 碁会所
I adore his hyper-realistic wooden sculptures of flowers. Flowers as subject matter are rather unexceptional, but these flower sculptures, in their in less-than-usual installation settings, gain a certain mystique and bring a sense of theatre to the space they occupy.