Setouchi Triennale 2016

Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

previous post
list all posts
next post

2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016

Amazing view from the entrance of Les Archives du Coeur

The Setouchi Triennale is a contemporary art festival held every three years across twelve islands in the Seto Inland Sea. While contemporary art is a major focus of the festival, one of its objectives is to promote and revive the culture of the islands. Visitors to the festival can enjoy the idyllic nature of the countryside, gorgeous island scenery and have a chance to slow down and appreciate a different pace of life. Access to most of the islands is by ferry only, just like the good old days, except with faster and modern boats with engines.

This year is the third installment of the popular art festival and for those who like island hopping, the Setouchi Triennale is perfect for that and offers the opportunity to see contemporary art. There are three sessions to the triennale; Spring, from March 20 to April 17; Summer, from July 18 to September 4; Autumn, from October 8 to November 6. Not all artwork are shown for the entire duration of the triennale, and some are session specific. The artworks are spread out over the islands range in size with the smallest traversable on foot in a half a day. Visitors can purchase an admission passport for 5000 yen which covers the admission to most sites and allows for a discounted rate for others. Note that most of the indoor exhibitions do not allow photography, but it is okay to take pictures from the outside. If you are not sure, it is best to check with the nearby staff.

For part two of our Setouchi Triennale 2016 reporting, I visited Teshima and Inujima over the weekend from Okayama.

Teshima

Teshima is the second largest participating island after Shodoshima. A forested mountain stands in its middle, and a circular road connects its three small fishing villages. Two of the villages have ferry ports, Karato and Ieura, the latter of which is the more important. I had a great time cycling around, visiting the various artworks and admiring the coastal scenery. A couple of my favourite installations were the Teshima Art Museum and the Storm House.

To get to Teshima, I took the train from Okayama to Uno, and got on the ferry. The Uno - Teshima ferry terminal is about 300 meters left of the station, and tickets are sold near the boarding point. There are two ports on Teshima, Ieura (770 yen one way) and Karato (1030 yen one way), and the ferry stops at both. I got off at Ieura Port and rented an electric bicycle (1000 yen for the first four hours, additional 100 yen for each hour after that) to get around the island. Teshima isn't very big and is easily covered by bike in a day, and I was thankful for the electric bicycle because the island is pretty hilly and cycling would have been a lot more painful without it.

Uno Station all decked out

Inside the Distant Memory tunnel

There's usually a staff manning each site

Outside of the Teshima 8 Million Lab, a collaboration of art and science, a new artwork for 2016

Ema (wooden plates to write wishes on) at the Teshima 8 Million Lab

Fruit trees everywhere

I was a little worried the first time I saw this sign, can I cycle faster than a wild boar running at full speed?

If the earth were flat, these people would be falling off the edge

The Teshima Art Museum is an amazing art space by architect Nishizawa Ryue. The buildings that make up the museum are rounded and blend into the surrounding terrain comfortably. Despite the line to enter the art space, it was unexpectedly spacious inside. There are two large holes cut out of the top allowing light to filter through and illuminate the space inside. The view out of the holes change depending on your position inside and I've heard that the view is nothing less than amazing even when it rains. Part of the exhibition are small puddles of water that sprout up and flow towards different areas, so be sure not to step on water! Photography is not allowed inside and there are staff around to make sure of that.

There're ever watchful staff inside the Teshima Art Museum's art space to make sure you don't flout the rules

Inside the museum cafe and shop which resembles the art space

Teshima Art Museum from a distance. Art space on the right, museum shop and cafe on the left

The Les Archives du Coeur is a permanent exhibition on Teshima where you can listen to the recorded heartbeats of over 45,000 people. What I found really interesting about the installation was that it was held in almost complete darkness, illuminated by only a single lightbulb flashing with the rhythm of the heartbeat. Surrounded by darkness, the heartbeats started to sound like taiko drumming and it wasn't hard to get absorbed and sucked into the whole experience. Note that this installation may be unsuitable for those who are afraid of the dark or sensitive to flashing/flickering lights. There is also a choice for visitors to record their heartbeats for an additional charge.

Les Archives du Coeur has very nice design and typography

I wonder if this is for an upcoming installation

Shooting hoops at the No One Wins - Multibasket installation

Rice terraces on Teshima

The Shima Kitchen which is both installation art and a restaurant

You know the food's going to be good when the kitchen is staffed by grandmas

Natural spring water that feeds the plants in the fields nearby

Cherry blossoms and the Particles in the Air installation

Venn diagram or Mickey Mouse outline?

Down an alley in Teshima

The outside of the Storm House which recreates the experience of a storm in about ten minutes

Looking down on a village

The former Needle Factory with a huge wooden ship inside, a new artwork for 2016

Outside of the Teshima Yokoo House which is filled with colourful art. The interior of the tower is covered with postcards of waterfalls

Inujima

My next island was Inujima, a small island off Okayama. The island is small enough to be explored on foot comfortably in a few hours, which was what I did. A major spot on Inujima is the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, an underground art gallery, located on what used to be a copper refinery. The exhibition inside is an ingenious use of mirrors and light, reminding me of Egyptian mirror lightings. The completely dark corridors are illuminated by the mirrors set at 45 degree angles, showing daylight in front and a dark star at the back. Visitors can also explore the ruins of the copper refinery after exiting the gallery.

Hoden Port

Welcome to Inujima

Entrance to the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum

Ruins of the copper refinery

Walls of what used to be the power plant at the refinery

The Inujima Art House Project are a group of five galleries dotted across Inujima. I had a good time walking from gallery to gallery and checking out the new installations, and before I knew it, it was time to catch the ferry back to Okayama.

There are infrequent direct buses between Okayama Station (bay 9 at the bus terminal) and Hoden Port during each session of the festival, public holidays and selected weekends. The schedule while infrequent, is sufficient for exploring the island and seeing the installations. It takes less than five minutes to walk from the bus stop to the port and the route is well-marked. Ferry tickets are sold at the boarding point (300 yen one way), and the one way journey from Hoden Port in Okayama to Inujima only takes ten minutes. The islands are not far from one another and can be seen from each port.

Biota (Fauna/Flora) gallery, new for 2016

Inujima village

Listen to the Voices of Yesterday like the Voices of Ancient Times, new for 2016

Visitors walking in the installation

If these chairs look familiar to you, they can also be found at the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa

Flowers in the reflectwo gallery

The circular reflectwo gallery was really popular for panoramic shots

Hey, the village is all upside down in the contact lens gallery

Nakanotani Gazebo gallery, where you could take a rest yours legs on these rabbit chairs

Rabbit chairs that look upon houses and the sea in the distance

The Ether gallery, an installation of leveling strings, new for 2016

You could lie on the strings like a hammock

Selfie time at the Plane Mirror gallery, new for 2016

Bicycles and flowers

Staff on the island wave every ship off, to the delight of the passengers

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival
2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report

Questions? Ask in our forum.
Anything we can improve?  Let us know
We strive to keep Japan Guide up-to-date and accurate, and we're always looking for ways to improve. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:
Thank you for your feedback.