20th Century Recall (20世紀的回想) was the first “island artwork” of the Setouchi International Art Festival that I saw (tied with Seagull Parking Lot that I’ll detail another day). They’re both on Megijima, the last island that I visited for the Festival but as it’s on the way to Ogijima, I had time to see them from the ferry during the brief stop that it makes there.
And I want to add “luckily” to that fact, because, as you may already know, Megijima’s visit a few days later took place under a heavy rain. We spent as little time as possible outside, and we didn’t really get to enjoy the piece as we would have under different circumstances: we were drenched and freezing when we arrived in to its location.
As you can see, it is a piano/sailboat and I don’t really have much more to say about it. The official guide mentions that sometimes one can hear music coming out of it, I’m not sure if it’s supposed to come from the wind or a mechanical system, because truth is that we didn’t hear a single sound coming from it.
What did I think about it?
That it was alright. It’s the kind of surreal object that I like to run into from time to time. However, I didn’t find anything amazing or exceptional about it either. Although, I have to admit that I didn’t get to experience it in good conditions. I think that the two very different reactions that I had both times I saw it tell more about those conditions than about the work of art itself. The first time, I was very excited as it was the first piece of art of a long series that I would see, my official visit of the Setouchi Art Festival having just started 20 minutes earlier, so I think I would have been excited in front of any piece of art. The second time, I was not impressed, but I was wet, tired, and quite pissed after visiting, a few minutes earlier, the Fukutake House that I really didn’t like.
To get a reliable opinion about it I should go see it a third time. Maybe it will be possible, who knows. According to the schedule of the remaining works of art, it seems that 20th Century Recall is supposed to stay there, I’m just not sure if it’s indefinitely or just until April. We’ll see next time I go there.
I would have liked to mention a few words about the artist, Hagetaka Funjo, but I didn’t really find anything in the languages I can understand except for the fact that he was born and raised in Shanghai (his name being a “artist name” if I’m correct) and he came to Japan as an adult. I don’t know when he was born, but he can’t be very old as he seems to have obtained his Master’s Degree last year (at Nagoya University of Arts) even though he had already had an exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum in 2008.