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Ogijima Art Guide

Ogijima is without a doubt my favorite island in the Setouchi area. While I was already enamored with the island before the Setouchi Triennale started, the artworks that can be found there made me love the island even more. Add to that some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and you get a place that’s unique and wonderful despite its small size.

It is also the island that has probably benefited the most from the revitalization efforts in the area. The island that you will discover during your visit has nothing to do with the sleepy and slowly dying island that I discovered in the late 2000s.

Thanks to the islanders’ hard work, the island has become attractive enough that it gains new full-time residents on a regular basis. These new residents, in turn, bring their own skills, specialties, and energy to make the island even more attractive, interesting and sustainable. The island is on the right path not only to survive but possibly even strive in the near future. Don’t forget that the Setouchi Triennale’s mission is not just to create “art islands”. Its main goal is to save this wonderful region that is in danger of dying because it suffers from the triple threat of the general depopulation all over the country, a rural flight that hits the countrysides all over the world, and finally “island exodus”, an insular variation of rural flight that accentuates the pattern even more on small islands.

  • Land area: 1,38 km2
  • Circumference: 5 km
  • Highest Point: 213 m
  • Population: 132

Getting there

The regular way to go to Ogijima is by a ferry called Meon that departs from Takamatsu.
A one-way trip lasts about 40 minutes and costs 510 yen.
Ferries leave every two hours. On even-numbered hours to the island from Takamatsu (from 8 am to 6 pm) and odd-numbered hours from the island to Takamatsu (from 7 am to 5 pm).

 

Getting around the island

While you can rent electrical bicycles on the islands, you cannot use them inside the village where most of the art is located. They will only be useful if you want to quickly reach the island’s lighthouse located to the northern end of the island.

Inside the village, the only way to get around is to walk. Wear comfortable shoes, the village is built on the side of a hill, some streets can be steep.

 

More

For more information feel free to check out Hinomaple’s Ogijima Page.

 

Artworks

Usually, outdoor artworks are free and accessible in permanence.

Unless stated otherwise, indoor artworks are open every day during the Setouchi Triennale (and closed every day in between sessions of the Triennale).

Entrance to indoor artworks usually costs 300 yen without a Triennale Passport. Entrance is free for children and teenagers younger than 16.

 

 

Art on Ogijima

 

 

og01

Ogijima’s Soul

Jaume Plensa (2010)

Review: The building is wonderful. I just can’t get tired of it. Note that it is not only art but also a visitor center where one can find information, souvenirs, ferry tickets, and more.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

og02

Takotsuboru

(Catching Octopus)

Team Ogi (2019)

  • Open every day from 9.30 am to 4.15 pm (you can see it in permanence as it’s outdoors).
  • Access is free.
  • Team Ogi online: Facebook
  • On the site

Review: a very cute playground for kids.
⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

og03

Generative Wall Drawing on Japanese Paper House

Goro Murayama (2019, 2022)

  • Open every day during the Setouchi Triennale (9.30 am to 4.15 pm)
  • Entrance fee: 300 yen (free with a Triennale Passport)
  • Goro Murayama online: Site

Review: Interesting paintings all over the inside of the house. However, there’s something missing, not sure what for me to be really touched by it.
Note that the artwork has been updated since 2019 and it looks much better.
⭐⭐⭐

 

 

og05

Project for wall painting in lane, Ogijima Wallalley

Sazanami House

Rikuji Makabe (2010, 2022)

Review: I love those walls, spread out all over the village and that gives it a more lively and colorful tint here and there. Art that fits and becomes part of its environment is always the best.
In 2022, Rikuji Makabe added one new installation in the side of a warehouse in the fishing port. It gives some much needed color and vibrancy to that side of the island.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

og07

Dancing in the Seto

Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends (2022)

  • Open every day during the Setouchi Triennale (9.30 am to 4.15 pm)
  • Entrance fee: 300 yen (free with a Triennale Passport)
  • Takeshi Kawashima online: Site

Review: For his 5th triennale and his 92th birthday, Kawashima-sensei is offering us a brand new artwork in his gallery. As beautiful as usual, a bit reminiscent of his style from 1980s. Not to be missed.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

og08

Akinorium

Akinori Matsumoto (2015)

  • Open every day during the Setouchi Triennale (9.30 am to 4.15 pm)
  • Entrance fee: 300 yen (free with a Triennale Passport)
  • Only eight people are allowed in the building at a time, so expect some waiting time on crowded days.
  • On the site: main article, more
  • Hinomaple’s article
  • Akinori Matsumoto: Site
  • This artwork has the particularity to be owned and managed by the Ogi Community Association.

Review: A magical place. You need to take your time when visiting Akinorium (10 minutes is best, albeit not always possible if it’s a busy day). When you first enter, stay a little bit downstairs and enjoy the view and the sounds. Then move upstairs (mind your head and be careful with the stairs too), sit down and relax.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

og14

Maison de Urushi

by Maison de Urushi Project (directed by Shozo Kitaoka and Hayato Otani), since 2010.

  • Open every day during the Setouchi Triennale (9.30 am to 4.15 pm)
  • Entrance fee: 300 yen (free with a Triennale Passport)
  • On the site
  • Hinomaple’s article
  • Maison de Urushi online: Site

Review: A place that shows what can be done with traditional urushi lacquer in the contemporary world. I love how traditional techniques are applied to the modern world this way. This project has a lot to bring. It’s the kind of place that shows how revitalization can go through other means than just tourism, for example mixing arts, crafts, local culture. However, for reasons I’m not aware of, the place is nowadays only used during the Setouchi Triennale which is a shame (between 2010 and 2013 it seemed to really start developing something permanent on the island, but for some reasons, it didn’t work out – I’m sure that if they tried again it would work this time, the island is a different place nowadays).
⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

og15

The Room Inside of the Room

Oscar Oiwa (2016)

  • Open every day during the Setouchi Triennale (9.30 am to 4.15 pm)
  • Entrance fee: 300 yen (free with a Triennale Passport)
  • Only six people are allowed in the building at a time, so expect some waiting time on crowded days.
  • On the site: main article, more
  • Hinomaple’s article
  • Oscar Oiwa online: Site, Facebook, Youtube

Review: I love this very fun artwork, in line with Oscar Oiwa’s original and intriguing landscapes as well as his plays on perspective. When you’re in the room, do not solely focus on the strange appearance of the setting, make sure you spend a certain amount of time for the painting, there is more than meets the eye at first.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

og16

Walking Ark

Keisuke Yamaguchi (2013)

Review: Not too crazy about it, but I don’t mind it either. Hint: the best way to enjoy the artwork is not when you’re closest to it, but actually when you’re a few dozens of meters away and that the “island” lines up with the horizon and seems to be moving as you walk towards it.
⭐⭐

 

og17

Dreaming of Blue

Regina Silveira (2016)

Review: Nice, but not exactly mindblowing. Still, I like the fact that it adds color and personality to this otherwise very dull-looking (but very useful) building.
⭐⭐⭐

og18

Ogijima Pavillion

Architect: Shigeru Ban

Artist: Oscar Oiwa

(Opening in summer 2022)

 

og19

No.105

Wang Teyu

(Opening in summer 2022)

 

 

more

OGI Project

Team Ogi (2013-2016)

  • Team Ogi’s original project was to paint some of the fishing boats of the island. While it’s not part of the Setouchi Triennale anymore, the boats are still around and can be seen in both ports on the island (or at sea if you’re lucky).
  • On the site: main article, more
  • Hinomaple’s article
  • Team Ogi online: Facebook

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

Onba Factory

Onba Factory has been one of the most inspiring and important artworks of the whole Setouchi Triennale since it’s beginnings. Unfortunately, it closed its doors in 2021. However, a lot of the onba that were created over the past 12 years can still be found on the island.

 

 

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