These are some extremely busy times.
At the university, the academic year has just started. At home, my son has just started preschool. On the Setouchi islands, the Setouchi Triennale 2019 preparations have been everywhere. I’ve also been busy writing about the Triennale in other places. Oh, and I’m starting a new project with a friend (it’s in French and has nothing to do with Japan, I may or may not tell you about it, but not right now, it’d be way too off-topic)
The result is that this blog has been a bit quiet lately. Well, not completely; I’ve been writing my own Setouchi Triennale Art Guide (spoiler alert: it won’t be complete before the start of the festival), but there were no new posts in a while. Time to change that, but in order to not fall too much behind – the Triennale starts in three days after all – I’ve combined my last two visits to Ogijima into one post.
The first part of the post took place on April 9th and the second part today!
Team Ogi‘s new project: Takotsuboru looks almost ready. The blue tarp is that nobody and nothing enters it, but once the Triennale has started, it will be “usable” as a playground for kids.
As a reminder, Team Ogi is the follow-up of Onba Factory (both directed by Yoshifumi Oshima). Onba Factory was for the women on the island, Team Ogi’s first project (called “Ogi Project“) was for its men… and now that the island has children again, lots of them, this new project is for them!
Whoops, I couldn’t fit all of Ogijima’s Soul into my frame. I had to be careful with the flowerbed behind me, and I didn’t want the ground to be seen on the foreground. 🙂
Next, some of the boats from Team Ogi‘s original project. While they’re not officially part of the Triennale, of course, they’re still around, and they just got a new paint job:
Oh, and by the way, April 9th was the peak of cherry blossoms this year in Kagawa Prefecture. So, I did my own little personal hanami:
Soon to become Trieb House by Toshikatsu Endo (it won’t be ready before the summer). I’m still not sure what he want or even can do with it, as it looks ready to fall apart. I may have mentioned it before, but I remember this house from the very first Triennale back in 2010 for some reason, and I kinda consider it as a strange dark work of art made by nature, so I’m a little sad that it will look different soon.
Wait? What is this? So the rumors were true! Sea Vine is back and it’s looking different!
Yamaguchi family’s herb garden! They’re one of the families who recently moved to the island (three years ago). They started a natural salon called Elephant & Sun (Zoh to Taiyo), and they have a few surprises for you during the Triennale (in collaboration with Ogijima Library, stay tuned).
This house is nicknamed “Nishibori’s house” among a few people on Ogijima (myself included) because it hosted Takashi Nishibori‘s artworks in both 2010 and 2013. However, in 2016, he managed the Thai Factory Market and didn’t have time to create new art for the Triennale, and this year, he’s back, but he’ll be in Takamatsu, with a new installation reminiscent of his work from 2010. So this year, it’s Goro Murayama who occupies the house. I only saw glimpses of his work and no decent picture to show you.
At home, a small surprise was waiting for me. A thank you note and a few presents from Team Ogi after they had done a crowdfunding to finance the (most likely) last boat dance that is going to take place on April 28th, starring the Seppuku Pistols, once again.
Today was “Press Day” on the Setouchi Islands. That is the day when the press is allowed to get previews of the artworks, meet a few of the artists, etc.
I wasn’t on the island as a member of the press, but to meet with Sarah Westphal today, as well as simply spend time outside, and smell the change of atmosphere on the island – those few days right before the Triennale are always unique moments, full of energy and anticipation.
I got a preview of Sarah’s work The Sea Within – The See Within, and I can tell you here and now that I really love it. I have no picture to show you, partly because I wanted to spend my time in the building experiencing the art without thinking about taking pictures, partly because it will be difficult to take good pictures (the room is pretty dark), partly because it’s one of these artworks that are better discovered unspoiled – there is no big surprise waiting for you, but it’s really about the sensorial and somewhat meditative experience, and pictures can’t convey that properly.
Dreaming of Blue
The trick was to take a picture from the other side. Now all of Ogijima’s Soul fits in the frame! Unfortunately, the sky wasn’t very blue today.
Oh, and I got to see Haruki Takahashi’s new Sea Vine! I guess now it’s called Sea Vine: on the Shoreline:
Soon to be Trieb House again… I’m really more than intrigued.
Rikuji Makabe’s Wallalley, I don’t really need to introduce it, do I?
Ok, that’s all for today… Of course, with the Triennale being three days away, I don’t need to tell you to stay tuned, I trust you to be sensible enough to do it. 🙂