Yesterday, I told you about the Oni Cave on Megijima. Today I’m going to tell you when I went back last October, despite the fact that I had already visited it less than 5 months earlier (no, I’m not that amused by big plastic Oni statues). Of course it has to do with the Setouchi International Art Festival and the work of art that has been installed (permanently?) in the cave and that gives it a very different atmosphere.
The piece is called Momo’s Game or Victory of the Naked Peach (鬼合戦、あるいは裸の桃の勝利), and it is a work by Sanja Sašo.
The title may seem a bit cryptic, but you may have found an allusion to the legend of Momotarō that I briefly mentioned yesterday; the story of the boy born from a peach and who went to Onigashima/Megijima to fight the Oni in their cave.
This artwork is linked to the legend as according to the artist, the statues made from brass and zinc wires represent the souls of the people killed by the Oni and honor their sacrifice.
Whatever it is that they represent, the result is stunningly beautiful in my opinion!
I’ve talked mostly in negative terms of Megijima and the art that was located there lately, but I have to admit that this artwork alone makes the visit to the island and to the cave worthwhile.
Momo’s Game or Victory of the Naked Peach may not be for the faint of heart as it definitely has a somber tone (at times, one really has the feeling to stumble upon a dead body hanging). One can also add that the contrast with the plastic Oni is a very uncanny one. Personally, I find that their beauty and their aura is so strong and fascinating that it makes you forget all the rest.
And now, it’s time for me to leave you with them