And before you read any further, make sure you check this post telling you about the opportunity I had to give a hand to Oscar while the building was still under construction:
So, yes, this new artwork is quite a big deal. After all, Shigeru Ban is one of the major Japanese architects nowadays. And Oscar Oiwa has a long history with Ogijima, dating back to the very first Triennale. We can say that today, he’s one of the most beloved artists on the island, by locals and visitors alike.
The building is very simple in appearance and looks vaguely traditional. It has a few twists, though.
This was on August 5th, opening day. I was one of the very first visitors to see it, and the place had been finished the day before. Actually, the part that’s not accessible to the public is not finished yet, I guess it will be after the Triennale).
I just mentioned a few twists. Do you see the pillars and the beams that compose the main structure of the pavilion? Well, it’s not wood. It’s paper! Big compressed paper tubes, and it’s as resistant and durable as wood. If not more! Shigeru Ban has done quite a number of projects this way, as you can see on his site.
And inside, Oscar Oiwa’s art is just as awesome as usual (and also contains its own twists and “easter eggs”).
The main feature is these three windows. These are three separate drawings. On the right panel, we see boats and ferries (actual ones from Ogijima). On the middle panel, there are a few strange-looking fish. On the left panel, is a big octopus.
Let’s get a closer look at the three strange fish:
It’s actually a map of the area (see Takamatsu at the bottom?) and the three fish are the three local islands:
Oh, and when the three windows (which are sliding windows) are superimposed, they make a new drawing. I couldn’t show it to you with the actual windows, but there is a drawing in the room showing you what it looks like. Also, make sure to watch the two videos below.
The fourth panel is an imaginary island that’s reminiscent of Ogijima. It’s the one, I helped with. 🙂
There is one more panel, but it’s not accessible to the public. The thing is that while Ogijima Pavilion is set to be permanent, I’m not sure how long it’s going to be open to the public. After the end of the Setouchi Triennale 2022, it’ll become a one-room hotel! So there is another section of the building containing a tiny kitchen and a bathroom, with another drawing from Oscar. There’s also one more drawing and that’s the back wall. I didn’t take a good picture of it. Whoops, sorry. Worry not, I’ll return there very soon (when it’s not as hot, and possibly on a day with no one around, so that I can photograph it and film it in length).
In the meantime, you can enjoy the view from Ogijima Pavilion:
I also filmed the inside, and you can see it in a few more details and a better sense of space:
And Oscar also published a much better video showing a bit of the construction and a short interview with Shigeru Ban:
The photo was kindly provided by Oscar. It was taken the following day from my visit. I couldn’t be there. You’ll know why very soon.
Ok, that’s all for today. As usual, if you like what you saw, the best way to thank me is to share this post with your contacts on social media and more. The second best way is to subscribe to the blog and follow me. The third best way is to give me plenty of money. 😉
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Also, this year very few foreigners can’t attend the Setouchi Triennale, and I know that websites and blogs focusing on travel, art, and Japan are eager to publish content about the festival but can’t come here directly. If you want to use me as a source, please do it, but make sure to do what’s right. That is: name me as your source, including a link to this page. Of course, if you want to use my pictures, ask me first. Thank you.
It’s a shame that I need to say this, but I’ve had a few bad experiences recently. And we’re talking about some major sites with much more visibility than me. They found their information and facts here but didn’t bother naming me as a source. It’s a bad trend these days, and I hope it stops soon. Be a good person or publication, don’t be a part of the problem, be part of the solution.