The Setouchi Triennale 2022 Spring session was more subdued and less frequented than what we’ve been used to during the previous years (there were some busy days, but overall, it was quieter).
The pandemic is of course the reason. The reason for fewer visitors, but also the reason for fewer artworks making their debut in the Spring.
The Summer session is starting in a week, and we still don’t know what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, infection numbers in Kagawa have never been so high at the moment. We don’t really know how it’s going to impact the Triennale yet.
On the positive side, quite a few new artworks are making their debut in the summer, including three from some of my favorite artists. So, there is some excitement and anticipation in the air despite the pandemic.
Luckily, I’ll have some days off soon and will be able to enjoy it. Artworks are generally safe, but I’m a bit worried about overcrowded ferries. We’ll see.
Crowds are not something I needed to worry about yesterday, though. Meon wasn’t as full as I feared. It was actually much emptier than usual on a Saturday morning in late July. Those Megijima beachgoers can be quite numerous and rowdy in summer, but it seems that most of them are staying home at the moment. Good.
Hello Oshima, long time no see.
As you can see from the surface of the sea, it was a little windy. Nothing bad, quite the contrary. This nice breeze made the heat bearable, especially where I was heading.
While I know that the ferry was not very crowded (no huge line at the ticket counter, no huge crowd getting off at Megi port), I can’t exactly tell how crowded it was. Why? Well, this is my spot most days on Meon when heading to Ogijima. An area on the ferry usually shared with the Koebi staff only. Here, they had left for Megijima a few minutes earlier.
I guess we rarely see Ogijima from that angle online for some reason.
See the building that’s under construction? That was my destination.
And before we go any further, I already imagine future travel writers as well as art & architecture websites and magazines that will talk about the place. They will all talk about how the building sits on top of the village (mark my words, they will). And because I care about accuracy, facts, and the truth: no, it’s not on top of the village. It’s just that the trees behind give that impression, but there are quite a few houses and buildings higher (including some art sites). I know it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things, but still. Travel writers distorting reality to fit the narrative they want to create is one of my pet peeves. 🙂
It’s still a steep climb, don’t get me wrong. (there’s an easier but longer way)
So, where was I going exactly? What was happening?
Well, a little while ago, Oscar Oiwa very kindly invited me to join him for one day and help with his new art.
It’s called Ogijima Pavilion and it’s a collaboration between architect Shigeru Ban and Oscar Oiwa. It’s one of the very exciting new art projects for this year. And it should be a permanent one, obviously, as it’s a new building.
It’s not finished yet (and honestly, I’m not too sure if the building itself will be finished by Friday), but Oscar’s art should be ready.
Here is a glimpse of what to expect:
I hope I have whetted your appetite. It’s amazing, and I’m excited that it’s on Ogijima. I’m also quite humbled to have been able to take part in the project and helped a little.
I didn’t do much, I basically colored one of the panels (obviously Oscar drew it, not me) along with his very friendly daughter who came along from the US for some very fun but busy summer vacation in Japan.
This is me, shortly after having started (filmed by Oscar). You can’t really see my face, but my R2-D2 T-shirt is unmistakable. 🙂
Oscar putting the final touches on the panel.
You also can imagine what the view is like from there (one of the best views on the island).
I guess in a few days I’ll show you what it looks like once finished.
In the meantime, I want to thank Oscar for this wonderful opportunity and fun day. 🙂
Stay tuned for more soon (even one more preview if I have the time before Friday).