Regent in Olives on Shōdoshima

 

On Shōdoshima, when you leave the village of Umaki towards the eastern mountains of the island, in a small olive grove like one can find here and there, there is a pretty peculiar object:

 

Regent in Olives - 1

 

Regent in Olives - 2

 

Yes, this is what it looks like; a big white olive with a rockabilly haircut.

You will have understood at this point that this somewhat WTF artwork is part of the Setouchi Triennale. It is called Regent in Olives and was created by the designer Hisakazu Shimizu.

 

Regent in Olives - 3

 

Don’t ask me the concept, I’m not sure I’m getting it either.

 

Regent in Olives - 4

 

However, it’s interesting to note that the work integrates one of the traditions of Shōdoshima (and of Shikoku): here and there on the 88 temples pilgrimage route, there are small niches where people living nearby leave fruits and other snacks for the pilgrims, who in turn thank them by leaving a few coins.

There, the triennale visitors can exactly do the same, those oranges are for them (just don’t forget to thank the person who left them there with a few coins).

 

Regent in Olives - 5

 

Being an outdoors artwork, Regent in Olives is accessible all the time for free. I suspect that it is meant to be permanent, but I’m not sure.

 

 

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