Today, I’m bringing you back to Megijima to continue showing you the new art of the island this year for the Setouchi Triennale 2016.
So, here is where we went after visiting the Oni Cave.
If you’re confused as to why there’s such a statue on Megijima (no, it has no link whatsoever to the Triennale), you can find some explanation there.
I never get tired of these little Oni Statues. They, too, date from well before the Triennale, and are the work of Yoshifumi Oshima, of Onba Factory and Team Ogi fame. They’re all unique and if you wonder what they’re pointing at, the answer is the way to the Oni cave.
Like many of the villages on the islands, Megicho has a lot of abandoned houses.
The first artwork in this post is located right next to the beach, very near the Hachiman shrine, by the small pine grove that also serves as a campground. It’s called Feel Feel Bonsai. It’s both very local and world famous, as it is about bonsai. But you would have guessed that already. It’s local, because you may not know that Kagawa produces more than 80% of pine bonsai in Japan, and world famous because who hasn’t heard about bonsai nowadays?
The project is a collaborative work between Bonsai Master Masashi Hirao, and Setöuchi Cōgeiz, a local design studio (the diacritics are only there for looks – in Japanese too, they play on the way their name looks).
It’s “just” a house, with “just” a few bonsai in it, but what house and what bonsai!
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I don’t know how permanent the place is going to be (the way it looks, it could go either way after the end of the Triennale, and I don’t have any information), however the exhibited bonsai change for every session. So, the ones I’ve just shown you were the ones exhibited last Spring. I’ll soon show you the Summer session ones, and I obviously haven’t seen the ones for the Fall yet. Also, know that a few events are organized by and around Feel Feel Bonsai during the Triennale. More on one of them very soon. Hint: it’s not unrelated to the presence of the Seppuku Pistols on Megijima a couple of weeks ago. 🙂
Strangely, when I peruse blogs and sites talking about the Triennale, I don’t often hear about Feel Feel Bonsai (well, mostly because travel sites, never really scratch the surface when they stop in the area, oh well). However, know that is has become a favorite among local visitors this year.
Next, let’s head to another one of my new favorites: Yoichiro Yoda‘s Island Theater Megi.
I’m not going to delve much into detail now, as I spent time with Yoichiro the other day and you can expect a full post devoted to the place soon.
In the meantime, here are a few pictures introducing you to a recreation / hommage to old New York City movie theaters, and especially the ones that used to be on 42nd Street.
Yes, a real functioning, New York style, movie theater on Megijima!
Check it out:
My daughter (well, my son too, but he was a bit too young to care or even pay attention) had her very first cinema experience in Island Theater Megi. And while it may be a trivial thing for you, it really matters to me. Even if cinema nowadays isn’t what it used to be, I still hope that she will grow up caring about this art, which remains one of the most important ones to me. And yes, I’m also among the people who miss the time when movie theaters had a soul and a personality. I still remember the old theaters of my hometown, how different they were from each other. How excited I was when a movie would play in the one I loved, or disappointed if it was shown in the theater I didn’t care for.
Interchangeable multiplexes of nowadays are just places where one consumes movies, not experience cinema. A sad evolution of our times.
And so, the very first film my daughter saw on a big screen was:
An old silent Felix the Cat!
At the moment, showing at Island Theater Megi, are also Charlie Chaplin’s The Tramp, as well as Last Days of 42nd Street, a documentary by Yoichiro Yoda about the end of those theaters.
There was – and will be – some special showings of John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley. One can expects other films in the future (as the theater is obviously permanent now).
Our next stop was the Ogre’s House. As previously mentioned, Chaos Lounge‘s Ogre’s House project is in three locations on Megijima. The first one being in the Oni Cave, but you knew that already. There are also two houses in Megicho, and here is the first one:
I’m not exactly able to explain all the detail about the various elements in the house.
Chaos Lounge is known for being provocative and even within the very consensual atmosphere of the Triennale, it comes out.
This room has been set up in a way hoping that some terrorists from the IS will come and spend time on the island. (because they’re 21st century Oni? my guess)
The idea is that the beauty of the Setouchi area, associated with the peaceful and nice lifestyle of the island will make them rethink their ways and reassess the questionable choices they have made with their lives.
Yes, I see how Japanese people can deal with that situation in a such a way, but I’m not too sure all Westerners will appreciate the thing.
Personally, I’m a bit torn.
Yet, being able to answer the question “what makes them so angry at the rest of the world?” could be the start to try to solve the problem.
I’m not exactly sure what was the point of that part of the house.
Maybe the project was still a work in progress? Not sure.
Then, we headed to the second Ogre’s House, the one near the fishing port. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay long enough as the wind was becoming very bad, especially there, throwing sand in our eyes and other similar pleasant things.
After that, we headed back to Takamatsu on board Meon. The wind was just too bad.
And this ends what probably is my last “big post” about the Setouchi Triennale 2016. By “big post”, I mean, a very long and detailed post talking about one full day or so on an island visiting various art sites. You obviously can expect many more posts about the Setouchi Triennale on this blog, just in a different format.
So, as usual:
Last big post? I’m sure you can do more. I think Shodoshima can get another one after our visit, although some of it will be doubled.
feel feel BONSAI is really a living work. Things were very different to the time you went, and even the bathroom has “grown” with more moss and a bigger tree.
Loved the MEGI THEATRE. You’ll hear about that in the coming month or two, but the long post will be done at a later date. Not sure when.
The Ogre’s house has changed a bit. I wonder if that was planned. More open but still pretty cool.
By “big post”, I meant with that format. For example, during our day on Shodoshima, there are artworks I have already talked about and some I haven’t, I may split it into two posts, not sure yet.
Yes, I returned to Feel Feel Bonsai two weeks ago, will post soon. And I’m obviously planning on returning in the Fall.
I haven’t returned to Ogre’s House yet. I may this week-end. I’m afraid I won’t have time to return everywhere plus visit the new places this Fall, so I must maximize my outings this week-ends (that kinda means going to Uno or Oshima though, as I don’t think I’ll go to either in the Fall… Mmmm…)
Tough choice. I like Oshima but maybe you won’t care as much as the artwork seems a bit old. Uno too though. However, if you want to see the flip books again, you have to go to Uno, but it will be on Honjima in the fall and I’m sure you are going then. Tough choice to make. 🙂
There doesn’t seem to be much new art on Oshima compared to 2013, and because of the guided tour format, I don’t think I’ll be able to do or see anything that I haven’t.
I want to know more about the island, it’s a part of local history that deserves to be more known, but I’m afraid that the Triennale is paradoxically not the best time to dig a bit more than what I already know.
So I’m thinking of skipping it this year, and try to go next year somehow (it’s open one week-end a month, but I assume under the same format as the Triennale).
So, I’ll most likely go to Uno. We’ll see, still have three days to think about it.