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Setouchi Triennale 2019 – Part Eight – Umaki, Shodoshima

This small trip didn’t actually happen during the Setouchi Triennale 2019, but a few days before the opening of the summer session. On that day, I went to Shodoshima for a very specific reason in the morning (but that will be detailed most likely next post), and in the afternoon, I decided to spend some time in the village of Umaki as it’s one of my favorites areas of Shodoshima.

Here is a quick report:

Setouchi Triennale 2019 Part Eight Shodoshima

Lunch was had at Umaki Camp. Despite the fact that it was closed, they had left a table outside for people to use, just in case. Also, I happened to have something to sit on, you can see it on the picture. Why the need to mention this? Because, it matters, and will be covered soon, probably next post.


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The big tree in Shinko-ji, the temple right behind Umaki Camp.


Setouchi Triennale 2019 Part Eight Shodoshima 03After lunch, I just went for a walk through the streets of Umaki. One of the cutest villages/neighborhoods of Shodoshima. One where I don’t spend nearly enough time, so that was the perfect occasion to do just that.


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I also stumbled upon familiar buildings, like this one that housed Shodoshima Island Lab that I really loved in 2013, but found a little disappointing in 2016. Well, it won’t be back this year.

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Those pumpkins look odd. Let’s get a closer look…


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Hmm… Odd, indeed…


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And a familiar “face”:

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Regent in Olives by Hisakazu Shimizu

What’s going on with the third picture above?

Well, it was taken in the “warehouse” behind the Regent, and I guess it’s a stand-in or something. 🙂

Also, in that building, one of Georges Rousse’s anamorphoses:

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If you manage to shoot it the way it’s supposed to be shot, please tell me how (probably with a wide-angle lens).


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Some of Umaki’s old soy sauce factories.


You know what? There is one artwork in the area that I feel I’ve never shown properly on this site. It is Hut with the Arc Wall by Yo Shimada. As nobody was around, I could finally take a few different pictures from the building without looking like a creep (as we’re talking about a public toilet after all).

Setouchi Triennale 2019 Part Eight Shodoshima 17


Next, I could have returned to Georges Gallery, but as I was expecting to go during the summer session of the Triennale, I didn’t see the point of paying 500 yen for it. Instead, I went to Kohira Café (located right behind, it’s really the gallery’s café). And I spent my 500 yen on a coffee instead, chatting with the manager (I guess she was the manager), and seeing some of the art that is inside, especially:

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by Takashi Tochiyama



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The very French car from Georges Gallery. Fun fact: this car is a Renault Kango. It is indeed a French car, and for some reason, it seems quite popular in Japan (you won’t see it at every corner, but I have the feeling that it’s one of the most popular French cars in the country), especially with that strange yellow tone. And actually, a Kango of that very same yellow color is (was?) the official car for French Post Office employees…

Next, I was hoping to get a glimpse of The Silent Room by Hans Op de Beeck, but they were incredibly busy, the door of the building was closed, and it clearly meant that impromptu visitors weren’t welcome.

Well, you can read Hans Op de Beeck’s interview instead:

Hans Op de Beeck on Shodoshima


On the way back to Takamatsu, this beautiful beach on one of the unpopulated islands that you can find between Takamatsu and Shodoshima (I don’t want to say something wrong, but I think it’s called Inageshima.

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To be continued…


In the meantime, if you haven’t read all of them yet, you can read the past episodes:


8 thoughts on “Setouchi Triennale 2019 – Part Eight – Umaki, Shodoshima”

  1. Lovely post, David, thank you. These photos cover all the reasons I’m returning soon for the autumn session: the beauty of the landscape, the seascape, the skyscape, and the texture of the old buildings, both interiors and exteriors. And then there’s the art! I happen to live in a very beautiful part of the world – the coastal subtropics of eastern Australia, near Byron Bay – plus I’m fortunate to travel quite a bit, but the islands of the Inland Sea are like nowhere else I’ve ever seen.
    warm regards,

      1. Hi David –
        And what do you know, now I’m here, soaking up the first week of the autumn session, traveling around the islands with a friend, Alex (who btw is taking photos for Kyoto Journal which I believe you can see on their blog, or maybe their Instagram). I just wanted to let you know how much your posts over the months have enhanced my experience of the Triennial. Sunday on Teshima for instance, during our walk from Ieura port to Karato, we stopped and really took in Particles in the Air, including drinking gratefully (it was a hot day!) the beautiful refreshing spring water. Alex even sank her first ball (if that’s the right terminolgy) at the basketball hoops! We’re just two days in to a fantastic week — tomorrow, Megijima and Ogijima — and in addition to the art, the pearly late summer light on the Inland Sea is so beguiling. I can testify that your mini art reviews are spot on, too!
        all best from Kate

        1. Glad you’re having fun and that my posts are helpful.

          Wait? Youy’re in Megi and Ogi today? I just returned from Megi!!! Maybe we ran into each other (or we got unlucky and didn’t, as you probably know what I look like).

          1. Well, we must’ve been close, David: we caught the 5pm ferry from Ogi back to Takamatsu. Didn’t spot you! But had a fabulous day, so many terrific artworks esp on Ogi. The ‘waterfall’ through the ceiling; the burnt-out site: both very powerful. Those clever and charming little bamboo ‘instruments’. Good to see Memory Bottles again, such a lovely idea and so beautifully done. Great to pass signs for a library and to see that the school is open again (since 2013).

            Today, we’re heading to Naoshima for a couple of more relaxed days, staying at Tsutsujiso Lodge. I’m really looking forward to showing my friend the Go-o Shrine, and I’m thrilled that there’s an exhibition of Midorikawa’s photos in Miyanoura. Then we’re off to the Western Islands for a couple of days, staying in Marugame. Back to Takamatsu and a trip to Oshima Sunday, and then I have one last day for … something as yet unplanned. So much to see!

            Hope this autumn session is going well for you, David; I look forward to reading some more of your posts when you have time.

          2. I returned early from Megi. I took the 1.20pm boat, but maybe we were on Megi at the same time. Oh well.

            Glad you had a good day, I hope you get many more.

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