So, the Setouchi Triennale 2022 ended a couple of weeks ago. Now the weather is slowly getting chillier, art is being dismantled and most of the islands are getting ready to spend a quiet winter. But before that, there was one final day of fun and celebration.
Of course, for this last day, I was on Ogijima as always, but this time it was even more important than usual to be there. It was the last day of Onba Café, which may be my favorite place in the whole area, and one of the most important and significant places for the whole Triennale and without a doubt for Ogijima.
In short, without the impulse and the work of Yoshifumi and Chii Oshima, I don’t think Ogijima would be the “poster child of island revitalization” that it is now.
During the day, I went to see some art. I shot a small video (and was interrupted by the ferry, just watch):
Then when my family joined me (there were on the ferry), we went to Onba Café one final time. I’ll post pictures another day.
Finally, it was time to return to the port. A little earlier than usual because there was a surprise for the Oshimas. An hommage/celebration to thank them for the 12 years they spent helping turn Ogijima into the wonderful place that it is now. Most if not all the new islanders were there, as well as many friends and a few bachans too. It was a beautiful and moving moment, especially because they didn’t expect it at all (later, they even mentioned being a bit sad that no one stayed at the café when they closed one final time – we were all waiting for them at the port)
And soon, it was time to hop on the last Meon of the Triennale, one that’s always full of joy and sadness.
So, yes, one more Triennale has come and gone. It was a very unusual one in many ways, mostly because of the pandemic (more of my thoughts in the final video contained in this post). It also felt like a turning point. Some places and artworks that have been here since the beginning were retired either this year or last year. Sure, it’s the same every three years, some art always goes, but a few of the landmarks being gone (like Onba Café) leave a huge void that will be difficult to fill.
Also, Soichiro Fukutake has retired this year (his son took over), we have a new Governor in Kagawa Prefecture (I’m even forgetting his name at the moment. Ikeda? maybe) and while still very active, Fram Kitagawa is not getting any younger and will have to retire sooner or later. Is he even replaceable to run the Triennale?
In other words, what will happen next is a big question mark. Stay tuned, I’ll make sure to keep you informed, either here or in my newsletter. Make sure to subscribe to it if you haven’t yet, while I’m not abandoning this blog, you have noticed that updates haven’t been as common. I have less time and energy for it these days. I also want to write about other things than just the Setouchi Islands. In other words, I’m trying to move from a “blog” format to a more “static site” format, but it will be a long process (I actually meant to start it three years ago – another project that the pandemic derailed). Still, don’t worry, if I manage to post once a week the post/pages I want to post, it means that I’ll post something new for about two years at least. The current idea is to do a two and half year long retrospective of the Triennale.
Let’s conclude this post and the Triennale with a video debriefing. It’s long (30 minutes) and I’m not sure it’s that interesting, but you can give it a try if you want:
See you very soon, here or there.
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