This year one of the major cultural and artistic events of Japan is taking place, I’m talking about the Setouchi Triennale, an exceptional cultural event that takes place every three years in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea of Japan.
This page aims to give you some very general information about the festival as well as to regroup the links to more specific information that is available throughout the site.
What is the Setouchi Triennale?
The Setouchi Triennale (瀬戸内国際芸術祭 – Setouchi Kokusai Geijutsu-sai in Japanese, which can be translated as Setouchi International Art Festival – it actually was the name of the first edition) is a contemporary art festival that takes place every three years (“Triennale” in Italian or French means “triennial” in English).
It started in 2010 and this year sees the fourth edition of the festival.
“Art” must be taken here in its broader appellation. It includes contemporary art, but also prominently features creative fields such as architecture, performing arts, local crafts, local cuisine, traditional culture and more.
Where is the Setouchi Triennale?
It is located in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, more precisely at the following locations in the Kagawa Prefecture (or Okayama for two locations):
- Inujima (Okayama)
- Uno Port (Okayama)
- Shamijima (Spring only)
- Honjima (Fall only)
- Takamijima (Fall only)
- Awashima (Fall only)
- Ibukijima (Fall only)
When is the Setouchi Triennale 2019?
The 2019 edition is taking place during three seasonal sessions at the following dates:
- Spring Encounters – April 26th (Friday) to May 26th (Sunday)
- Summer Gatherings – July 19th (Friday) to August 25th (Sunday)
- Fall Expansions – September 28th (Saturday) to November 4th (Monday)
Why is there even a Setouchi Triennale in the first place?
The Setouchi Triennale is not just an art festival. The purpose of such an event taking place on those somewhat remote islands is to revitalize the whole area. One that is rich in culture and history but that is currently threatened by depopulation even more than some other parts of Japan. The goal is to revive the islands and the area through art and culture.
More Information, Advice & Tips
Setouchi Triennale Art Guide
I’m in the process of creating a small art guide to help with getting an idea of what is available on each island. It’s still incomplete, but you can get a look at it here:
While it is not solely dedicated to the Setouchi Triennale, this site also has a FAQ that may answer some of your questions:
Blog Posts about the Setouchi Triennale 2019
Here is a list of all the blog posts about the 2019 edition of the festival, its artworks, events and more:
More Online Resources
- Official Website: Obviously, it is the first online resource about the Setouchi Triennale. It contains all the official information available and should be referred to when in doubt.
- Facebook Group: If you have questions, comments, want to share your own experience about the Triennale and more, may I invite you to join this Facebook Group? Please note that it is not official and maintained by the author of this site.
- Foursquare/Swarm Venue List: Finally, while not many people use the service (and it’s a shame), I try to keep this Foursquare venue list up-to-date as much as possible. It details every single artwork, as well as other venues related to the Setouchi Triennale.
Credits, Sources & Disclaimers:
This site is by no means official.
Opinions expressed on this site are my sole responsibility.
While I try to keep the information up-to-date and accurate, they are not contractual and may change at any time.
I do not use second-hand sources (i.e. copy from other sites). All my sources are either official or come from my visits on-site and my conversation with the people doing the Setouchi Triennale.
All pictures are mine unless stated otherwise. Be kind to not steal them, however, if you ask to use them, I may say yes.
The Setouchi Triennale 2019 poster and visuals may sometimes be used on the site. However, they belong to the festival’s Executive Committee.