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Unsinkable Ship by Ryō Toyofuku


There are so many things happening in Takamatsu during this month of August that I’m almost forgetting to tell you about the other artworks and locations of the Setouchi Triennale. I especially haven’t told you about all of the interesting artworks on Ibukijima, a thing I need to do as soon as possible as there are only two weeks left to see the art there, and you don’t want to miss them if you have the opportunity to go.

So today, a few words and pictures about Unsinkable Ship by Ryō Toyofuku.

It’s Ryō Toyofuku second artwork for the Setouchi Triennale as he had already signed Treasure Ship three years ago on Shōdoshima. His work this year on Ibukijima is quite different in style, although we find a constant: the abundance of small objects grouped together to create a larger thing.

Unsinkable Ship is set in several rooms of Ibukijima’s former elementary school and when you enter the first room, this is what you (barely) see:


[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]


Unsinkable Ship - 01


Unsinkable Ship - 02


In the next room, there’s more light and we start seeing what’s going on:


Unsinkable Ship - 03


Unsinkable Ship - 04


Unsinkable Ship - 05


Unsinkable Ship - 06


Unsinkable Ship - 07


Unsinkable Ship - 08


Finally, when we walk upstairs (to the surface?) it gets quite impressive:


Unsinkable Ship - 09


Unsinkable Ship - 10


Unsinkable Ship - 11


Unsinkable Ship - 12


Unsinkable Ship - 13


Unsinkable Ship - 14


Unsinkable Ship - 15


Unsinkable Ship 16


 In total, those are about 50,000 floats that have been made by Ryō Toyofuku with the help of the Chiba Art School as well as the local population (both from Ibukijima and from Kan’onji, as Ibukijima is technically a part of Kan’onji).

The result is very interesting as every float taken individually is nothing too special (if some of them look like they were made by children it’s because they were made by children), but all together create this pretty amazing installation.

So, if you’re in the area, you still have two weeks to see Unsinkable Ship on Ibukijima.


7 thoughts on “Unsinkable Ship by Ryō Toyofuku”

  1. Wow. That’s really all I can say. Looks awesome and no words can really express how amazing this piece looks. You are right, the video is necessary to understand the first section. I hope everyone watches the video. The photos are all great!

    1. Yes, it was pretty impressive and beautiful.
      Unfortunately, like all of the works on Ibukijima, the heat made it not as enjoyable as it should have been. I really wish that the island had been included in the Fall too, not sure why only summer, but it was a bad move in my opinion.

      1. I think they needed another island to highlight in the summer. I think if they moved it, spring would have been better. It would allow them to space things out better, and I would have been able to see it. ^^

        I think for summer, they should have added more around Takamatsu. The Bengal Island sounds great so far and making it bigger overall would have been better, I think. Maybe even something similar in Uno would have been good. Alas, we are not on the committee that makes the decisions. At least you aren’t yet. 😉

        1. In terms of what island when, I have no idea how it was decided. I understand that each new island was feature for one season only as a “trial run”. During the first Triennale, while the local people loved the event, it was also pretty taxing and tiring on them (most of them are very old and not used to have hundreds if not thousands of visitors each day on their island). It’s also one of the reasons why the festival was divided in three parts this year, to allow “resting time” for the locals and the islands. For the same reasons, the new islands are featured only one season.

          I’m not sure more things in Takamatsu during summer was a good idea though. There are a lot of events happening in Summer in Takamatsu unrelated to the triennale, and that would have added unnecessary competition, which would have been counter-productive to everyone.
          I hope I can be in the committee one day (gotta learn this language they speak first though) 🙂

          1. I hope you do make it onto the committee someday. Who cares about the language. 🙂 Okay, if all else fails, maybe an official ambassador?

            As for the islands, I hope they keep it up. I don’t know if summer is a good time with the heat these days. Maybe even May? March to July was a long wait, and then October will be a shorter wait. Or just lump it into spring and autumn. Oh well, I’m sure consultations with the local islands is necessary and I guess they (all parties involved) felt this was best.

          2. Honestly, yes, I hope to be part of the staff one way or the other in 2016, but we’ll see then.

            Concerning the scheduling of the three sessions, if I understood correctly, it went like this. Back in 2010, the festival was from late July to the end of October (why? I don’t know). Because those three months in a row ended up being exhausting for the locals who basically couldn’t get a normal life for three months, it was decided that this year, the festival would be split into separate sessions. It was decided to have a month break, in the middle hence the removal of september, but not wanting the festival to be only two months long, it was decided to add an extra month at another time. April was decided mostly because it was Spring (cherry blossoms and all).
            In three years it could be different too.

          3. If you are part of the Triennale next time, I’ll be sure to try to look for you.

            I hope they keep the spring session. It was great. Personally, I think the 3 months over the year is pretty good. Maybe a week or two later for the spring edition as it was a bit early for the cherry blossoms.

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