Thanks to the Setouchi Triennale, you get to see great art, visit awesome islands, and have a lot of fun overall. And also, you get to meet great people. This year, among them, is Xiang Yang, and wonderful artist and human being whom I had the chance to spend time with along with his wonderful wife Zi a couple of weeks ago.
The full title of Xiang Yang’s art on Shodoshima is The Shore Where We Can Reach – Xiang Yang Ocean Sailing Proposal Exhibition, and it’s comprised of not one, not two, but six installations and projects! The first three ones being made of all discarded furniture.
- The Shore Where We Can Reach: a very unique boat where you can do many things, including sleep.
- Seven Layers of Seven: an amazing tower/room.
- Oceanwalker: another very impressive 27-meter-long Chinese-style racing boat.
- Dust in Evolution: carved images on walls inside a traditional building.
- Traveling Stools: leftover wood from making Oceanwalker turned into stools that are given as presents.
- An exhibit about building all those and more inside a traditional building.
And as per “tradition” with this site, Xiang Yang kindly accepted to answer some of my questions about himself and his art for the Setouchi Triennale 2019.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born, raised and received art education in China. I studied painting, oil painting in college and traditional Chinese ink painting in graduate school. In 1998, I went to the United States and then began to make contemporary installations. I felt contemporary art form is a better way to express my ideas and to realize what I wish to achieve in art, even eastern aesthetic and philosophy I felt can be better expressed through contemporary art form.
In 2010, I returned to Beijing to achieve bigger projects.
How did you hear about the Setouchi Triennale and what made you want to take part in it?
I heard about Echigo Tsumari and Setouchi at the same while I attended a speech by Fram Kitagawa in Tsinghua University. I like Mr. Kitagawa’s vision on how art can affect society. Therefore I am very happy to be able to participate both Triennales.
Did you get to choose the location where your artwork will be shown? If yes, what guided your choice?
Yes. First, I went to a site visit to Teshima, and I really liked that place. Then, because of my exhibition changed from on-ocean to on-land, therefore, it is on Shodoshima in Kusakabe Port. On Shodosima, it is easier to install big installations.
What can you tell us about your works for the Triennale?
This exhibition focuses on my ideas and works since I made my decision on creating a floating art architecture and to sail. It can be seen as a proposal for sailing the architecture on Seto Inland Sea for next Triennales. So, this exhibition includes 3 large architectural installations using old Chinese furnitures, also my drawings, images, videos, small installations and hand-made model exhibiting in Tengawa (天川) House . In Fukui (福井) House, I carved the entire house with images taken from old photographs of local history. This piece is dedicated to the local residents of Shodoshima.
Thank you so much, Xiang Yang.
If you’re in Japan before early November, I truly advise you to stop by Kusakabe Port on Shodoshima before the end of the Triennale.
Also, you can follow Xiang Yang online:
You can also check my first encounter with his art and him on this post and please stay tuned for more very soon.
Copyright: All pictures were kindly provided by Xiang Yang and remain his property, with the exception of his portrait which was taken by me.