On Monday, a number of us went to the Setouchi Art Festival, which is a new thing being initiated by my city of Takamatsu. A part of the city are the numerous islands that sit a short boat ride from shore. Plenty of people live on these islands, but there were also a number of abandoned places that were converted into art by a number of artists all over the world. Each piece is very unique, though I enjoyed some more than others. I only went to one island but I still felt that I was able to see a fair bit. I wans’t sure about if I was going to end up doing it, but I felt like it was something I had to do, living in the very city it was hosted in and also because it was going to be done soon enough. On top of that, there was someone else who planned everything, so all I had to do was show up on my day off, pay, and walk around and enjoy. The weather was fantastic so it really wasn’t bad at all.
First we hopped on our ferry, but while we were waiting in line there was a camera crew that showed up. The didn’t ask us anything, but they just took some quick footage of us since we were a bunch of foreigners. I later found out from my students and teachers that they saw us on TV, so that was pretty cool.
We get there, and it was clear that there was almost nothing on this island. It was more or less a self-sufficient island that grew their own food and fished their own fish. There were plenty of people there enjoying the weather and the art, though I can’t imagine much for visitors when this art isn’t happening.
The first place we saw was also one of my favorites. It was an old cafe that was completely renovated into something that was functional and absolutely unlike anything I’d ever seen before. I took a video of this, because I didn’t think a picture or to could really do it justice. We called it the Bettlejuice Cafe.
Next, it was off to to an old school that had some tunnel of windows and doors built into it. This was interesting, but didn’t blow my mind or anything.
Next was a boat and pipes that used the waves and tides to great a sound in Fminor. It was novel, but didn’t do much for me.
Next was a bit of my own art. I took a picture that I liked and you can get a sense for what this place is like.
Another was a dinosaur in a house. The idea was that it was supposedly excavating itself, I guess…
This was just a room that used mist and lights to make some cool rainbows.
Other things that I saw included this really interesting room featuring projectors, sounds, and these weird spongy areas to wait and soak it in. It was quite relaxing and I didn’t want to leave.
Another really cool one was a piece called the Archive of the Heart. It was a hallway that had many mirrors on both side of the hall. The only light was a lightbulb that was flashing in time with a heartbeat recorded from 1 of 17000 people to have theirs recorded there. It was really interesting and looked quite cool.
After this, it was just about getting back. We walked along the beach for a while, skipped some stones, and hit a few buses. Eventually, we got to the boat pier and it was clear that there wasn’t any way we would fit on that boat. So, we were stuck waiting a while to take the next and last one. This gave us about an hour:15 to burn, so we just looked for food. We found a mini convenience store, but there wasn’t much at all there. Then, we went to what was likely the only restaurant on the island, but they had run out of food… We just ended up waiting there anyway and got a few beers and chatted with each other and the locals. It was a good time for sure. Finally we got back to the mainland.
Once there, I had to go back with Ryan because I had my car at his place. We ended up just chilling for a while which was nice. We watched a good episode of Jersey Shore too. as a Brit, I knew that he needed to be educated in the ways of American Culture. This was certainly the solution to get everything that represents 100% of the American demographic in a mere 45 minutes.
Great weekend for sure.