Art Coordinator for Setouchi International Art Festival
Apr 2010 – Nov 2010, Tokyo and Takamatsu, Japan
Setouchi International Art Festival Background
The Setouchi International Art Festival 2010 is the inaugural triennial contemporary art festival that takes place on multiple islands of the Setouchi (Seto Inland Sea) region of Japan, showcasing the art works of many renowned contemporary artists inspired by and in collaboration with the local residents, majority of whom are in their silver years.
The objective of this unique 100-day Art Festival stretching from 19th July- 31st October, is to re-invigorate the islands that have seen dwindling population by including numerous events bringing people from all over the world and Japan into contact with the local islanders through the making of Art and the sharing of lifestyle cultures. Many Artists lived in residence on the islands months before the festival conceptualising and making their artwork together with locals and volunteers alike.
Initially targeted to attract 300,000 visitors, it closed successfully with having attracted close to a million visitors. The prefecture is planning to hold the festival again in 2013.
Art Front Gallery is a renowned Japanese gallery that handles a wide range of art and architectural projects such as art planning, project management, and planning as well as the administration of art festivals such as the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial the prequel of the Setouchi International Art Festival.
Assisted to translate the artistic conceptions of several international artists into buildable designs, and oversaw the actual construction/ fabrication of the artworks and their daily maintenance during the entire duration of the festival.
Supervised volunteers daily on the islands of Shodoshima, Ogijima, Megijima, Teshima and Takamatsu during the making/ taking down of the artworks and the manning of exhibits.
Notable Works Overseen
Wang Wen Chih (Taiwan): House of Shodoshima, Shodoshima
A conglomeration of five 10 to 15 meters high domes made from woven bamboo from some 5,000 locally acquired bamboo trees built in the Nakayama valley surrounded by 1,000 terraced rice fields. Its nocturnal light-up also served as a landmark for the otherwise pitch-black Nakayama terrain (See image above).
Complementing the two surviving local traditional Nouson Kabuki Theatres in the nearby Hitoyama and Nakayama area, the Artwork was used as a resting pavillion and a multi-purpose performance space.
Tobias Rehberger (Germany): Was du liebst, bring dich auch zum weinen (What You Love Will Make You Cry), Teshima
A derelict house is transformed into a restaurant adorned with the artist’s signature white interior with bold black graphic lines, creating a dazzling effect.
James Darling & Lesley Forwood (Australia): Wall Work5 from Kamojima to Kamojinja, Ogijima
An outdoor wall installation of interlocking dried eucalyptus roots on the winding steps leading to the Kamojinja shrine of Ogijima Island. Forming an undulating wave of some 100m, this artwork culminated in a symbolic “tsukubai” drinking stone well, where one is invited to cleanse his hands and quench his thirst before entering the shrine.
Kyoko Taniyama (Japan): Rainy Lane, Ogijima
Paying homage to the olden days of water supply scarcity on Ogijima Island where rain water was collected in buckets and kettles or drawn from wells, this “rain-water” installation occurs at three selected spots where timer-induced “showers” sprinkle down on unsuspecting visitors wending through the old hilly village from a conglomeration of used basins, kettles and other containers, donated by the villagers, onto roof tiles laid on the ground; revealing messages of the villagers’ reminiscences inscribed onto the tiles over “those hard days before proper water supply plumbing”.
Sanja Saso (Croatia): Momo’s Game or Victory of the Naked Peach, Megijima
A series of larger than life wire mesh figurines installed in the Oni no Dougutsu Caves of Megijima Island. Suspended and exposed to the elements, these ghostly figures representing the mythical pirates who used to stash their loot in Momo-taro’s cave glisten with moisture and a platina of rust over time. On permanent display.
Dadang Christanto (Indonesia): Voices from Disappeared People, Shodoshima
Some 500 bamboo poles of 5 meters in height each perforated with several wind holes were erected in the rice terraces to mimic the sunari, a type of bamboo flute made by many Southeast Asian farmers. Capturing the melancholic whispering of wind blowing through the Nakayama valley.
Shinji Ohmaki (Japan):Liminal Air: Core, Takamatsu
Fifty bubble-making machines installed along the boardwalk of the Takamatsu Sunport promenade heralded the opening ceremony of the Setouchi International Art Festival on the 19th July 2010, coinciding with Marine Day.