One of the world’s most unique art festivals is held in the Seto Inland Sea, a region known for its beautiful scenery and abundant nature. This area, designated as the Setonaikai National Park in 1934, became japan‘s first national park. Since 2010, the Setouchi Triennale has been held every three years on the islands of Seto Inland Sea, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The Setouchi Triennale is an international festival of contemporary art that showcases artworks in the naturally blessed circumstances of the Seto Inland Sea islands. The festival aims to restore the vitality of the people living in these islands and promote the cultural exchange between artists and visitors. With its unique combination of art and nature, the Setouchi Triennale has become a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
During the exhibition period, which lasts about 100 days, visitors have the opportunity to view artwork while touring the islands. The festival features a wide range of artworks, including installations, sculptures, paintings, and performances, created by both established and emerging artists. These artworks are displayed in various locations, such as museums, art galleries, public spaces, and even natural landscapes, creating a seamless integration between art and the surrounding environment.
One of the main attractions of the Setouchi Triennale is Naoshima Island. This island is home to several renowned art museums, including the Benesse House Museum, the Lee Ufan Museum, the Chichu Art Museum, and the Art House Project. Even outside of the Triennale, visitors can admire works by maestros of contemporary art, such as Yayoi Kusama, Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Tadao Ando, throughout the island. During the Triennale, additional unique artworks are displayed, attracting even more visitors.
The Benesse House Museum, located on Naoshima Island, offers a unique experience for art enthusiasts. The museum is not only a place to view art but also a hotel, allowing guests to immerse themselves in art throughout their stay. The guest rooms are designed with artworks and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Staying at the Benesse House Museum provides a truly immersive and unforgettable art experience.
Another island that is part of the Setouchi Triennale is Teshima Island. This island, blessed by the sea and mountains, offers a different artistic experience. The Teshima Art Museum, built in the middle of terraced rice paddies, is a must-visit attraction on the island. The museum features a unique architectural design and houses various artworks that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. In addition to the museum, there are also artworks scattered around the island, providing visitors with a chance to explore and discover art in unexpected places. The island also offers opportunities for socializing with locals at the Shima Kitchen, where visitors can enjoy local cuisine and interact with the community.
Exploring and touring the islands of the Seto Inland Sea is a unique experience in itself. To fully appreciate the beautiful scenery of the region, it is recommended to stay overnight on one of the islands. The Setouchi Triennale official website offers a model course for visitors to follow, ensuring that they make the most of their time and get the most out of the festival. It is important to note that, except for Shodoshima and Naoshima Islands, there are few ATMs on the islands, and credit cards may not be accepted at stores. Therefore, it is advisable to have some cash on hand before traveling to the islands. When encountering locals living on the islands, it is customary to greet them with a friendly hello, fostering a sense of community and cultural exchange.
To get to the venues of the Setouchi Triennale, visitors can access the eastern area from Takamatsu Port or Uno Port, and the western area from ports in western Kagawa or Kojima Kanko Port in Okayama. One of the popular ways to reach the islands is by taking a ferry to Naoshima Island. The island can be reached from two ports: Miyanoura Port on the west side of the island and Honmura Port on the east side. Ferries to Naoshima Island depart from Takamatsu Port and Uno Port. The transportation options are well-connected, ensuring that visitors can easily travel between the different islands and explore the various art installations.
The Setouchi Triennale is not only a celebration of contemporary art but also a celebration of the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Seto Inland Sea region. The festival provides a platform for artists to express their creativity and engage with the local community, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of art and culture. Through its unique blend of art and nature, the Setouchi Triennale has become a beacon of inspiration and a catalyst for positive change in the region.
In conclusion, the Setouchi Triennale is a one-of-a-kind art festival that takes place in the Seto Inland Sea, showcasing contemporary artworks in the midst of stunning natural landscapes. With its diverse range of artworks, immersive experiences, and cultural exchange opportunities, the festival has established itself as a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether it’s exploring the art museums on Naoshima Island, discovering hidden artworks on Teshima Island, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the region, the Setouchi Triennale offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
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