The Setouchi Triennale is held on various islands in the Seto Inland Sea every three years.
The art festival is characterized by the artwork creation process: Artists create art based on the history, culture, and unique features of the lifestyle cultivated on the islands while mixing with local islanders. Many domestic and international guests have visited, enjoying their special time on the islands, experiencing art, interacting with islanders, and eating local food.
I visited Ogijima, one of the festival venues in Takamatsu, to see art by Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends.
The Setouchi Triennale caused him to return
Ogijima is known for its clustered settlements in the hills. You can find a rustic, charming view of hills with stone walls and houses with tiled roofs.
Of the venues of The Setouchi Triennale, Takeshi Kawashima chose the clustered settlements because he was inspired by the lifestyle and atmosphere unique to the island.
The artwork by Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends was displayed in an old house about halfway up a hill five minutes' walk from Ogi Port. The big cherry tree welcomed me after I passed under the gate.
Takeshi Kawashima is contemporary artist born in Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa in 1930.
After graduating Kagawa Prefectural Takamatsu Industrial High School (currently, Kagawa Prefectural Takamatsu Kougei High School), he majored in oil painting at Musashino Art University and studied at the Yoyogi Printing Institute. He then left Japan for the U.S.A. in 1963. He spent 53 years in New York creating art before returning to Kagawa in 2016.
He has a strong reputation for his art works, which has been selected for inclusion in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Kawashima went back home because the beauty of his home, including the Seto Inland Sea, fascinated him anew when he participated in the first Setouchi Triennale in 2010.
Dream Friends was set up as a volunteer team to support his creations. It arose from Kawashima's wish to create art in cooperation with the islanders. "The charm of the artwork at Ogijima is that it was created through cooperation," said Kawashima.
Immerse yourself in excitement and enjoy the artwork freely
Dancing in the Seto is the work by Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends in 2022.
Varied colors including blue and green hues and shapes stand out in the soft light streaming from the window.
Dancing in the Seto stemmed from DANCE which was a Blue and White series work depicting people in Manhattan under the blue sky and white clouds.
Blue is a special color for Kawashima, who sees it as the color of eternity.
The vivid color made by combining cobalt blue with a touch of white is reminiscent of a fresh breeze.
He created beautiful shapes using simple lines and two colors, such as blue and white or green and white.
It looks as if he drew lines without hesitation. He explained, however, he had repeatedly searched for each line in his imagination before drawing them. In New York, he used to bring a sketchbook and a pen into the bathroom to draw shapes as soon as they occurred to him.
Kawashima's wife Junko told me a story about one exhibition where his art was being shown alongside other artists in an art museum.
A child stopped in front of his artwork, which was one of the many in the exhibition room, and said, "I can hear music, mom." When Kawashima heard this story from the director of the museum, he felt happy to be an artist.
Kawashima depicts the dynamic force that inspires, surprises, satisfies, and energizes viewers through the beauty of art.
Kawashima communicates through his art with the people viewing it. That is why his works inspire people.
DANCE expresses pleasure and fun, things that people all around the world understand. Visit Ogijima to escape from the feeling of stagnation you feel everyday and enjoy art freely in an exciting atmosphere.
Kawashima's art fits into the atmosphere of the town
You can find works by Kawashima around Takamatsu that have been displayed as public art and commission art.
Marugame-machi Ichibangai-mae Dome Square, the central shopping street in Takamatsu
There is a granite mosaic art named Peace on the ground in Dome Square, where three shopping streets intersect.
It expresses the rich nature of the Seto Inland Sea at the center and people living peaceful lives around it.
Kawashima designed the wood benches on the streets as well.
Takamatsu Kodomo Miraikan
Angel P’s Dreamland, a relief in the entrance hall The work excites the children visiting the entrance hall, as it is lively and dynamic.
Four Seasons of Seto, the relief in the entrance hall.
Various shapes laid on top of blue, green, yellow, red, and black. Think about the landscape of the Seto Inland Sea and guess what it is.
Kagawa Prefectural Takamatsu Kougei High School
The monument Eternal Flight was created in 1998 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the high school.
Fusazaki Park, Genpei no Sato Mure
Enjoy the view of the Seto Inland Sea over the gradual arch of the engraved stone artwork, Gate - MUSE LOVE.
Faculty of Engineering and Design, Kagawa University
The monument, Wa Wa Wa Wa (English: harmony, talk, loop, and ring)" was installed to celebrate the opening of the Faculty of Engineering (currently, the Faculty of Engineering and Design).
Setouchi Triennale 2022 Artwork No. og07「Dancing in the Seto」
Dates Spring: Thursday, April 14 to Wednesday, May 18
Summer: Friday, August 5 to Sunday, September 4
Fall: Thursday, September 29 to Sunday, November 6
Operating hours 9:30～16:30
Business holiday Open throughout the period
▼Setouchi Triennale Official website
Gathering date：2022.5.16 / Setouchi Triennale 2022 Artwork No. og07「Dancing in the Seto」