Setouchi Triennale 2019   瀬戸内国際芸術祭2019

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Naoshima Port and its unmistakeable work by Yayoi Kusama

A torii on Naoshima

Seto Bay seen from Naoshima

Seto tour of art

If you love modern art and enjoy beautiful landscapes, the Setouchi Art Triennale, a festival celebrating the art of Setouchi, is for you. Some of the best international artists exhibit here, in connection with the beautiful scenery of the Seto Bay.

The Setouchi International Festival of Contemporary Art has been held every three years since 2010. The fourth 2019 edition takes place on 12 of the islands, including the already well-known Naoshima, Teshima and Shodoshima, as well as in the ports of the cities of Takamatsu and Uno.

Setouchi Bay is surrounded by the large islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku, an inland sea that forms the Setonaikai National Park.

The Seto region was prosperous during the Edo period (1603-1868) and the Meiji era (1868-1912) thanks to shipping. But what  followed was an inexorable decline due to political isolation, strong industrial development and rural exodus. Young people moved away to larger, more attractive cities and only an elderly population remained in the region.

Revitalized by art

And this is where all the interest in this contemporary art festival lies, which makes a point of including the local populations of these small islands to help completely revitalize them, as well as to improve communication and contact with visitors from all over the world. For almost 10 years, the aim has been to preserve and transmit traditional local culture through art. Old village dwellings are being transformed into works of art under the magical fingers of artists who create projects respectful of its history and identity.

In addition to the existing museums on the islands, outdoor art is created especially for the Setouchi Triennale Festival. Works are on display out in the open in the middle of magnificent nature, to highlight the beauty of the region through the work of the artists. The works are mostly permanent, and will remain well after the end of the festival.

As a direct result, young people are coming back to the area, motivated by the projects. The future of Setouchi is looking bright!

View on Awashima island

Awashima island

Naoshima Port

A boat at Honmura Port

Streets on Naoshima

On the program in 2019

This year, the festival is composed of exhibitions of works of art, architecture, artistic performances in areas such as theater, music, literature, in harmony with nature and local cultures.

619 artists, a third of them foreigners, submitted 756 works. You must be able to stay on site to create an artistic project with the inhabitants of the islands. In the end, for this 2019 edition, 177 artists from 25 different countries are exhibiting.

Three festivals follow one after another. In spring, from April 26th to May 26th. Then in summer, from July 19th to August 25th and in autumn, from September 28th to November 4th.

To appreciate all the artistic works, you have to buy a passport -  for one festival it costs 4000 yen, or it's 4,800 yen for all three festivals.

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