The Setouchi Triennale is an international art festival, held every three years on various island of the Seto Inland Sea, in Okayama and Kagawa. Three weeks ago, Aki and I went to Naoshima, which is one of the main islands of the event, to see what the event is all about.
Naoshima is known for its contemporary art, across Japan. Being an island, the economy is relatively underdeveloped and a lot of houses became vacant after the owners died, or left the island. Artists started to use the open spaces to create art installations, supported by the Benesse corporation. Benesse is active in the artistic development of the island since the late 80’s and runs several museums, as well as a hotel on the island.
Getting around on the island is relatively easy. You can rent bikes and motor scooters for as little as 500¥ per day. Most of the artworks are open for visitors throughout the year, though some of the installations can only be seen over the Triennale. Altogether, the Setouchi Triennale is held on 12 islands of the Seto Inland Sea and features about 200 artworks. The island of Naoshima is easy to reach via ferry and can be visited on a day trip, when staying in Kurashiki, or Okayama-City. The beauty of the landscape is well worth it and the beach in front of the Benesse Museum (with city views of Takamatsu City) is not too shabby neither.