Setouchi Series


Welcome to my Setouchi Series! I'm getting a little homesickness for Japan (I've just moved back to London.. did I tell you guys??) so I thought I would look back on my outfits that I put together during the Setouchi Triennale.
The Setouchi Triennale is a tri-annual (as the name would suggest) art festival, showcasing site-specific and usually unseen pieces of the private collection of renowned art collector Mr Fukutake, of the Benesse corporation. Mr Futake founded the permanent art museums on Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima islands, but during the Triennale, many more islands in and around the Seto Inland Sea open up their shores for world famous, as well as local artists, to display their works.
The festival is currently ongoing, and I would highly reccomend it, but I will talk more about the works later on.
More importantly... the outfit! As a fashion blogger, the opportunity to wear something a little experimental is not too rare, but an art festival, where you're surrounded by fellow creatives,  is the perfect time to pull together prints and textures you wouldn't normally pair. 
My first forage into the Setouchi Trienalle was during the Spring session. I went to Shamijima.
I chose this ensemble:

 Childrens Explorer hat, Plaid Jacket, Paisley skirt from a twinset. All Vintage.

I got a bit distracted whilst shooting (hehe). I love love LOVE this jacket, which my friend gave to me. I wouldn't usually put it with a print because it's so bold, and I'm still not sure if it works. What do you think? I am also super happy my head is small and that I can buy childrens' hats. I decided for my first day of exploring artworks, I had to wear this tiny explorer hat. Alongside the military buttons of the jacket,I think it resulted in a softened down soldiery look, like if Seargent Troy gave Bathsheba his coat during a long walk accross the heath.....
 Cute hat right?

If you're not interested in the art STOP READING! Because next is my
Shamijima Art Review

 Firstly, Shamijima is a very strange place, without being full of modern art. The area where the art was displayed was built in the 80's by the Japanese government. It is a park dedicated to viewing the longest suspension bridge in the country. (The Seto Ohashi). It is purpose built, complete with a fully functional revolving viewing tower, and museum showing you how they built the bridge by way of anamatronics.
It's totally wierd.
I would totally reccomend it.
Shamijima was only showcasing work during the spring session of the triennale, so the cherry blossom was out and beautiful.

Can you spot the viewing tower?
The first work that we came accross was Rippled Sky for Hitomaro by Jitish Kallat. Initially, we were stumped. "It's just a tree on a rock" we thought. What's so groundbreaking about that. But suddenly, as if it had heard us, the tree sprang to life. It's boughs  flailed wildly, spraying water in huge loops for about half a minute, after which it was again still. Surprising and mesmerising, combining the land and the sea. I love this work.

 Another aesthetically pleasing piece was Pasage of Red Windows by Tetsuro Fujiyama. A series of Japanese shoji sliding doors, arranged into a labyrinth. As you interacted with the doors, your view of the surroundings was challenged by colour; the brightness of the shoji panels toying with the observer.

My favourite pieces from Shamijima, however, were a series inside the disused school. The populatiion of Shamijima has been steadily decreasing, and there are no longer any children. The artworks inside were designed to involve the residents, and reflect their lives. There was also an amazing pop up cafe, run by some older ladies of Shamijima - they served a set meal, using only local and traditional ingredients. The set was anmochizoni, a miso soup with swee mochi t rice cakes inside, some pickles, and a sweet mikan-orange jelly. It was delicious! Definitely one of the best meals I had in Japan, I can still taste it! But I didn't take any pictures (sorry).

However, I did manage to capture this artwork. Fine Day Road to Kintoki by Hiroyuki Kawai
Piles of salt in a classroom

Kawai used the traditional products of Shamijima, salt and pickled carrots (called kintoki because of their red-gold colour), to create giant salt mountains filling an entire classroom. You could pick your way around and find the 'residents' hiding too. Have you ever walked on a mountain of salt? Its an unnerving feeling. It crackles as you move, and it's always shifting and sliding underfoot. More crunchy than sand, but harder to walk on. The brilliant whiteness of the salt delivered a reverence to the room, a hushed outpouring of love for the local products. The overall effect was incredibly uplifiting, and bizzare.

The last piece I want to write about had the totaly opposite effect from the salt room. Red Screw gave us a ravaged, dimly lit classroom, where books, hockey sticks, science equipment, were scattered on the floor, giant red screws sat at the desks. Slowly revolving, they bored away, accompanied by an intense, mechanical, scream. The pressures of the Japanese education system made visual by Siriagari Kotobuki the discomfort doubled when you realised that the school equipment used in the work was real. Real children had sat at these desks, studied from these texts. Now the school is empty, all of the students have taken their education to the city. The desk nearest the entrance is left empty, chair pulled out. Inviting you to sit, join the screws, when all you want to do is leave.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post. I might talk about the art in a seperate post next time! Did you like my Shamijima picks? Did you attend the triennale and have some favourites? What would you wear to an art festival? Let me know in the comments! - Rhio

~ このポストーは長い難しいだから日本語すぎに来ましょう!(笑い)~

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