Setouchi Triennale (Setouchi International Art Festival)

Ogijima’s Soul / Jaume Plensa
Photo/Nakamura Osamu

One of the largest art festivals in Japan, the Setouchi Triennale (also known as the Setouchi International Art Festival) is an event worthy of a place on any art aficionado’s itinerary. The festival is held once every three years, and takes place across twelve islands in the Seto Inland Sea and around Takamatsu and Uno port, whose breathtaking natural beauty comes further to life through contemporary art. Visitors can admire innovative artistic structures, installations, and cutting-edge architecture from artists from all over the globe, and even take part in events hosted by the creators themselves.

Regent in Olives / Shimizu Hisakazu
Photo / Takahashi Kimito

Love Nine-legged race,Love / Fujimoto Syuzo
Photo / Takahash Kimito

Enjoy the festival and local sights to the fullest by joining the official island tour, which focuses on both the artwork and the splendor of the Seto Inland Sea. On the island of Naoshima, internationally renowned artist Yayoi Kusama’s acclaimed Red Pumpkin sculpture is sure to catch your eye, and you’ll find over 130 more compelling pieces to discover across the twelve islands’ idyllic landscapes. For a full immersion into the contemporary art realm, set foot inside the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum on the island of Inujima, comprising large-scale artworks that integrate in harmony with the natural landscape. Then, hop over to Teshima Island to become part of the acclaimed French artist Christian Boltanski’s masterwork, Les Archives du Coeur (“Archives of the Heart”), by recording your own heartbeat as a mark of your visit.

Sea Gulls Parking Lot / Kimura Takahito
Photo/Nakamura Osamu

Even on those islands without exhibits on display, make sure to take the time to marvel at the spectacular ocean vistas and breathtaking sunsets that bless the area—pieces of art wrought by Mother Nature herself.

Project for wall painting in lane, ogijima wallalley / Makabe Rikuji

Contours of Thinking / Esther Stocker
Photo / Ichikawa Yasushi
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