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August 30, 2010 / blissmarket

Setouchi International Art Festival 2010

It was 4 days of Art Overload, Nature Tripping, Island Hopping, Mountain Trekking , Art Hunting and Sun Burning experience. An Art Festival worth the sweat, money, time and brains… well you can loose the brains, but never loose the heart.

I arrived at Okayama last August 22 with Japan Foundation’s Aki Hoashi and Yasuko Furuichi and showed me around Naoshima Island. From Okayama we went to Uno Port and rode a ferry going to Naoshima. We spent a day in Naoshima going from Museum to another and to the Naoshima Art House Projects. At Benesse House Museum, I saw some of the works of my favorite artists like Basquiat, Warhol and Paik. I also saw Twombly’s work, Turrel, Pollack and even Monet at ChiChu Art Museum.

But what I really like from my Setouchi Experience was the idea of building a site specific art projects from abandoned houses or old houses at the islands of Setouchi. The concept of looking for each particular art house projects and getting a chance to view and familiarize yourself with the surroundings of each islands is one way to connect art and tourism/society. Although most Islands are like ghost towns, as if nobody is actually living in some villages because all you see are structures  and no people outside or children playing on each houses. All you can see are the tourists, all trying to find art, holding their maps and looking for signs. Sometimes you have to walk more than 600m to see the artwork or sometimes you can ride a bus, that will lead you to one point then you can walk from different directions. But from island to island, you need to ride a boat or a ferry. So it is always important to double check the time and the schedule of the boats from one island to another.

So my first day was Naoshima, then August 23 was Teshima, August 24 was Megijima and Ogijima and on the 25th Takamatsu. But Every night I go back to Takamatsu because that’s where I booked my ‘Super” hotel. A must have in Setouchi Artfest are… number 1 is the Art Passport, where you need to show each Art House Projects or Museums in order to get in. Number 2 is the 2 days Transportation Pass that will allow you to easily board ferrys, boats and busses for 2 days.  Number 3 is the Map and Number 4 are Water, extra T-shirts and Towels.  🙂

For more info about Setouchi ArtFest… http://setouchi-artfest.jp/en/

I am very much inspired from Setouchi Artfest. I am hoping to do this for Bliss Market in 2012. Hopefully everything will fall into place.

If you have the time and resources… do visit it. Give it 3 to 4 days. Its worth the trip. Me, im just lucky to be here. Thanks to Japan Foundation, Jenesys Programme and UP Vargas Museum. 🙂

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