Mayumi Kuri created my favourite artwork on Ogijima, Memory Bottle. I had no idea what I was in for in 2013 when I first visited this artwork. When I walked in, I was amazed at what I saw. Memory Bottle is a collection of bottles that form a central column inside an old store house. There are also other groups of bottles that make “chandelier” style objects surrounding the central column.
When visiting Memory Bottle, you really need to take your time with it. You need to go slowly, looking inside each bottle. Each bottle has a memory stored inside it with a flickering LED light. The light is soft and the memories beautiful. Most of the memories are photos from the island’s residents, but there are also a few toys. You can see small toy cars and bikes, stamps, ferry tickets, and everything else that is small.
My favourite images to see in the bottles were the weddings. It was also great to see kids playing or just other people of the island having fun. The artwork hasn’t changed since I saw it in 2013 and while I don’t want it to change I think it needs to start changing. Ogijima is growing and the residents are also changing. It would be great to see some additions or small changes to reflect the changes on Ogijima, but at the same time it is a time capsule for what the island was before the festival came.
I will always look forward to seeing Memory Bottle whenever I’m on Ogijima. It will always be my favourite for its connection with the island. It is getting busier and busier and I can imagine that there may be lines to get in on the really busy days. Thankfully I was not there when it was busy and I could enjoy it with only a couple of other visitors.