Stories of 12 Islands: Animation of Sea Wanderings is a wonderful artwork by Masahiro Hasunuma. It was the only rotating artwork; meaning it moved to a different location for each season of the Triennale. In spring it was located on Shamijima; in summer it was located in Uno; and in autumn it was located on Honjima. The artwork itself is pretty simple as it is a series of 12 flip books with each one representing a different island of the Setouchi Triennale.
I actually didn’t know that Stories of 12 Islands would be in Uno when I visited because the guidebook didn’t really mention it. The official website did but I stumbled upon it by accident. It was a real happy accident as it was located inside a community centre and they were having some sort of recital practice at the same time. It was really interesting to see this side of Japanese culture, regular kids practicing for some sort of concert.
When I entered, you can see 12 flip books at different heights. Some of them have stools to help you see and they were all on their own dial. You aren’t allowed to touch the flip books so they put the pictures onto a centre spindle with a handle and a small metal “thumb” to aid in showcasing the moving pictures. It was a good way to allow everyone to enjoy the books and also to protect them to an extent.
I spent a lot of time just having fun watching each book and each island had its own theme. Megijima had two Oni and Ogijima had Meon. There was a lot of symbolism that I didn’t completely understand as I do not have an intimate knowledge of all of the islands. I did my best to understand each one but unfortunately that is not possible. Thankfully Mr. Hasunuma did create videos of a few of the flip books and he may upload more in the future. For now enjoy the videos as we may not see it again in the future.
- Stories of 12 Islands: Animation of Sea Wanderings (Official Setouchi Triennale Site)
- Masahiro Hasunuma (Official Blog – Japanese Only)
- Masahiro Hasunuma (Official YouTube Channel)