The Room inside a Room by Oscar Oiwa is a magical work. The concept, as it says, is a room that is inside a room. The artwork isn’t very big but it is something that requires a lot of time to enjoy. It can be difficult to spend a lot of time with the artwork because there just isn’t a lot of space to do so. I was really happy to see it but also sad that I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have loved.
When you enter The Room inside a Room, you go through a very short hallway before you get a glimpse of the room. The entire house was still being remodeled during the summer 2016 Setouchi Triennale and may be finished in time for the 2019 Triennale. For now, Oscar Oiwa’s work occupies a single room. When you enter, the magic hits you as you feel as if you have been turned sideways. The artwork is literally a room that has been turned sideways, like most trick art rooms. The main difference here is that he is not really doing anything special with the room aside from keeping it very traditional looking.
The main feature of the room is the boards for the closet. The boards have a beautiful image of Meon, the ferry that brings you to Ogijima, crossing the sea. The image itself looks normal but the image also has a secret image within it. The sea is not so much a sea but it is also an octopus! I was never good with seeing hidden images so it took me a while to see this, but when I saw it I was happy to see it.
The room itself doesn’t take a long time to see but in order to enjoy it you really need the room to yourself. When I went, there were about 3 other people there and it was too many. The maximum should be 2 per visit but at the same time, it isn’t hard to let more people in either. It just gets hard to take photos as you are only allowed into a small section of the room.
I really hope this is a permanent exhibit and I do hope they will expand on the building. It is a great site and there is a lot of potential in the house. With the growth of Ogijima, I can understand how it may be getting hard to find more locations for the art, but I really hope they can keep expanding and that I can keep enjoying the artwork in the future.