Memory of Ship’s Hull by Atsushi Ozawa is an interesting 2 piece work that is located in two different areas of Uno. The first is located next to the main information centre next to the main dock for the ferries. The other is located in the south wharf area next to the sea. Both pieces are worth a visit but it may not speak to people as the actual artworks can be a little hard to understand at first.
Memory of Ship’s Hull is basically an anchor from the former Japanese Imperial Navy as well as a ship’s propeller from a Norwegian ship. Atsushi Ozawa basically welded various metal pieces onto both the propeller and the anchor and the artwork grows slightly each Triennale. The different pieces of metal are supposed to be like barnacles from the sea that continually get added to the bottom of a ship’s hull. The only difference is that both pieces are painted flat black and the “barnacles” are not living but rather what looks like junk that was salvaged.
Both pieces are really interesting, especially the first time you see it. In 2013, I visited in spring and the anchor was not very interesting. It was surrounded by a dearth of vegetation. In 2016, summer was in full swing when I visited and the shrubs around the anchor were very healthy and made the anchor look much better. Unfortunately I didn’t visit the propeller a second time to see what changes have been made but I would assume that it looked almost the same either way.
Memory of Ship’s Hull is interesting but as I mentioned it may not be for everyone. Without any background information, it will look like a weird piece of art and people won’t be able to appreciate the meaning. Even with the information it can be difficult to really like it. I don’t love it but I don’t dislike it either. The symbolism of Memory of Ship’s Hull is great and that is the most important part of the piece to me.