“Someone’s Coming!” by Pors & Rao was a very fun interactive exhibit that was mysterious at the same time. Located in Ikeda Port, it was a bit far from all of the other artworks which made it more interesting. The artwork is also located a bit of a distance from the port but it was well worth the walk. Thankfully I was with David from Setouchi Explorer and he drove me there so the walk wasn’t so bad. The parking lot for the exhibit was pretty close to the actual artwork and with good timing we didn’t have to wait for the tide to change.
“Someone’s Coming!” is a wonderful work that requires a walk to get there and that is the point. David interviewed Pors & Rao to discover that they wanted to have the artwork as secluded as possible which made it really interesting. There is a long gravel road leading from the main road to the art installation and it is pretty bumpy in a car. I’m sure the walk on a cool day would have been lovely. From the parking lot you have to walk along a beach which is impassible during high tide. This leads to the artwork being more of a mystery for this very reason.
Once you pass the beach you cross a small ditch and you are at the main building. There is also a small waiting area with shade as only 2 people are allowed within the artwork at a time. The artwork takes up a small building that has a single room. It has a small gap between the roof and the walls to allow light to flow in. There are also plastic blocks in each corner to help bend light to create a wonderful look along the walls. The building itself was designed by Pors & Rao but it was also done in consultation with “dot architects”, a group that has helped build a lot of art on Shodoshima.
Spoiler Warning: If you continue to read beyond this point you will not be surprised by this artwork.
The artwork may seem simple as there are only 4 sections inside with blank canvases on the walls. The canvases look a little strange as they are slightly torn but all of them are white. Everything inside the room is white but as you explore the room you start to hear a shuffling. This shuffling is like the sound of someone in the room. It can be a little surprising to hear it and if you look around you will quickly notice what is happening.
The art hanging on the walls actually move! As you move around the room, the artwork bends from behind one of the walls in the middle of the room as if to peer around the corner at you. The artwork is basically saying “peek-a-boo” and then returning back to its rest state. It is a fun way for the art to actually come alive.
As you walk around the building, you keep hearing the artwork shuffling. The second you stop moving, everything becomes quiet. David and I spent a lot of time inside the building and I had enough time to actually figure out how things work. They limit the number of people inside to a maximum 2 at a time. This is because the computer controlling the artwork can only track 2 people at a time before things become less stable. I could be wrong but that is my assumption. There are actually motion sensors in the ceiling of the installation and that is how they decide where you are within the installation and that’s how they make the artwork move.
I loved “Someone’s Coming!” as it is a playful and mysterious artwork and I would love to visit again. I’m not sure I will come back as it can be difficult to visit the artwork in this area. Ikeda Port only has Someone’s Coming and getting there is a bit of a challenge. I may visit again anyways as I do want to visit the Mito Peninsula completely and going through Ikeda is probably the easiest way for me to do so. Either way, you must visit this artwork if you are in the area and if they are open as I’m sure you will love it.
Note: Someone’s Coming is currently unavailable on Shodoshima.