I believe each season of the Setouchi Triennale, the organizers get a Japanese university to create a special exhibit to showcase the works of their students. This summer, Aichi University collaborated with their international partner universities to create artworks for a house on Megijima. The NANAIRO+ is more of a gallery with a variety of works with some evoking a sense of Japan and a connection to Megijima but several pieces really had no connection at all.
There are actually 2 buildings on site. You start off in the main building which had many different artworks. I really enjoyed the kimono project as the textiles were really beautiful and I would have loved to see it on a model. There was a video and it was really interesting but nothing more than a typical fashion show. The far end of the building had some of the more interesting works. Several of the students made small artworks in small boxes. It takes a lot of imagination and skill to make art that can fit in a small medium and I felt it was really interesting to see what they all did.
One of the works I didn’t like, but found interesting was basically replicas of iPads with cigarettes around it, including cigarette burns and such. I was curious as to the meaning of the art but I also felt it was ugly; in fact I felt it looked like nothing more than trash. Thankfully I was really drawn by a fascinating object that I can only imagine as a glass Buddha. I didn’t get the name but it was a really interesting colour and while it was completely out of place in the building, it was really nice.
There is also a second building next to the main building. It was a single exhibit that was a little difficult to see at first. The room is pretty dark with what is basically a very large lantern in the middle. The lantern was lit up with fish hanging around it. Inside the lantern, there were cut-outs of people and other sea life that cast shadows on the lantern’s canvas. It appeared to be a story or adventure that was told on all 4 sides and it was really amazing to see it and how the story seemed to come to life as you walked around the lantern. As the shadows moved, so did the story, whether intentional or not. I really liked it, even in the heat and humidity of summer, but I really wished it was cooler so that I could enjoy it completely.
+NANAIRO was not what I expected. I was expecting a couple of very interesting artworks but the ones here seemed too simple. It looked like a hodge-podge of artwork thrown together with very little connection to the island. It was like visiting a gallery with the works of the students from around the world but none of it really had a central theme. I was happy to have visited as some of the artwork was beautiful but I think some of the art could have been left out.
Note: International Exhibition by AUA “+NANAIRO” is no longer available on Megijima.