The Creator in Residence「ei」 was a very interesting yet very puzzling artwork that was part of the 2016 Setouchi Triennale on Shodoshima. I had a hard time finding a lot of the pieces and I think many of them were not even finished when I visited. Most of them have been removed but the ones I saw were interesting enough.
The goal of Creator in Residence「ei」 was to allow various artists to visit Shodoshima, live there, and create art while they were there. It is an interesting concept with the main terminal building of Sakate being the focal point for this concept. They took over a room on the second floor next to a cafe but unfortunately it was locked when I visited. This made it hard for me to really understand what was happening with this artwork.
The first artwork of this group that I visited was a small shack that was painted by Yumiko Utsu. I was really tired when I visited as I had cycled in +30C heat from the port all the way to Sakate. I had sweat dripping down my face when I found Yumiko Utsu’s artwork which was a simple one room building. The outside was not particularly interesting but inside was a psychedelic collage of art. Everything was blue and the floor had blue footprints all over.
It was more interesting to see but the main paintings and photos on the walls were really strange. I really didn’t enjoy the artwork on the walls as it was just too strange for me. I can imagine some people enjoying it but I really didn’t enjoy it and couldn’t really understand the point of this artwork.
I also visited a couple of other artworks just above Beat Shrine. It was a simple building with 2 rooms. One room was pitch-black except for a pin sized hole in the wall. It was nice to go inside as the room had a big fan and it was a good way to escape the heat. The pinhole was actually the art as you were to look at it and see Sakate port. It was a nice view but I really didn’t understand if there was anything else to the work.
The second artwork at that building was not complete based on photos I had seen on the updated Art Setouchi website. It was a collection of small floating boats inside a room with a picture of Sakate port on the wall. When I visited there were only a few boats and no lights. I just looked inside and wondered if it was even finished, to which my answer was no. I can only imagine what it was like when it was finished but I still enjoyed exploring the town a little.
Creator in Residence「ei」 was a very curious group of artworks that really needs to have its own dedicated website to inform you of what was happening. I found that they really lost a lot of appeal because it was so confusing to me. I would love to give it another try in the future if they do it again but I hope they are more organized in giving detailed information about the artworks and the artists.
- Creator in Residence「ei」 (Yumiko Utsu – Official Setouchi Triennale Site)
- Creator in Residence「ei」 (Floating Ships – Official Setouchi Triennale Site)
- Yumiko Utsu (Official Site)
- Yumiko Utsu (Official Twitter – Japanese Only)
I believe 「ei」is a permanent “artist in residence” program, but I’m not too sure as I don’t think I’ve been to Sakate port outside of the Triennale.
Shodoshima actually has quite a few “artist in residence” programs all over the island (that’s how James Jack and Yume Akasaka ended up having permanent art in Konoura, for example – their artworks were included in the Triennale afterwards).
The good thing about 「ei」 is that it’s really a place to meet artists and more (one night they organized a large multi-conference online event with speakers from all the islands), the bad thing is that the art can be a hit or miss.
In 2016, I liked the things that could be found all over Sakate with mirrors and kaleidoscopes, and such (I only went in the Spring, so not sure if they were still there in Summer, but as you’re not mentioning it, maybe it was gone). I wasn’t too impressed with Yumiko Utsu’s work (it was already there in the Spring – Floating Ships wasn’t yet)
Sounds like an interesting project to have various artists in residence throughout the year/triennale. It would be better if they had more information about it though. Even at the main building there wasn’t much info, from my memory.
Looking forward to seeing what they have to offer in the future too. Not sure if I’ll be going to Shodoshima again next year. I have to see how much time I’ll have. Maybe 1 week at the most, so have to make the most of my time and Ogijima is a must. Might try to spend another night there.
I think I remember that there was information… somewhere… about the artists in residence during the Triennale, but I can’t remember where, and I think it was all in English.
I kinda consider 「ei」as a “space” that’s part of the Triennale, more than an artwork. I remember that in 2013 we used it as a place to rest and have a drink mostly, and in 2016, once again as a place to rest and for the kids to play a little.
Wait until we have an idea of what art is on each island before deciding whether you go to Shodoshima or not. Maybe we can go together again, and this time I’ll let you drive (and also, we’ll make a reservation for the car) 😉
[…] the most interesting picture. I took it for my friend Dru after a conversation on his blog about whether the place was open outside of the Triennale. And the answer is… it seems open, […]