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.