Setouchi Triennale – Takamatsu Art (2019)

Takamatsu is the main base for the Setouchi Triennale but that doesn’t mean it is devoid of art.  There are lots of artworks to see both in the port area as well as outside the port area.  New artworks continue to be added in each Triennale with the Kitahama Alley the latest addition for 2019.

Takamatsu Port Area

tk01 – Liminal Air -core-

Liminal Air -core- is what I would consider to be the symbol of the Setouchi Triennale.  Shinji Ohmaki created 2 pillars in the port area, right between the berth for Meon and the ferries to Shodoshima.  When visiting the various islands, it is difficult to not see this artwork as it is both a gate to leave as well as return to Takamatsu.  While most people will just take a quick look and move on, I found it very relaxing to sit near it and just enjoy it along with the movement of the ferries.

tk02 – Beyond the Borders – the Ocean

Beyond the Borders – the Ocean is a huge artwork by Lin Shuen Long that seems a lot more mobile than I would have ever thought.  The artwork was originally on a beach in Teshima for the 2013 Triennale but for 2016 they brought it back and placed it in Takamatsu where it has permanently resided.  The artwork is also called a “seed ship” as it was originally born in Taiwan and has travelled so much and it looks exactly like that.  The interior is as you can imagine but it is quite interesting inside and well worth a visit.

tk03 – Banker, Nurse, Detective, Lawyer

Banker, Nurse, Detective, Lawyer is an artwork with a statement by Julian Opie.  Just as the title states, it is a set of 4 stones cut into the shape of 2D people: a banker; a nurse; a detective; and a lawyer.  It is a very modern looking artwork and while I can see a lot of symbolism and wonder what it says about society, I didn’t feel much of a connection to the area.  Aside from the stone being locally sourced, this could be in any modern city and it may have actually looked better if it was in a central area, such as the shopping arcade.  I still like it and would consider checking it out again, but honestly, nothing is pulling me to do so.

tk04 – Waiting for / Mr. Inland Sea

Waiting for / Mr. Inland Sea is a hidden in plain sight artwork by Jun Homma.  It is located at the bus terminal on the south side of Takamatsu Station; note that the Airport Limousine stops at northern bus depot.  As you approach the bus terminal, you see the signs telling you that the artwork is there, and you think you can see it, but unless you are looking at it, you can easily miss it.  It is a couple of cut-outs that have the same image of the rock face behind it.  I thought it was a very fun work but difficult to photograph and always busy with people.

tk05 – I’m here!

“I’m here!” is a very playful artwork by Kyoco Taniyama.  The artwork is located about 800m from Takamatsu Station, so you do need to plan a little time to head out there.  It doesn’t take long to go there but it may not be worth a visit unless you plan to enjoy the pool in the summer.  The artwork is supposed to be available only in the summer but even then you are not allowed to do a lot.  The artwork is actually part of a public pool for Takamatsu and you do have to pay to enter.  Setouchi Triennale passport holders do get discounts, but there is a free viewing platform.  Unfortunately, no photos are allowed from the viewing platform next to the pool.  I thought the art was nice but unfortunately you can’t really enjoy it as much as you’d like.

Takamatsu Airport

tk18 – Welcome / Funny Blue

Welcome / Funny Blue is a very beautiful artwork by Véronique Joumard.  There isn’t a lot of information about this but if you are planning to leave via Takamatsu Airport, you will probably see this artwork.  Located in the international side of the airport, the artwork consists of 2 points.  First, there is a column of stretched gold fabric connecting the first and second floors.  On the second floor, the windows have a special film that bends light and creates a purple and blue hue when the sun shines in.  I found the artwork to be surprisingly simple yet beautiful at the same time.  I missed the special film when I arrived but when I left Takamatsu I was able to enjoy the film as the sun set which meant the entire area was beautiful.


Yashima has 2 new artworks for the 2019 Setouchi Triennale.

Past Artworks

Wakeiseijaku-Harmony, Respect, Purity, Tranquility was part of the Setouchi Triennale but is no longer an official artwork. It is still available for public viewing.

Wakeiseijaku-Harmony, Respect, Purity, Tranquility

Wakeiseijaku-Harmony, Respect, Purity, Tranquility is an interesting artwork by Genichiro Inokuma.  I didn’t really care for the art as much as I cared for the building that it was in.  The artwork is located in the Kagawa Prefectural Office’s east hall, which was designed by Kenzo Tange, an award winning architect.  The artwork is in the lobby of the first floor of the building and I was only able to appreciate it from outside as I arrived at the building too late to enter.  It is a simple artwork but I was more impassioned with the building itself as I am a fan of Kenzo Tange.

Island Hopping

T01 – Flower

Flower by José de Guimarães is a cute artwork that can be found on all islands of the Setouchi Triennale since at least 2013, although I cannot confirm it is on every island.  Flower is basically an information board for each of the islands.  There is information about the island each board is on and a general map of the region.  Each Flower is painted a different colour as far as I can tell and there are special characters on top to represent each island.

T02 – Happy Snake

Happy Snake is also by José de Guimarães and I also believe it was created for the 2013 Setouchi Triennale.  Similar to Flower, Happy Snake is a cute artwork that welcomes you to each island.  Unlike Flower, Happy Snake just says hello to everyone in Japanese, English, Korean, and both traditional and simplified Chinese.  I tend to overlook these Happy Snakes whenever I visit the islands but they are there saying hello and welcoming you at each port.

New/Unvisited for 2019

Takamatsu Port Area

  • tk06/tk07/tk10/tk11 – Kitahama Creators Studio by Various Artists
  • tk08 – Untitled by Kagawa Urushi
  • tk09 – Untitled by Hidenori Ishihara
  • tk12/E27 – DOMMUNE SETOUCHI by Naohiro Ukawa (Special Event)


  • tk15 – Suitcase in a Bottle by Ram Katzir
  • tk16 – SF (Smoke and Fog) by Teppei Kaneuji


  • tk17 – Watch Tower by John Körmeling


The above is my own personal review of the art I have seen in Takamatsu.  If you want to be surprised by the art, I recommend that you do not read more than what is written here.  Longer descriptions will be published over time and will be linked at a later time.  Please keep an eye on my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for information when they go live.  Photos may also give away part of the art, but in this post, they are minimal.  Spoiler alerts in individual posts will be given when it is necessary for you to enjoy the art for the first time.  If you will not be going to the Setouchi Triennale, feel free to follow the links and read everything and enjoy it as best as you can.