Setouchi Triennale – Shodoshima Art (2019)

Shodoshima is the largest island of the Setouchi Triennale which makes it very difficult to see all of the art in a single day.  Shodoshima requires several days to see everything and various modes of transportation. The northern area remains impossible for me to visit due to logistics so please visit Setouchi Explorer for details on those artworks.

Tonosho Port

sd01 – Gift of the Sun

Gift of the Sun is a beautiful work done by Choi Jeong Hwa.  It is right at the port and you can’t miss it.  It is one of the first things you see when you arrive and a great beacon for the island.  Tonosho is the busiest port in Shodoshima and this wreath of gold is a beautiful addition with a beautiful message.  Each leaf of the wreath has various messages and dreams from the children of Shodoshima.  It has been around since 2013 and it is one of my favourite artworks as it really plays well with the ferries and sea in the background.


ART no SHOW TERMINAL is the terminal building for Tonosho with an exhibit by Junko Koshino/Atelier OMOYA.  Junko Koshino is a fashion designer who designed various outfits that are supposed to be in the building, and Atelier OMOYA is an art group that helped build the art around that idea.  The free art is on the first floor which is a couple of drums next to a large motif with a white cloth on it.  As you play the drums, air is forced through the sheet to make it come alive.  The second floor is a small exhibit and while it was supposed to showcase the designs of Junko Koshino, when I was there it had discs with drawings from the kids of Shodoshima on them.  It is still a fun place to visit and the drums are a lot of fun.

Tonosho Town

sd04 – Maze Town – Phantasmagoric Alleys

Maze Town – Phantasmagoric Alleys is a very fascinating work done by “Me” (pronounced “may”).  “Me” is a group of artists that converted a couple houses into an art maze.  The trick to this artwork is that it consists of 2 houses.  Tonosho was designed to be maze like with its streets so you really need to know where you are going.  Even those who have been there several times get lost.  It is really worth visiting and I won’t go into any other details here except to say that you need a good curious mind to enjoy it.


sd06 – Shishigaki Island

Shishigaki Island is a strange artwork by Masato Saito.  The artwork can be literally translated into “Deer Fence Island” which is literally what the artwork is.  It is a deer and wild boar fence made of stone and taking in the original construction designs of the original fence that was built 200 years ago.  Obviously they rebuilt it and a lot of the new ideas incorporate Mr. Saito’s imaginative ideas.  I unfortunately found this design to be too strange yet I still thought it was interesting.

sd08 – Previously: Dream of Olive

Note: Wang wen Chih will be back with Love in Shodoshima, a replacement for Dream of Olive. Unfortunately I am unlikely to visit Love in Shodoshima but Dream of Olive is a good interpretation of what you can expect.

Dream of Olive by Wang Wen Chih was an artwork I had been anticipating to visit for a long time.  It was the 3rd iteration of the artwork and each Triennale they build a new one.  From the photos I had seen, the artwork from 2013 looked amazing and the 2016 version seemed simpler.  When you see it from afar, it looks stunning with the rice fields in the backdrop.  The dome may look simple but it is anything but.  I think for those who have seen the more intricate designs of the past Triennale’s, you may be disappointed but I was still amazed and the bamboo was heaven on my tired feet as I got a free massage.


sd21 – stone island’s stone

“stone island’s stone” was supposed to be completed for the summer session, but Hideyuki Nakayama was unable to have it completed in time.  When I visited, there was nothing more than an empty lot and a little construction happening.  I have a friend who attended a lecture by Mr. Nakayama and was able to meet him in Tokyo.  From what I learned, Mr. Nakayama wants to use stones from the island in order to keep them on the island.  The structure is supposed to be a washroom, if I’m not mistaken, and it uses stones from the same area that were used to help construct Osaka castle.  Osaka castle used a lot of rocks from Shodoshima and Mr. Nakayama wants to keep these stones on the island.  It sounds very intriguing and I’d love to see it in the next Triennale.

sd22 – Tsugi-Tsugi-Kintsugi

Tsugi-Tsugi-Kintsugi is a very wonderful work by Masayuki Kishimoto.  Kintsugi is a Japanese art form of using gold to mend broken cups and dishes.  Mr. Kishimoto took old discarded household ceramics and glued them together to form orbs and towers using the kinstugi technique.  While the photos make it look simple, the peace and quiet within the room accompanied by the intricate detail used to make each object was amazing to see.  I hope the work continues into the future although the location was a bit difficult to reach.

sd24 – Hut with the Arc Wall

Hut with the Arc Wall is a crappy artwork by Yo Shimada.  Sorry, this is a very bad pun and if you have seen this artwork, you will understand what I mean.  Hut with the Arc Wall is literally a washroom.  It is a simple wood roof on wood supports with a concrete wall to divide the men and women’s rooms.  I didn’t have any problems with the design and I thought it was a beautiful building but I was let down because it was “just a toilet”.  Visiting the artwork when I did, I was not in the right mind and I would love to give it a second chance.

sd25 – Regent in Olives

Regent in Olives by Hisakazu Shimizu is a very cool artwork.  It is an artwork that I had been longing to see for a long time, since 2013.  If you don’t know, regent is the name of a hairstyle where you take long hair and you send it out as far forward as you can.  Think Elvis Presley, just crazier, or if you have seen the rockabilly dancers in Yoyogi Park on weekends, that is the style.  The artwork itself is a simple egg with a regent in an olive grove.  It sounds simple and it is, but it is very fun.  They even have regent wigs to wear if you want to take a photo with it.

sd26 – Umaki camp

Umaki camp by dot architects is a really cool concept.  It is basically a couple buildings that are a kitchen and community centre in one.  The camp was built for 2013’s Triennale and they even had some of the local grandmas cooking for people.  When I visited, it was just a building where you can sit down, relax, have lunch, and cook if you want.  There is free wifi and you can do a lot of things while you are there.  There isn’t a lot to interest you outside of using the facilities as a place for lunch but you can easily appreciate what it is for.

Sakate Port


THE STAR ANGER by Kenji Yanobe is a symbol of Sakate’s art.  It is a beacon calling people into the port and a very cool looking piece at the same time.  You can see it as you approach the port from the nearby hillside and as you approach from the port as well.  It is nothing more than a spiky glitter ball with a dragon on top that rotates slowly.  It is amazing in how it looks and I love it.  I would imagine it is combined with Kenji Yanobe’s collaboration with Beat Takeshi in their ANGER from the Bottom work that is up the hill.  If you look at the building next to THE STAR ANGER, there appears to be some sort of story linking the 2 artworks together, but I have yet to find it in English.

sd31 – Beat Shrine / ANGER from the Bottom

Beat Shrine / ANGER from the Bottom is a very masculine artwork done in collaboration with Beat Takeshi and Kenji Yanobe.  The artwork appears to be done in collaboration with Kenji Yanobe’s other artwork, THE STAR ANGER, that resides in the port.  The Beat Shrine was originally only called ANGER from the Bottom but they evolved the artwork for 2016.  For 2016, they added a wooden roof to the original well design and the ANGER creature is now permanently in the up position.  In 2013, the creature would hide in the well until the top of the hour where it would come out and spew water from its mouth.  Now it is always up and it spews water every 20 minutes.  The name Beat shrine actually is a very clever play on kanji and Beat Takeshi’s nickname.  Beat, or Bi-I-To, uses the kanji “美井戸” which can be broken down into “Beauty-Well-Door”.  Well is actually a water well, not the adjective.  The fact that they used an old well and rebuilt it into Beat Takeshi’s shrine is pretty interesting and well worth noting.  You can be sure that I will be back to see this artwork again if I get the chance.

New/Unvisited for 2019

Tonosho Port

  • sd03 – again … by Kim Kyoung-Min


  • sd05 – Untitled by Koo Jeong A


  • so07 – FLUIRE by Giacomo Zaganelli

Mito Peninsula

  • sd09 – The Secret of Hanasuwajima by Kana Kou
  • sd10 – Garden of the Border by Mitsuharu Doi
  • sd11 – Eyes of nature(from the earth) by Julio Doi
  • sd12 – Utopia dungeon by Keisuke Tanaka
  • sd13 – Quartz by the sea by Kaoru Hirano
  • sd14 – Tomorrow’s Sea by Mutsumi Tomosada
  • sd15 – Ascend the past and now, descend the future by Yoshihiko Shikada
  • sd16 – Shiomimi-so by Toshimitu Ito + Kana Kou+ Hiroshima City University, Faculty of Arts
  • sd17 – Element by Jio Shimizu
  • sd18 – “Stand Up!” Series/ Running Dog, Floating Elephant by Kohsui
  • sd19 – Yamagoe-do (Mountain Voice cavern)by
    Toshimitu Ito + Hiroshima City University, Faculty of Arts

Hishionosato/Kusakabe Port

  • sd20 – The Shore Where We Can Reach-Xiang Yang Art Sailing Proposal by Xiang Yang
  • sd23 – Bell Shelter by Dadawa
  • sd27 – GEORGES gallery by Georges Rousse, Yasushi Kishimoto, Takashi Tochiyama, and Miyabi Katayama
  • sd28 – The Slient Room by Hans Op de Beeck
  • sd29 – “Fosse ’d Orchestre” “White Museum” by Rosa Barba

Sakate Port/Tanoura

  • sd32 – Fisherman’s Dream by Saya Irie
  • sd33 – Bollard of Love by Hisakazu Shimizu


  • sd35 – Fukita Pavilion by Ryue Nishizawa


  • sd36 – Untitled by Lin Shuen Long
  • sd37 – Shodoshima Tree by Kohei Takekoshi


  • sd38 – Dynamite Traverse Variations by Chichibu Avant-Garde

Past Artworks

These artworks are no longer officially part of the Setouchi Triennale but they are still available to visit. They are well worth your time if you can spare it.

Shodoshima Gelato Recipes Project by The Island Lab

Shodoshima Gelato Recipes Project by The Island Lab is a project by graf+FURYU.  graf is a “creative unit” and by that definition I would say the work on creating ideas.  They do things from music to architecture and really contemplate the entire experience.  The Gelato Project is really just a bunch of gelato recipes in an old building.  I would imagine graf created the building design and FURYU runs the operations and creates the gelato.  FURYU is actually a local Italian restaurant nearby and they are responsible for the daily operations.  The building itself sells more gelato and coffee than anything else but the panini are delicious too.

The memorial garden of Sakae Tsuboi

The memorial garden of Sakae Tsuboi is exactly what it says.  It is a memorial garden for Sakae Tsuboi, the author of 24 Eyes.  The site is where she was born, but I believe it is just her family’s house.  It had been razed in the past and they wanted to do something to honour her, so they created this memorial garden.  In the centre is an olive tree with several flower beds around it.  It is a nice garden but aside from the historical significance, I really didn’t see any connection to the Triennale.

Creator in Residence「ei」

Creator in Residence「ei」 is hard to understand.  I couldn’t really get an idea of what they were doing but there was mention of collecting foods and yeast as well as stories from the local people of Sakate back in 2016.  It seems like a very interesting project but I really couldn’t understand it.

The main permanent exhibit, if they are open, is at the terminal building.  The main building is an information centre with some local information.  I couldn’t get much info from the place as I was sweating too much in the summer of 2016.  I used the information centre as a place to cool down and rehydrate.  Upstairs is a small cafe with the exhibit.  I believe they only open it for events but you are allowed to look through the windows.  I didn’t see anything interesting so I left.

Creator in Residence「ei」
Creator in Residence「ei」 by UMA/design farm + MUSEUM


The above is my own personal review of the art I have seen on Shodoshima.  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.