Ogijima is a small island with a small community. The area is small enough that it can be considered a single area but it is split into two distinct geographical sections. The main “Community Area” is Ogicho and has most of the art. Most of the art opens at 9:30, 30 minutes after the first ferry arrives. If you arrive early, it is recommended to head to the Ogi Fishing Port Area where all artwork is public. It isn’t a far walk but Ogicho and the fishing port area do have a different feel to each other.
og1 – Ogijima’s Soul
Ogijima’s Soul by Jaume Plensa is a very beautiful artwork. It is an architectural artwork that is used as Ogijima’s terminal building. It is a simple glass box with a beautiful roof. The all white roof consists of letters in no seeming order. It is one of the most photographed objects in Ogijima for obvious reasons. I consider it to be the symbol of Ogijima, although there are a lot of those. Every time I return to Ogijima, I know I’m there when I see this building and it always puts a smile on my face.
- Ogijima’s Soul (HinoMaple)
og05 – Project for wall painting in lane, ogijima wallalley (sic)
Ogijima Wallalley is a great artwork that spans the entire village on Ogijima. Rikuji Makabe took various boards and painted them with a few different patterns. He then cut them and mixed them together and installed them on various houses throughout the village. As you walk through the village, you can see these boards in various places making a sort of Easter egg hunt where you have to find all of them.
og06 – ONBA・FACTORY
ONBA・FACTORY has been a long term project by Onba Factory. The onba are simple push carts that the people of the island use to move goods around. Yoshifumi Oshima is the designer and he has made various designs from a Citroen to Meon replicas. The carts themselves are well used by the locals as they need to get goods from the ferry back home. The factory has several of the onba on display and a history of most of the onba that have been made. If you are ever at the pier when a ferry comes in, just wait 10 minutes and you’ll see some of the old ladies come in and pick things up with their onba.
- Onba Factory (HinoMaple)
og07 – Previously: KALEIDOSCOPE BLACK & WHITE
Note: “Kaleidosope Black & White” is being replaced by “The Space Flower・Dance・Ring (宇宙華・舞・環)” by Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends. For posterity, and until I can visit the Triennale, I will keep this artwork as a place holder until a more formal review can be made.
KALEIDOSCOPE BLACK & WHITE is a very interesting artwork by Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends. It is in the back of the Dream Cafe and 3 years ago they did a work called Time Tube in the same place. Time Tube was a bunch of magazines rolled up and placed strategically. It was okay but KALEIDOSCOPE BLACK & WHITE is a completely different artwork. The whole artwork is like being inside a big kaleidoscope and you really feel a bit crazy inside. There are even small shirts that you can put on that have the same design to make you literally part of the artwork. You can buy them too if you want but I was a bit too overheated to really think about doing so. I wish I could go back and really enjoy the artwork but thankfully I have enough pictures to relive the experience.
- Kaleidoscope Black & White (HinoMaple)
Note: Technically Dream Cafe is in front of KALEIDOSCOPE BLACK & WHITE rather than KALEIDOSCOPE BLACK & WHITE being behind Dream Cafe. Dream Cafe is generally closed outside of the Setouchi Triennale.
og08 – Akinorium
Akinorium by Akinori Matsumoto is one of my favourite artworks on Ogijima and my favourite new one on the island. Utilizing shadows, bamboo, and servos, Mr. Matsumoto was able to create a wonderful moving art piece that also plays music at the same time. The music is basically various sounds that seem to be random but I can’t help but feel that it was planned in a way. It is something that must be experienced in person and no photos or videos can do it justice.
- Akinorium (HinoMaple)
og10 – SEA VINE
SEA VINE is a beautiful returning work by Haruki Takahashi. I was amazed by this artwork in 2013 and couldn’t wait to return in 2016. Delicate strings are suspended in the middle of a tatami room with porcelain petals. I can’t remember the original very well but I was told that the vine has grown for 2016. When I went, it did feel a bit bigger and the flowers did seem bigger overall. Upon looking at photos from 3 years ago, it may look a bit bigger but I still can’t confirm it so I will err on the side of safety and say it hasn’t. For 2019, they are renovating things again and once again I can’t wait to see it.
- Sea Vine (HinoMaple)
og12 – Rotation – Revolution
Rotation – Revolution is a new artwork by Lin Tianmiao that didn’t really speak to me in any way. It is basically an installation in a house that takes up several rooms and utilizes many old objects from the island. They are all attached to rods and then rotated slowly. Looking at Ms. Tianmiao’s other works, I can see a similar theme but it is not my cup of tea at all. If you like it, hats off to you but I’m afraid it is lost on me.
- Rotation – Revolution (HinoMaple)
og13 – Memory Bottle
Memory Bottle by Mayumi Kuri was one of my favourite pieces of the 2013 Setouchi Triennale. It is one of the pieces that made me fall in love with Ogijima and it continues to impress me. The outside of the store room is pretty nondescript but when you enter you are hit by the memories of Ogijima. This artwork is something that must be experienced as there are hundreds of bottles all hung with various pictures and trinkets from the island. It is a beautiful exhibit that must be seen as no photos or descriptions can really help you appreciate it.
- Memory Bottle (HinoMaple)
og14 – Maison de Urushi
Maison de Urushi is a special project that utilizes the local lacquer techniques of Kagawa. There are 2 main rooms with the first room being the black room. There were several layers of lacquer on the walls with a white base and then several layers of black. They cut down through the layers to provide white dots all over for a very impressive artistic look. The second room is a white lacquer room with a beautiful view and a beautiful closet. I’m a little torn as to which room would be better to be all white as the white room has a view and the natural light made it very bright, but a black version would provide a great contrast for the view and focus on the view. The black room was the opposite as it provided a dark atmosphere making it white would have brightened it up a lot.
- Maison de Urushi (HinoMaple)
og15 – The room inside of the room
Oscar Oiwa tends to impress with his artworks and his “The room inside of the room” doesn’t disappoint. At first, you enter the main house area and the courtyard is a really nice area to just relax. Once you enter the house, you walk towards the room inside the room and it is very unsuspecting. You don’t really realize what you are walking into until you actually get into the room. I knew what to expect but I was still amazed by what I saw. The entire design along with the art on the main wall is beautiful and must be seen to appreciate it. It is definitely one of the best artworks on Ogijima.
- The room inside of the room (HinoMaple)
Ogi Fishing Port Area
og16 – Walking Ark
Walking Ark by Keisuke Yamaguchi is a nice looking artwork that I just didn’t care for. I think it is nice and a great symbol from afar but up close I didn’t care for it. It is still fun to see for the first time but in 2016 I kept my distance and only enjoyed it from the harbour rather than going straight to it. I believe this is an artwork that needs to be played with, especially in a group, as I often see photos of groups of girls poking their heads out from between the legs of Walking Ark.
- Walking Ark (HinoMaple)
og17 – Dreaming of Blue
Dreaming of Blue by Regina Silveira is a very interesting artwork covering the front of the elementary school gym on Ogijima. Whenever I saw it in pictures, I never really liked it but when I got there and could see it clearly, I really liked it. From many of the photos I have seen, it is nothing more than a blue background with various white and grey tiles. When you look at it completely, it actually looks like the sky with a few clouds in it. It is a more beautiful than you can imagine and I really enjoyed how it made me feel.
- Dreaming of Blue (HinoMaple)
New Works for 2019
- og2 – Untitled by Team Ogi
- og3 – Generative wall drawing on Japanese paper house by Goro Murayama
- og4 – The Sea Within – The See Within by Sarah Westphal
- og07 – The Space Flower・Dance・Ring（宇宙華・舞・環）by Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends
- og09 – Unknown Work 2019 by Gregor Schneider
- og11 – Trieb－家 by Toshikatsu Endo
OGI Project was part of the Setouchi Triennale but it is no longer officially part of the Triennale. The boats will still be in the harbour for 2019 and well worth your time to visit.
TEAM OGI continues to display some of their cool artworks all over the island. The OGI Project is part of that but unfortunately nothing is new for 2016. The fishing boats were originally painted 3 years ago with some local folklore as well as various seascapes. I was really impressed by it 3 years ago and I’m still impressed this year. I have gotten used to it so it doesn’t invoke the same amazement as before but it is still a great work that needs to be seen. Do note that while the main boat is in the main harbour, several boats are also in the fishing village near “Walking Ark”.
- Ogi Project (HinoMaple)
- Ogijima Art Guide (Official Setouchi Triennale Site – English)
- Ogijima Art Guide (Official Setouchi Triennale Site – Japanese)
- Ogijima Guide (Setouchi Triennale) (HinoMaple)
- Ogijima (Part I) (HinoMaple – From 2013)
- Ogijima (Part II) (HinoMaple – From 2013)
- Setouchi Triennale – Ogijima Preview (Setouchi Explorer)
- Setouchi Triennale – Ogijima Opening Day (Setouchi Explorer)
- Akinorium on Ogijima (Setouchi Explorer)
- Sea Vine on Ogijima (Setouchi Explorer)
- Memory Bottles (Setouchi Explorer)
The above is my own personal review of the art I have seen on Ogijima. 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.