Setouchi Triennale – Oshima Art (2019)

Oshima is a beautiful island with limited artwork.  There are 3 tours to the island each day during the Triennale.  These are not optional but they are a wealth of information on Hansen’s disease and how people in Japan were treated.  The art is limited but it is worth visiting this island.

os01 – Blue Sky Aquarium

Blue Sky Aquarium by Seizo Tashima was my favourite artwork on Oshima for obvious reasons.  You have to go through the entire exhibit slowly and try to enjoy it.  The entire exhibit is interactive so you really have to try everything.  There are a lot of colours inside of the artwork from blue, to pink, to dark blacks.  It was designed as a “poem” and while I didn’t understand it when I visited it, upon reflection I can completely see the meaning and wish I could go back and take a second look.

os02 – Forest Path

Forest Path/Room of a forest path is a small garden created by Seizo Tashima.  In the summer, it was not really interesting.  It is a small garden with dirt paths and a few plants.  I felt it was not ready to be seen or the plants that were there are not designed for the summer heat.  Either way, I pretty much skipped it and would have missed it unless the guide told us about it.

os05 – {Tsunagari no Ie} GALLERY 15 “Sea Echo”

{Tsunagari no Ie} GALLERY 15 “Sea Echo” was also created by Art for the Hospital Project, Yasashii Bijutsu.  The project curated a lot of the items in the barrack with a boat in the middle of the barrack.  The boat is just floating inside one of the rooms and you can walk under it.  It didn’t really match with the rest of the barrack as the rest contained photos taken by the late Takashi Tosu, a former resident of Oshima.  The photos are very telling of life on the island and how they lived and something that must be taken in slowly.

os09 – {Tsunagari no Ie} cafe SHIYORU

{Tsunagari no Ie} cafe SHIYORU is the first and last artwork you see on the island and it is also created by Art for the Hospital Project, Yasashii Bijutsu.  While I couldn’t visit this artwork as it was closed, it is basically a little cafe that is open only on weekends and holidays.  It is a little cafe that I really wanted to visit but due to the schedule it is difficult to visit for me.  It looks really interesting so if you have a chance be sure to try it and let me know what it is like!

New Works for 2019

  • os03 – Untitled by Seizo Tashima
  • os04 – Untitled by Art for the Hospital Project ,Yasashii Bijutsu
  • os06 – Ayumi Kitarite by Fuyuki Yamakawa
  • os07 – Strait Songs by Fuyuki Yamakawa
  • os08 – moonface; Ringwanderung; Moon landing; & Storytelling Table Runner in National Sanatorium Oshima Seishoen by Tomoko Konoike
  • Note: os08 are 4 different artworks.
  • os10 – Valuable Cargo by Christiaan Bastiaans

Other Artworks

The following artwork is no longer part of the Setouchi Triennale but has been modified for the 2019 edition. While some aspects will remain the same, some have changed.

{Tsunagari no Ie} Library

{Tsunagari no Ie} Library has been created by Art for the Hospital Project, Yasashii Bijutsu.  It is basically 3 rooms with a collection of books and trinkets from the past residents of the island.  One room is basically a library and you are free to read the books.  Another room has various items that the residents have used in their day to day lives.  It is a very interesting museum style piece that needs some background to understand completely.


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