News & events > Setouchi Triennale 2016
20 Mar 2016 - 06 Nov 2016

Setouchi Triennale 2016

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setouchiposter2016 The Setouchi Triennale 2016 opens 20 March on the beautiful islands of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan. The 3rd edition of the Triennale is organised in three seasons (spring, summer and autumn) and features specially commissioned site-specific artworks and performance by internationally acclaimed artists from around the world, including Sou Fujimoto (Japan), Christian Boltanski (France), Snuff Puppets (Australia), Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand), Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan (Philippines) and Alexander Ponomarev (Russia). DATES for Setouchi Triennale 2016
  • Spring: March 20 - April 17
  • Summer: July 18 - September 4
  • Autumn: October 8 - November 6
Far more than an art festival, the Setouchi Triennale is a community-building enterprise implemented at the regional level. Having won acclaim at home and abroad, it is becoming a model for other parts of the world and particularly Asia. Art based at the grassroots level has created connections that transcend national boundaries, linking the Setouchi region with other areas via the sea. The Triennale serves as a venue for creators from other parts of Asia to explore and develop ideas, to collaborate on works in diverse genres and to delve more deeply into the local lifestyle, folk culture and history of a particular village or island. The Setouchi Triennale Executive Committee received the Grand Prize in the 1st Annual Japan Tourism Awards in 2015 for the Setouchi Triennale, a unique initiative to revitalize local communities. Theme: Restoration of the Sea - Island life in the Setouchi region has always been intimately connected to the Seto Inland Sea. Modernization, however, resulted in the exodus of the younger generations to the cities and the gradual loss of traditional lifestyles and community vitality. The core aim of the Triennale is to revitalize the region through a form of tourism that generates appreciation of the islands, their peoples and the Inland Sea and re-stimulates local communities. This is what we mean by Restoration of the Sea. History: The Setouchi Triennale was launched in 2010 on 7 islands, followed by the 2nd Triennale in 2013, which encompassed 12 islands and was divided into three sessions: Spring, Summer and Autumn. With the aim of utilizing what already exists to create new value, contemporary artists collaborated with architects and islanders to produce many site-specific works and breathe new life into local resources.

Setouchi | the place - The Seto Inland Sea lies between three of the four main islands of Japan (Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu), extending roughly 450 km east to west and anywhere from 15 km to 55 km south to north. This region, which is often referred to as Setouchi in Japanese, is noted for its scenic beauty. Islands lie scattered across the sea’s tranquil waters, white sandy beaches rim its shores, pine groves provide welcome shade, and rice paddies terrace the hillsides. The first Westerners to gaze upon the area after it was opened in the mid-nineteenth century, including Thomas Cook and Philipp Franz von Siebold, praised its charms in their travelogues. In 1934, the section of the Inland Sea bordered by Kagawa, Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures became Japan’s first national park.

Read more about the Setouchi environment and the 12 islands where artworks are sited.