Is­land art-hop in Ja­pan

HK Magazine - - TRAVEL -

While many might rec­og­nize the gi­ant yel­low Yayoi Kusama pump­kin that sits on the edge of a pier on the is­land of Naoshima, few dig deeper to un­cover the emerg­ing con­tem­po­rary art scene on the is­lands of the Seto In­land Sea in the south of Ja­pan. The in­hab­i­tants once made a liv­ing out of fish­ing and sea­weed farm­ing, but th­ese days it’s all about con­tem­po­rary art. The is­lands’ flag­ship event is the Se­touchi Tri­en­nale (Jul 18-Sep 4;

Oct 8- Nov 6, se­touchi-art­fest.jp), fea­tur­ing more than 200 art in­stal­la­tions and mu­se­ums spread across the is­lands.

Kick off your is­land-hop­ping at Taka­matsu Port, where you can bike past Bri­tish sculp­tor Ju­lian Opie’s car­toon­ish stone sculp­tures. Go on a scav­enger hunt for cu­ri­ous art­works at the least ex­pected places, such as a palm tree gir­dled by a large buoy in front of an aban­doned el­e­men­tary school in Megi­jima, or head to Naoshima Bath— a cross­over be­tween a bath­house and an art in­stal­la­tion, in which vis­i­tors can take a hot bath amongst its chaotic dé­cor, in­clud­ing a stuffed baby ele­phant.

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