Islands of creativity
Tianmiao agrees. She transformed an old house on Ogijima island into an installation by using more than 1,000 everyday items that were left in the house by its owner, such as a notebook, pill boxes, a harpoon and sticks from a curling iron.
“The house owner cried when he saw my installation. It was like a revival of his family’s memory. I was also moved by my work. It enables visitors to imagine the changes of both a Japanese family over several decades and also of the society in which they live,” says Lin.
A site-specific work for an art festival like the Setouchi Triennale requires the artists to learn and do research about the local community, the culture and the history, Lin says. That, she says, is an efficient method to know the people there.
Chinese musician and artist Zhu Zheqin, who’s also known by her stage name, Dadawa, and Xiang Yang, an installation artist, will take part in the next year’s triennial.
Zhu draws inspiration from various sounds from Shodoshima island and will produce a bell house. She will also write a song for Setouchi and develop a special app bringing together all the information needed to visit the island.
Artist Xiang Yang will produce a three-floor wooden boat named Next Island — made from discarded materials and old furniture — where he will invite other artists to display their work.
The triennial will span three seasons: The spring session from April 26 to May 26, the summer session from July 19 to Aug 25 and the autumn session from Sept 28 to Nov 4.
Visitors can also enjoy a considerable number of museums and permanent art installations from previous festivals that are scattered throughout the 12 islands. Dramas, dances and performances involving local people will also be staged.
After the end of the festival, the art installations will remain and a series of regular art events will continue to take place in the area for visitors.
“It’s not just a 100-day festival. Art events go on during all the three years between each triennial,” says Furamu. but combines painting or inscriptions by other artists, can fully show the richness of traditional culture, Li says.
Jia, a native of Beijing, was born into a family that has a long tradition in relic repair. He has been involved in restoration since the late 1970s, working at organizations including the Beijing Bureau of Cultural Heritage, the Capital Museum and the China Agricultural Museum.
Jia’s whole-shape rubbings have evolved thanks to his rich experience in bronzeware restoration. He absorbed the experience of his predecessors and explored new techniques to form his own unique methods, which allow him to present accurate shapes, clear details and realistic effects.
His rubbing of the Boju Ge, which is regarded as one of Jia’s representative works, was given to former French president Jacques Chirac as a present by China in 2011.
Boju Ge is an ancient three-legged bronze vessel used for sacrifices that was unearthed in Beijing in 1974 that dates to the Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC).
In recent years, Jia has also been devoted to the inheritance and promotion of whole-shape rubbing, including training younger generations to perform the almost-lost technique.