Seto islands festival captures harmony between art, nature

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Festival-goers view the work “Beyond the Borders — the Ocean” in Takamatsu on April 26.

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe “Setouchi Triennale 2019” modern art festival is currently underway on islands throughout the Seto Inland Sea.

Set to run through May 26, the festival will also be held in the summer from July 19 to Aug. 25 and autumn from Sept. 28 to Nov. 4, and features exhibitions and performances from Japanese and foreign artists.

First held in 2010 to vitalize islands suffering from depopulation, the festival takes place every three years. The current festival marks the fourth edition and is being staged across 12 islands in Kagawa and Okayama prefectures, as well as at Takamatsu Port in Takamatsu and Uno Port in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture.

More than 200 artists and groups of artists from more than 30 countries and regions are participating this year.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

An opening ceremony was held the morning of April 26 at Takamatsu Port, which was crowded with tourists headed for the festival’s host islands.

“I’m excited because I heard you can enjoy both art and nature. I want to go to the islands and check out lots of different works,” a 28-year-old company worker from Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, said.

The “Setouchi Islands” ranked seventh on The New York Times’ list of “52 Places to Go in 2019,” and was the only entry from Japan. The Times introduced the festival and praised “the balance of nature and art” characteristic of the islands.

Many foreign tourists are expected to visit, with the festival’s executive committee forecasting higher attendance than 1.04 million in the last festival in 2016.Speech

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