In 2010 the Setouchi Triennale was born. It was an amazing experiment that started from nothing, but then miraculously and organically has grown more and more each year…
What is it?
“Setouchi” means “Seto Inland Sea” and “Triennale” is Italian for “triennial”, or “every three years”. The Setouchi Triennale is an Art festival that goes all year, and comes every three years.
The driving force behind the festival is Benesse. It is a Japanese company which is in the education market. They own the Berlitz Language schools which are all over the world. The Benesse Foundation is a ten room hotel that is inside the modern art museum you can find on Naoshima, an island just north of Takamatsu.
At this time, there are hundreds of artists and pieces of art that contribute to the Setouchi Triennale. There are live performances with music and dance as well. The festival runs for three seasons (spring, summer, and fall) wrapping up in November and then hibernating for the next three years.
Many of the art exhibits will be seen and experienced temporarily, but some will become permanent installations too. So, even if you come to Kagawa on a non-Setouchi Triennale year, there is a TON of stuff to see and experience.
The islands that participate in the festival are: Naoshima, Teshima, Megijima, Ogijima, Shodoshima, Oshima, Inujima, Shamijima, Honjima, Takamijima, Awashima, Ibukijima, Uno Port in Tamano City, and Takamatsu City.
There are English guides that are available for the festival, and some information online. The best place to get the most recent, and relevant info is right here. So, if you come for the Setouchi Triennale, make sure to bookmark this site, or subscribe to my WordPress page, so that you get the latest.
Here are some of the write-ups I have done on artists and performers who come to the year-long festival: