Benesse Art Site Naoshima

The Process of Creating Shinro Ohtake's New Work (Part 1: The Work Itself)

The Process of Creating Shinro Ohtake's New Work (Part 1: The Work Itself)

The artist Shinro Ohtake is currently in the process of producing a new work for the Setouchi Triennale 2016, to be installed in a disused sewing needle factory in the Ieura-oka area of Teshima. It comprises a colossal wooden hull-form over 17 meters in length, used in the manufacture of fiber-reinforced plastic boats. This object was fabricated about 30 years ago to manufacture boats used for sea bream net-fishing, but was never employed for this purpose, and sat abandoned in a shipyard in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.

The site of installation is also one steeped in post-industrial history, having been a sewing needle factory for around a quarter century, from 1964 to the close of the Showa Period in 1989. Since then it has remained empty and silent on the island of Teshima. The two defunct entities are superimposed through the artist's vision, taking on an entirely new role when the new site-specific installation appears on Teshima.

Linking the hull-form, which was on the verge of being discarded when Ohtake salvaged it, with the former needle factory, will both manifest the relationships among objects themselves and evoke the era when they were made and inhabited and the places and people associated with them, while giving rise to a new field of magnetic resonance.

The hull-form, originally intended to be used for shipbuilding and destroyed when it had outlived its usefulness, was left just as it was at the shipyard. It was transported from Uwajima all in one piece, loaded onto a barge and carried across the Seto Inland Sea to Teshima. In the context of this project, this has a significance that goes beyond merely being one part of the process of fabricating the work.

Since the first time it was held in 2010, the Setouchi Triennale has consistently focused on the theme of "restoration of the sea." Throughout history, the sea has connected people, goods, and cultures. However, as modernization has progressed, the communities and lifestyles of people who have always lived side by side with the sea have been transformed. The passage over the sea from Uwajima to Teshima of the hull-form, a monumental symbol of people whose livelihoods depend on the sea, evokes their pride in living robustly among the sea's abundance, and conveys a message of hope for the "restoration of the sea."

This blog post is the first of a three-part description of the hull-form's journey from the Uwajima shipyard to Teshima. (Continued in Part 2)


Fukutake House

Oct 07, 2019

Fukutake House "Meeting Asia / Meeting Artists: Heri Dono"

On April 26th, 2019, the first day of the Setouchi Triennale 2019, a talk event with Heri Dono, an internationally renowned Indonesian artist was held with some of his works on display in the exhibition space. Fifteen university students who participated in the event listened to what the artist had to say with rapt attention.Read article


Sep 28, 2019

Setouchi "Yoichi Midorikawa" Museum Opens in Miyanoura Gallery 6 for the Setouchi Triennale 2019 Autumn Session

On Saturday, September 28th, 2019, at the beginning of the Setouchi Triennale 2019 Autumn Session, the Setouchi "Yoichi Midorikawa" Museum opened in Miyanoura Gallery 6 to investigate and exhibit regarding Yoichi Midorikawa, a photographer who photographed the Setouchi area from the 1930's through to the first part of the 2000's.Read article

We spoke to two ladies from

Sep 02, 2019

We spoke to two ladies from "Kamedaya", who sell fruit from Teshima at a Needle Factory square

During the periods that the Setouchi Triennale is running (Spring: Apr. 26th to May 26th, 2019. Summer: Jul. 19th to Aug. 25th. Fall: Sep. 28th to Nov. 4th), Ms. Iwanaga and Ms. Yamugi, from a community of ladies on the island known as "Kamedaya," sell Teshima-grown fruit and gelato and jams made from Teshima-grown fruit to visitors of the island.Read article

The Performance Event

Aug 20, 2019

The Performance Event "Déjà vu - the Living Heritage" Was Held

On Sunday, July 21, 2019, "Déjà vu - the Living Heritage", the performance event, was held at Fukutake House in Fukuda, Shodoshima. At the venue, artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand conducted performances that showcased their unique cultural backgrounds. There were also a lot of stalls and workshops for Asian cuisine by nearby restaurants, and the event bustled with 300 visitors.Read article

The Naoshima Plan 2019

Aug 19, 2019

The Naoshima Plan 2019 "The Water" conveys Naoshima's abundance and beauty

A traditional, 200-year-old home in Honmura, Naoshima island. It used to be a post office for a long time. During the Setouchi Triennale 2019, this building will serve as a rest stop for visitors and islanders. Hiroshi Sambuichi was the architect who designed the renovated building. He has worked on The Naoshima Plan since 2011, a project spotlighting how residents used nature in their homes, village layout, and water gutters.Read article

New work of Inujima

Jul 30, 2019

New work of Inujima "Art House Project" C-Art House unveiled to island residents

The new work of Inujima "Art House Project" C-Art House, "Untitled (Flowers at C-Art House)," was formally unveiled by its artist Masanori Handa to the residents of Inujima on Thursday, July 18th, 2019.Read article