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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)

Visit to the islands and closing symposium to celebrate 150 years of Japan-Denmark diplomatic relations

Mar 06, 2018

Visit to the islands and closing symposium to celebrate 150 years of Japan-Denmark diplomatic relations

Building on the friendship ties nurtured with Denmark during the 150th anniversary of Japan-Denmark diplomatic relations celebrated throughout 2017, a delegation of esteemed architects, artists, scholars and officials from the Nordic country visited the islands of Naoshima, Inujima and Teshima for three days from October 9th to 11th, with the aim of exchanging perspectives on the potential of nature, art and architecture as agents for regional revitalization.Read article

Celebrating  150 years of Japan-Denmark diplomatic relations <br> Benesse Art Site Naoshima's activities presented at symposium in Denmark on the theme of

Jul 19, 2017

Celebrating 150 years of Japan-Denmark diplomatic relations
Benesse Art Site Naoshima's activities presented at symposium in Denmark on the theme of "Regional Development through Architecture, Nature and Art"

Benesse Art Site Naoshima's activities presented at symposium in Denmark on the theme of "Regional Development through Architecture, Nature and Art"Read article

The May 2017 issue of our quarterly magazine NAOSHIMA NOTE has been published.

Apr 28, 2017

The May 2017 issue of our quarterly magazine NAOSHIMA NOTE has been published.

The May 2017 issue of our quarterly magazine NAOSHIMA NOTE contains a special feature about "Artist at Gallery 6 2016" presented at Miyanoura Gallery 6.Read article

Pannaphan Yodmanee, the winner of the 11th Benesse Prize visits the islands

Apr 21, 2017

Pannaphan Yodmanee, the winner of the 11th Benesse Prize visits the islands

Pannaphan Yodmanee, the winner of the 11th Benesse Prize, visited Benesse Art Site Naoshima in early March, 2017.Read article

An encounter with Lee Ufan: What it Means to Accept

Mar 03, 2017

An encounter with Lee Ufan: What it Means to Accept "Uncertainty"

Lee Ufan was one of the leading figures of the Mono-ha school (School of Things), a contemporary art movement emerging in Japan in the late 1960s. A talk by Lee Ufan was held in Naoshima in January 2017, providing a deeper insight into the experience of the Lee Ufan Museum through the direct words of the artist.Read article

Conference by Michael Govan

Feb 15, 2017

Conference by Michael Govan

In autumn last year, a momentous conference by Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), was held at Benesse Art Site Naoshima.Read article

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