Posted by: David | January 18, 2011

Technical Announcement

Wordpress LogoThat’s it, I hesitated for a long time, but it’s decided, I’m making the jump.
I’m ditching (the lack of possible customization is embarrassing) and I will move this blog to a self hosted site (and use within a few days.

If I don’t mess up (and I can’t promise I won’t, hence this announcement), the move will be seamless and invisible for you (except from the obvious changes in the general look of the blog).

However, to be sure that everything goes fine, make sure you subscribe to the correct RSS feed (right now it is I hope it won’t change) especially if you’re a long time reader and you may still have the old feed in your reader ( ). Old feed that -I assume- won’t work anymore after I made the switch.

And in the case where if you haven’t subscribed yet, now is a good time (you can also follow me on Twitter or on Facebook). 🙂


The problem with the Setouchi International Art Festival


setouchi bulletin board


… it is that the term “International” in the title can be somewhat misleading…

Posted by: David | January 17, 2011

How to make a Sanuki Kagari Temari?

I just told you about the history of Sanuki Kagari Temari, but I stayed quite vague about the way they are made. This is because I wanted to keep this for today!

Indeed, when we visited Eiko Araki’s workshop in the Sanuki Kagari Temari Hozonkai organization’s office, it was also (and foremost) to see and learn how they were made (康代 did learn, I just watched, took pictures and filmed)


The number of available colors was quite impressive,
especially when one knows that they all come from natural dyes
made from local plants.


Read More…

Posted by: David | January 15, 2011

Sanuki Kagari Temari – 讃岐かがり手まり

We’re moving away from contemporary art for a few posts, to go back to Japanese traditions a bit. Remember, last October, we were in Japan, not only to attend the Setouchi International Art Festival, but also to learn a bit more about the traditions from the Kagawa Prefecture. We started with bonsais and continued with Wasanbon sugar. Our third and last (at least until our next trip to Kagawa) topic is the Sanuki Kagari Temari (讃岐かがり手まり).

“What is that?” you may be wondering.

To answer this question, let’s start with the meaning of these three terms:

  • Sanuki: It simply is Kagawa’s old name, back when it was a province of Japan and not a prefecture yet. This is why one finds many things associated with this term in Kagawa (you may already know Sanuki Udon for example).
  • Kagari: If I understood correctly it simply means “to sew up”.
  • Temari: It literally means “hand ball” (not the sport). Those balls were introduced into Japan from China a little more than 500 years ago. For a long time, they simply were used as toys. Nowadays, they’re usually used as decorative objects.

So I guess, you know a little more about them now, but not much more…

Maybe a picture will help?


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Posted by: David | January 12, 2011

Liminal Air – core –

Shinji Ohmaki’s Liminal Air – core – is certainly the work of art from the Setouchi International Art Festival that has been seen by the most people, even people that didn’t care the least for the Festival for the simple and good reason that it was quite big and located in the very middle of the port where every single ferry to and from Takamatsu docks to load and unload their passengers.

If I’m correct it will stay there permanently and that associated to its location might be the reason that this piece is the type of uncontroversial, nothing special type of work. Artwork that, with time, will fade in the background, a little bit like the other sculptures on the Sunport (or many other public places in the world).


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Posted by: David | January 10, 2011

Ishi No Uzu – 石の渦


from Yoshio Kitayama’s (北山 善夫)
Birth-Sex-Life-Death-House-Legend in Ogijima

Posted by: David | January 9, 2011

Seto Inland Sea

Seto Inland Sea


The Seto Inland Sea, (somewhere between Naoshima and Uno Port)

Posted by: David | January 8, 2011

Blind Blue Landscape

The works of art from the Setouchi International Art Festival about which I have talked lately didn’t excite me much. Today, it’s different as I’m going to tell you about one of those that surprised me the most. Positively surprised me, that is.

It is Blind Blue Landscape (ブラインド・ブルー・ランドスケープ) by Teresita Fernandez.

The work is located on Naoshima, in a corridor linking the Benesse House Hotel suites near the beach to the restaurant on the shore, in other terms: on one of the most beautiful spots of the island (I will show you this area into more details another day).



Why do I call Blind Blue Landscape a good surprise?

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Posted by: David | January 6, 2011

Ritsurin Garden – 栗林公園

It’s the the week-end, it’s time for Show Me Japan!





Posted by: David | January 5, 2011

Birth-Sex-Life-Death-House-Legend in Ogijima

Today’s Setouchi International Art Festival’s artwork may be the strangest of the festival. Ok, “strange” might not be the best qualifier, or “strange” in the sense that I would expect to see this type of work on a smaller scale – there it was taking a full house plus some sort of shed – and more important, I would expect it to be the work of an art student, still full of teen angst or something along those lines, not coming from a 62 year-old man in such a festival. Because, yes, Birth-Sex-Life-Death-House-Legend in Ogijima (誕生─性─生─死─家─男木島伝説) by Yoshio Kitayama (北山 善夫) is a quite tormented work indeed, and its goal, its concept remains quite unclear to me.


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