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2019.05.11 Fram Column 05: With Official Supporters from Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

It’s the 16th day of the Setouchi Triennale. The day is fair and the sea is calm. I stop for lunch at Koyomi, a restaurant serving local cuisine run by the Kishimotos in Nishimura district on Shodoshima. With me are 18 official supporters of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, a contemporary art festival held every three years in Niigata. Hitoshi Kishimoto, who participated in Fram’s Setouchi Food School for Setouchi Triennale 2016, has developed recipes for dishes that appear in the novels of Sakae Tsuboi, a Shodoshima native, and his restaurant has been very successful. The food is delicious and highly recommended.

Meanwhile, the islanders are busy offering visitors tasty refreshments made with sweet potato as well as orange jelly next to the art site The Shore Where We Can Reach – Xiang Yang Art Sailing Proposal.

After this, we pop over to Megijima, visit the art sites, and finish up with the Ondekoza drumming performance held in the pine grove by the beach. The event was packed. Ondekoza is based in Takashima, Kasaoka city in Okayama prefecture. Later, I learned that the drums could be heard all the way to Oshima, an island about five kilometers away! The islands are closer than you might think.

While waiting for the ferry, we are surrounded by a group of reporters from Shanghai. The group, which also happens to consist of 18 members, has been covering the Triennale since it started in 2010. They interview us until the boat comes. I’m very impressed by their keen interest in the movement to develop art festivals in the rural areas of China.

And so ends another day. The Triennale continues without any major glitches. Tomorrow I’m off to Yashima and Shodoshima.

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