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2022年度ゼミ活動報告: フィールドトリップに行ってきました。1 “Year of Art” 2022 Seminar Report―Naoshima―|英語英文学科 Fastゼミ






Fast ゼミの2022年度ゼミの活動報告です。


Dr. Fast’s “Year of Art” 2022 Seminar Report

This year, Dr. Fast’s seminar was about global studies with a special focus on cultural heritage and contemporary art. In the spring, we researched UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the recently damaged Notre Dame Cathedral: Its importance to humanity, and how it should be protected and preserved for future generations. In the fall, we learned about the role of contemporary art in connecting global and local communities.

This year we also took two important field trips. In October, we saw firsthand the impact of contemporary art on our local community when we visited Naoshima for the Setouchi Triennale. In addition, some members of the seminar volunteered at the Okayama Art Summit. In February, we returned to the topic of cultural heritage and took a closer look at Kurashiki’s Bikan District. Below we have written our impressions of both trips including what we saw and what we learned about art, heritage, and being global citizens. By visiting these very local -- but at the sametime -- international places, we realized how beautiful and important our homeland is: How we should visit it, know about it, share it with others, and preserve it for future generations.   

Naoshima is a famous place that even people from outside the prefecture want to visit. I knew about it but had never been there. I'm ashamed to say that I knew only that there were red and yellow pumpkins. When I actually went there, there were as many foreigners as there were Japanese! I had learned about the "Art Island" but it was more overflowing than I had imagined. We gathered early in the morning and headed there, but we couldn't go to all the places we wanted to go. I also enjoyed discussing art with my friends. The more people there are, the more interesting it will be to feel various senses and values.

Before I went to Naoshima, my honest impression had always been that it is “an island with isolated artworks.” And I had a more negative impression, as I’d learned that almost all artists left their works on the island, and are no longer visiting now from an article written by Andrew McCormick. From that information, I felt like installing artworks to engage people should be the ostensible purpose for them. When I got to the island, I felt art was really beautiful, and my impression of the artworks on the island changed in a positive way, because some artworks did blend right in with the island views. At the same time, when I heard about the policy of Motoyuki Shitamichi who is making an archive for the island in the long term, I was also relieved. It is because I have a similar opinion with him, that we should cherish the original environment for the island and residents rather than making and putting something totally new and not well-blended in the island. The thought or sense towards art is really dependent on the individual, so that is why it’s hard for us to set those as a part of the area, so called site-specific. All the artworks, including museums, were amazing for sure, but we should not forget to see things for what they really are. In that way, Naoshima artworks let me learn many things. 

Although I live in Tamano City, it was my first time to visit Naoshima. It was more beautiful than I thought. I think art not only makes people feel strange, but also makes them feel at home. My favorite art was James Turrell's "Ahram, Pale Blue."  The space of time when I looked up at the sky was strange and interesting. Also, the Art House Projects were impressive, and I felt that these places where local people can enter have become places for local people to belong. I was able to learn a little about the connection between local people and art in Naoshima, so I want to know more about that.

This was my first visit to Naoshima. There were many wonderful art pieces in Naoshima, but the one that left the biggest impression on me was the "Sea of ​​Time '98'" in the "Kadoya." The reason is, of course, it was the first time I had seen a digital counter continuously moving in the water, and it left an impression on me. Also, because I was able to feel the connection between the artist (宮島達男) and the islanders, who set speed of the counters, and the surface of the water that was inspired by the sea around Naoshima. Furthermore, I learned that even if the one of the islanders who set the speed of a counter dies, that person's family will inherit the counter. Finally I saw that there is also a connection between islanders and the artist, so I thought it was a very attractive work. I believe that this work was an opportunity for contemporary art to exist together in the lives of the local community and visitors.

▶Fastゼミ 2022年度ゼミ活動報告: フィールドトリップに行ってきました。2に続きます。