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Ichihanari Art Project 2014
post : 2014.08.17 07:00
Ikei-jima Island is the furthest of a series of islands off the Katsuren Peninsula in Uruma City.
From a long time ago, the local people have been calling the island “Ichihanari.”
This island has a string of dynamic rocks in clear blue water.
The sound of waves, the sound of wind, and scorching sun……
What you can see there is just a breathtakingly stunning view.
On this island with lots of unspoiled nature, an art project started in 2011, using the site where an elementary and junior high school was closed.
I can feel that the arts get a stronger connection with the islanders each time.
In the classroom on the first floor, a variety of products using a specialty from Ikei Island, “Ougon Imo (Golden-colored sweet potato)” is sold.
An Obaa (Okinawan word meaning elderly lady) of the island offered me the steamed Ougon Imo, and said “Here you are. Try some!”
When I crammed it into my mouth, a simple sweetness of the Ougon Imo soothed my heart.
When I felt easy and walked around the school building, a white cloth swung in the wind coming from the classroom window.
When I looked into the room as if I were invited to come in, I found countless wooden boats displayed spirally there.
I felt like someone whispered something, so I looked up beyond the boats and found a collection of poems on a wooden chair.
I opened the book to find a poem titled “Sayounara (Good Bye)” written about feeling of children by Shuntaro Tanigawa.
“I’ve got to go now.”
I wondered if that was the words of children who used to come to this Ikei Elementary and Junior High School.
I found myself totally absorbed in poems written only by hiragana (the basic Japanese phonetic script) in front of the wooden boats.
The boats already left?, or are about to leave?, or just returned?
I connect the space created by an artist with my image to produce a landscape.
And I reproduce the landscape in my head; I feel that is an interesting part about art.
As I walked around the school building, a sweet sense of déjà vu came back to me.
Maybe an elementary school building has space where you can trace back your memories.
The second floor has a museum shop where there are T-shirts, tote bags, and tumblers with a logo mark of pretty pig on them.
I would recommend the goods as a souvenir or a gift.
In addition to the elementary and junior high school, many exhibits are conducted in the community of Ikei Island. While walking around the community, you can appreciate art works one by one.
In the peaceful island community, it is exciting to move on the maze-like streets.
Inside of the tile-roofed house, which is usually unused, I felt like I got lost in the kaleidoscope.
Just a slight sunlight shined on the dim room, which created a magical space.
Enjoy walking around Ichihanari for your summer memory as you feel the wind around Ikei Island.
That is also one of the lovely ways of spending time on this island.
【Ichihanari Art Project 2014】
Location: Former Ikei-jima Elementary and Junior High School and Ikei Community
（224, Ikei-jima, Yonashiro, Uruma City）
Periods: First Stage: August 2 to August 24, 2014
Second Stage: August 30 to September 28, 2014
Hours: 10:00 to 17:00
Admission Fee: 300 yen
Inquiries: Uruma City Tourism and Local Products Association 098-978-0077
【Ichihanari Marche ～Art with Exquisite Island Meal】
Marche is held in time with Ichihanari Art Project!
Popular cafes from in and out of Uruma City gather to bring additional excitement to the art project.
Please savor a delicious meal and enjoy the art to your heart’s content.
“Ohana Shokudo,” “Ukishima Garden,” “kainowa,” and “Yadokari Workshop,” all of which are introduced on Okinawa CLIP have their booths open at the venue.
Location: Piroti, 1F, Former Ikei-jima Elementary and Junior High School
Dates: August 16 and 17, 2014
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer monobox (Tetsumasa & Kozue Kono)