Let’s forget about Oshima

Let’s forget about Oshima

An installation by Seizo Tashima (2019) (image courtesy of Michelle Lim)

This visual essay looks at the conditions of art-making and exhibition on Oshima, one of Setouchi Triennale's anchor islands. Up until 1996, when Japan’s Leprosy Prevention Law that required the lifetime segregation of Hansen’s disease patients from society was finally repealed, Oshima had been a leprosarium. Unlike other art islands in the Setouchi region, Oshima is a special place where art does not quite fit in with conventional notions of international contemporary. Residents, local volunteers, and artists stay in touch after the Triennale. But what happens to the island, its museum, and its artworks when the last resident has passed away? The collage of text and image visualizes the transience of the Oshima community as a post-crisis alternative to the museum as an institution, understanding place as a moment in time and memory and interrogating the notion of community as counter-point to society. 

To cite this item:

Lim M (2021) Let’s forget about Oshima. The Garage Journal: Studies in Art, Museums & Culture, 02: 214-228. DOI: 10.35074/GJ.2021.97.14.011

Published: 12.04.2021

Publication type: Visual essay