Honjima, Takamijima, Awashima and Ibukijima are small: Their populations range from about 320 on Ibukijima to just 30 on Takamijima. On some, it seems there are more cats than children and more abandoned houses than ATMs. On all four islands, there are certainly more contemporary art installations than there are conbini (convenience stores).

Away from the monumental concrete found on celebrated art island Naoshima some 20 kilometers east, on these islands much of the art is almost hidden. There are few globally renowned artists who’ve left their mark here, yet the organizing principles of the works, in combination with an atmosphere approaching vacancy, give them a unique texture that stands out in the world of art events.

The third and final session of the Setouchi Triennale 2022 runs from Sept. 29 to Nov. 6, and while many of the works shown in the spring and summer programs are on view again, art on these four islands in the western Seto Inland Sea are only open this time of year. (After the fall session triennale ends, outdoor works on at the two mainland ports and 12 islands participating in the festival will remain available to the public, while some indoor works will reopen for limited periods in the intervening years of the triennale).