The Setouchi Triennale: Memory Bottle

I was mesmerized by these bottles.
This is an installation by Mayumi Kuri called Memory Bottle for the Setouchi Triennale 2013 on the island Ogijima. Almost 1,000 bottles are on display, all with pictures or small trinkets inside. In her interview (here in Japanese), she says that she wanted to gather memories of the local people in Ogijima so she set up a collection box, asking people to put their memories in it.
The memories include everything from badminton shuttles to train tickets to school tests. It was so fascinating seeing the various trinkets inside the bottle and imagining what kind of memory was behind it for the Ogijima people. 
I think this was my favorite installation from my day at Ogijima. Pictures, trinkets, and memories…these are (definitely!) a few of my favorite things! (Did you sing the last part like Maria?) 😀
Here are some pictures:

19 thoughts on “The Setouchi Triennale: Memory Bottle”

  1. Lovely photos. Thanks for taking me back there. I want to see it again and just enjoy it. SO many things to see inside there.

    Only one thing I felt different with your photos. It felt so bright. When I was there, it was much darker. Perhaps it was the photos you took?

    Oh, I doubt you saw it, but one of my favourite photos of the bunch was of a couple getting married in traditional Japanese wedding clothes. I'm not sure why I liked it so much.


  2. Another familiar image thanks to the two Ogijima … I almost said ojisan, just to get some assonance, but I don't think David and Dru are uncles yet. 😀

    Another familiar image thanks to D&D, but you took superb photos. You could spend hours here, looking at all the images.

    This artwork attracted me right from the start because I have a memory bottle. Just one bottle, not big, with tiny trinkets gathered over a few decades: a sea urchin shell picked up when I was maybe six, the symbolic key I got on my 21st birthday, a small tile fragment that fell from the building where I experienced the big quake.

    Yes, the bottle came with me. 🙂


  3. You know, it does seem like the pictures are brighter and I think you're right, it's just my camera. I still don't really know how to use it! hehe.

    And would you believe it, I actually DO remember that picture of the wedding! A red-ish color, right? It must have been a special day…and I wondered where they are now.

    There was so much to look at, it really is an amazing installation! 😀


  4. Ojisan? Teehee! ;P

    I'm sure Dru and David noticed but it was like a sauna in there! So hot! My sister and I were practically dripping with sweat when we stepped out of the gallery. But it was so interesting, you hardly notice the heat! 😀

    Your memory bottle sounds like it's full of treasures! It's like having a diary! I am apparently more of a hoarder than you because I have a memory box 😉


  5. I could probably tell you why the photos are so bright, but then again you may not care. ^^ I was playing with my camera on my trip, so I had a few bad shots too.

    You remember the redish wedding picture? I was wondering the same thing when I saw the picture. Actually almost all of the pictures made me wonder that.


  6. You both don't know how “ojisan” I can be. 😀

    As for the heat, it wasn't hot when I went. It was March, so it was still a bit cold outside. Inside was actually just right.


  7. I've been meaning to take a class but haven't gotten around to it yet! And my friend (who does know cameras) set up mine so it takes 3 different photos at once in different lighting. For some reason, I seemed to like the photos with more light in these. You'll have to teach me the proper way of taking photos sometime! ;D


  8. That must have been a really great time to go. (Although I'm sure anytime is a great time to go to Ogijima!) I think I lost a couple of pounds in that room…not complaining though 😀


  9. Sure. I can teach just a couple things. I don't bother with the real advanced stuff. I'm still barely understanding how things work. I play with only 2 things now. Shutter speed and aperture. One keeps the lens open longer, the other opens it wider. Simple. 😀 It only took me 3-5 years to really understand it. Give me 5 more years to learn the other functions. Maybe Ru knows a lot more than me.

    The best way to learn how to take photos, find a small group of friends who like taking photos and go out with them. Perspective is a lot more fun than playing with the settings. I look at your photos, Ru's photos, and Sarah's photos and we all have different ways of looking at the world.

    PS: I was curious, thinking, “I wonder if I have photos of the wedding couple”. It turns out, there are 2 photos!


  10. Hearing about the heat at that time, I'm happy I was there in the spring when it wasn't too hot. It was a bit chilly at times though. You couldn't be out in the back of the boat without feeling cold.

    And I'm sure all girls would say they wouldn't complain about losing a couple pounds. 😛


  11. You pictures are beautiful.
    I went back for the third time last Sunday.
    I love this place so much (and yes, it was a bit hot then, I guess I'll wait for October to go back). 🙂


  12. The idea of placing all these little bottles for people to fill with mementos is pure genius. In Europe there is a similar tradition where some churches have walls where people leave small drawings, paintings, pictures to celebrate something bad that happened and was “miraculously” solved (like an accident, sickness, somebody returning alive from war, etc). Basically a collection of dramatic stories with happy ending. SOme of these collections literally go back for centuries.


  13. Yes, I do really like how everyone has their own style of taking photos!

    PS: Yup, that is the marriage photo I was thinking about when you mentioned it! I love how they included part of the oshugi envelope (or at least I think that's what it is).


  14. David, thank you for the comment! You're so lucky you live so close by! I'd guess that October would be the perfect time to visit. Very jealous! 😉


  15. Anything kind of art form that has to do with memories is a favorite of mine! The memory drawings you mentioned sound so interesting…especially knowing that it has a happy ending. I would literally be there for hours devouring the stories 😉


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