Mihoko Ogaki | Sado Island Galaxy Art Festival, Japan
August 7 - October 9, 2022

Statement on the 2022 Art Festival Project

Morito Yoshida, Producer / Sado International Art Promotion Organization

Sado Island is the largest outlying island in the Sea of Japan. It is sometimes called Butterfly Island due to its distinct shape: two parallel mountain ranges running from the northeast to the southwest—the Osado Mountains in the north and the Kosado Mountains in the south—and the Kuninaka Plain, which stretches across the space between. Due to the Tsushima Warm Current flowing off the coast of the island, its climate is cooler than the Japanese mainland during summer and warmer in the winter, making it the ideal home for a wide variety of plant and marine life.

In the past, Sado flourished as a gold mining center, playing a role in shaping not only the Japanese economy, but also the international economy. Flocks of Japanese crested ibis once flew gracefully in the skies above. It was also the island of exile for such historical figures as Emperor Juntoku (1197-1242), who was exiled after the Jokyu War (1221), and the playwright Zeami (c. 1363 - c. 1443), who had fallen out of favor with the shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori (1394-1441). Between the Edo period (1603-1867) and the Meiji period (1868-1912), kitamaebune merchant ships regularly transported goods to and from Sado as part of the shipping route connecting the west-central Kinki region, the northwestern Hokuriku region, and the northern island of Hokkaido. In these ways, Sado has been a port of call for people and goods throughout history. It is the birthplace of unique performing arts and culture, such as Noh theater and the masked dance of Ondeko. Much of that unique socio-cultural heritage remains today.

The 2022 Sado Island Galaxy Art Festival Project is about rediscovering the beauty of Sado through the lens of local and visiting artists. Their work will act as a window into the island’s nature and history, its folkloric tales and traditions, and its people.