MeiPAM is located in the “Maze Town” area of Shodoshima Island’s Tonosho Town, and is garnering attention as a focal point for the arts on the island. The “Maze Town” area was historically a meeting point for culture and industry, and the roads were intentionally made to be narrow and winding in order to thwart pirates and enemy invasions into this port town.
MeiPAM is a multi-structure collection of old buildings that provide a gathering place for artists, art lovers, tourists and locals. The MeiPAM buildings are dotted throughout the main town area and are made up of a boutique, a rice warehouse, a printing factory, a small restaurants, and more. The buildings have been renovated to house four gallery spaces and a cafe; MeiPAM also supports an artist-in-residence program for overseas artists. The group in charge of management also hosts live indoor and outdoor music and art performances and market events several times per year. The market events coincide with Shodoshima’s historical Daishi-ichi Market days, which have been held twice a year for more than 100 years.
MeiPAM is a must-visit spot for visitors to Shodoshima Island who are interested in the arts.
The MeiPAM Art Galleries are comprised of former storefronts and residences in the Meiro machi or Maze Town area of Tonosho that have been reworked into a celebration of art, community spirit, and the historic and cultural legacy of Shodoshima.
The galleries are easily accessed on foot from Tonosho Port and are unlike anything that you are likely to see in Japan as the exhibits and installations truly reflect the heart and spirit of this section of Shodoshima.
Like several other islands in the Seto Inland Sea, Shodoshima has accepted art as a road to not only physical renewal but also a renewal of pride in regional cultural heritage.
This is a real neighborhood and when walking through the MeiPam area there is a sense of grassroots authenticity in that these spaces are designed to appeal to the local people. The genuine feeling that this is local art is part of what brings people to the galleries from far and wide.
MeiPam 1 is a 3- storey former kimono shop that houses works by renowned Japanese artists and has a intricately carved installation near its entrance. Be sure to check out the gallery shop as well.
This former rice and soy sauce shop is now a gallery and performance space.
A former restaurant, MeiPam 3 is home to art inspired by Japanese spirits and phantoms.
This gallery contains 477 works depicting spirits, ghosts and ghouls, created by artists from all over Japan.
A traditional Japanese house, MeiPam 5 also represents spirit art with an eerie ceiling mural as its main work.
If you are feeling hungry after a day of art appreciation, “Setouchi” serves cuisine tinged with the local flavor of olive and soy and” cafe de MeiPam” offers fresh bread and sandwiches.
Access: About a 20 minute walk from Tonosho Port
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