An artist who goes by the name of Sputniko! explains her artwork, “Teshima 8 million Lab/ Red Silk of Fate--Tamaki’s Crush,” on Teshima island, Kagawa Prefecture. (Video taken by Shotaro Watanabe and Setsuko Tachikawa)

TAKAMATSU--An arts festival extravaganza held every three years on a clutch of islands in the Seto Inland Sea kicked off March 20 with 226 artists or groups of artists from 34 countries and regions taking part.

The Setouchi Triennale 2016 will be held over three sessions--spring, summer and autumn--and run for 108 days in total until Nov. 6.

This is the third time for the festival to be held. The venues range from a dozen islands, including Shodoshima and Naoshima, both in Kagawa Prefecture, to Takamatsu Port, also in the prefecture, and Uno Port in Okayama Prefecture.

As the Setouchi Triennale is gathering attention in Asia as a way to revitalize local communities, plans are under way to promote exchanges with the region.

The Setouchi Triennale Executive Committee, set up by the Kagawa prefectural government and other parties, is expecting that visitor numbers will exceed the 1.07 million in 2013 when the previous festival was held.

Artwork created by Lin Shuen Long of Taiwan appeared near Takamatsu Port under the title of “Beyond the Borders--the Ocean.” The huge work, which the artist said shows "a seed-shaped ship,” is proving popular with children.