Situated in the Seto Inland Sea is the intriguing island of Naoshima. A part of the Kagawa Prefecture, Naoshima is known for its sunny climate, pretty beaches and, more specifically, for its art.
Naoshima’s artistic life began in 1985 after a meeting between Tetsuhiko Fukutake; the President of Fukutake Publishing and Chikatsugu Miyake; the Mayor of Naoshima at the time. Both of these men had a dream; Fukutake wanted to create a place amongst the islands of the Seto Inland Sea where children from across the globe could gather and Miyake wanted to develop Naoshima as a cultural and educational destination. The meeting led to their two dreams becoming one and thus the ‘Art Island’ was born.
The island’s first museum, Benesse House, opened in 1992 and was shortly followed by its first major art exhibition, “Out of Bounds” in 1994. The Out of Bounds Exhibition involved pieces of art being displayed around the grounds of the museum rather than inside. One of the pieces of the exhibition, Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Pumpkin’ is still considered a major symbol of Naoshima today.
Naoshima has continued to flourish and today is home to numerous galleries, installations and sculptures. Many of these were installed by the Benesse Corporation with the architect Ando Tadao responsible for the architecture of the museums. Perhaps the island’s most famous museum today is the Chichu Art Museum which was built in 2006 and which contains pieces from artists such as Claude Monet, Walter de Maria and James Turrell. The island also provides various workshops where artists work to create pieces of art appropriate for the look and feel of the island. Even public institution buildings on Naoshima fit in with the island’s artistic theme, having been designed by modern architect Ishii Kazuhiro.
There is accommodation to suit every budget on Naoshima but if you are looking to splurge then look no further than Bennesse House. Undoubtedly the island’s most popular place to stay; this gallery is also a hotel and it contains 49 rooms across four buildings, all of which have their own individual design and art work. Guests here are allowed late night access to the galleries, allowing them to see the work without the crowds.
Naoshima can be reached by boat from Uno on Honshu Island and from Takamatsu on Shikoku Island.
|Type of Activity:||Museums and Galleries|
|Activity:||Museums and Galleries|