Art in Japan's Teshima and Naoshima: a wonderful cultural experience
25 June 2018
Teshima Art Museum: a sublime spiritual immersion
I was fortunate to have no time restriction, as each island requires at least one day to explore and move from one art space or installation to the other.
Naoshima is the most frequented by travellers and is slightly easier to navigate. Teshima was my personal favourite, but a good level of fitness and navigational skills are required as there is a lack of signage.
Yayoi Kusama's "pumpkin" installation on Naoshima
Transport is by foot or bicycle up the mountain or a very slow bus in which you need to wait a while.
Accommodation is available on the islands and, if staying in Naoshima, Benesse House would have to be the pick.
No photography is permitted in any of the museums or art spaces. It was so refreshing to have people connect to the work rather than their electronic devices connect to it.
On Teshima, the Art Museum was a sublime spiritual immersion into a white cave. The curved walls and opened ceiling created an experience like no other. It has to be experienced to be fully realised. Even if one could take interior photographs the images would not do the building justice.
Lee Ufan Museum: contemplation and meditation
Naoshima was home to several large "pumpkin" installations by Yayoi Kusama and to the Benesse House Museum. An architectural highlight was the Lee Ufan Museum, a collaboration between internationally acclaimed artist Lee Ufan and architect Tadao Ando.
Surrounded by hills, the museum delivered a space for stillness, contemplation and meditation whilst surrounded by the beauty of the natural environment.
If you are looking for an art destination, the Setouchi Triennale will take place on the islands in 2019 and is worth attending!