A 20 minute ferry crossing took us to Naoshima, a small island that’s been transformed, in the past 25 years, from depopulated backwater to serious art colony, full of restaurants and guest houses.
We hired bikes for a ridiculously cheap sum, (£3 each, no deposit needed), bought some takeaway food from the ever present 7-11, and planned a circle of the island to visit both Honmura and the southern area. It felt good cycling along small lanes, through rural settlements, past lovely secluded lakes, and we would later say this was the highlight of the day.
However, we had some contemporary art to see.
In Honmura’s Art House Project, five previously empty houses and an old Shinto shrine, have been turned into art installations by six artists. Two stood out for us, Tatsuo Miyajima’s Kadoya house, and James Turrell (remember him from our Canberra blog) for his breathtaking Minamidera lightwork.
Later we queued to get into the Chichu Art Museum. Designed by Tadao Ando, this is largely underground, yet most rooms are lit by natural light. Here was art curation at its most extreme. The entire museum featured five late-period Claude Monets, an installation by Walter de Maria, and three lightworks by that man again, James Turrell. Hilary thought the place was disappointing, whilst Roger loved it.