Naoshima Island is located in the Seto Inland Sea and is the de-facto birthplace of the Setouchi Triennale (also known as the Setouchi International Art Festival). The Setouchi Triennale is an art festival held every three years and which features contemporary installation and temporary displays scattered across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. The festival was organized and implemented by the Benesse Corporation.
On Naoshima Island, visitors can enjoy simply being on the island, which is a pleasure in itself. It is a staggeringly beautiful place that has a vibrant residential community. Art is just part of the story. People are going about their everyday lives on Naoshima and that is part of its appeal.
Moving on to the art, the Chichu Museum (Museum of Mediterranean Art) is an art experience. Rooms were constructed in this megalithic structure to house specific works. When you are looking at Monet’s paintings, everything in the space was designed to display them in their best light.
The Benesse House, which is a combined hotel, restaurant and museum sits gorgeously on a cliff and beckons all who approach.
The Lee Ufan Museum, featuring the work of the master minimalist Korean artist is a thought provoking collection of sculptures that are well-suited to the Tadao Ando conceived space.
The Ando Museum is a tribute to the beloved architect who is arguably the absolute master of concrete construction. He has managed to combine the timeless material with the subtle forms of a traditional Japanese house.
The Art House Project represents a group of abandoned houses which have been transformed into a consortium of art installations. An entire section of the island is like a labyrinth of art hot spots, where international artist have left their mark, turning unused homes into pure treasure.
As a side note, the island’s three main museums (the Chichu Museum, Benesse House, and the Le Ufan Museum) were all designed by internationally renowned architect Tadao Ando.