Thank you Naoshima, it was a short but inspiring trip.
Naoshima is an island between Shikoku and the mainland. By e-bike you can easily surround it in less than an hour. In the 1990s the Benesse Corporation started an art project there. They built the Benesse House Museum with a small but excellent collection of modern art from around the world. The building is nicely integrated into the landscape. It was designed by the famous (I didn´t know him before!) architect Ando Tadao.
In one of the two tiny fisher villages there is the Art House Project. Six old, traditional houses were remodeled by artists. And there are more museums on the island, which I didn´t see.
It´s beautiful not to have just one museum, where to stroll around, but an entire island. To be honest, it does feel a bit artificial. It´s not like in other places, where there are a lot of artists in one neighborhood or region and out of this something develops. All the nice bars and cafés fell more like “Ok, no we are an art island, so we are allowed do something else than the usual.”
Still, Naoshima is beautiful. And there should definitely be more art islands and art villages in this world.What will be for sure special is the Setouchi Triennale in 2016. There will be art and art events on 12 different islands near Naoshima from spring to fall. Be sure to reserve your tickets and accommodation in advance!
P.S. By the way, the picture shows one of main symbols of Naoshima. A red pumpkin standing at the harbor, designed by Yayoi Kusama.