BENESSE ART SITE, NAOSHIMA ISLAND, JAPAN

“Benesse Art Site Naoshima” is the collective name for all-related activities conducted by Benesse Holdings, Inc. and Fukutake Foundation on the island of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima. The aim is to create significant spaces by bringing contemporary art and architecture in resonance with the pristine nature of the Seto Inland Sea, a landscape with a rich cultural and historical fabric.

Let’s introduce the museum complex in Naoshima island, composed by Benesse House Museum, Chichu Art Museum and Lee Ufan Museum.

Benesse House Museum:

This complex designed by Tadao Ando houses both a hotel and museum. It was opened in 1992, focusing on the concept of “Coexistence of Nature, Architecture and Art”. Located on a hilltop in the southern part of Naoshima, Benesse House Museum exhibits site-specifics works created by various artists alongside its permanent collection.

The permanent collection includes:

“100 Live and Die” by Bruce Nauman. This is one of his representative works and displays sentences combining words which express human behaviours, emotions, races and psychological phenomenon. With the words “Live” and “Die”, through neon tubes as if to symbolise the consumption society. In front of the message thrown at them, the viewers is inviting to reflect about their own lives and deaths.

“Untitled” (1996) by Jannis Kounellis. He produces many works using raw materials used in modern society including iron and coal, as well as living animals, such as parrots and horses. He tries to reconstruct the relationship between humans and objects from objects which have lost value after being used by humans and living things involved with humans. This work was created while he stayed in Naoshima for 2 weeks. Earthenware actually used, old kimonos, Japanese paper and driftwood are wrapped in lead plates, it shows traces of life and nature and appears to question us on the value of objects.

In the gallery below are showed some artworks of Benesse Art Museum collection. Stay tuned to discover another awesome museum projected by Tadao Ando: Chichu Art Museum.

G.F

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