This Week in Naoshima – 22 November 2022

Another Art-tastic week as my Pan-Japan Art Tour continued onto the ‘art islands’ of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima. There is absolutely no way to capture the depth of experience my group… er… experienced in five photos, but, as always, I have to try!

Kusama Pumpkin: It had to be done! Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin sculpture has made its return to Naoshima. Originally installed in 1994, the work was swept away by a typhoon on 9 August 2021. On 4 October 2021, a new pumpkin was installed with a strengthened structure to protect it from the extreme elements.

Naoshima Community Hall: Not the most famous, but one of my favourites – I adore the huge sculptural roof of the Noahsima Community Centre, the work of architect Hiroshi Sambuichi. Hiroshima-based Sambuichi made use of several traditional Japanese building techniques, including a multi-tonal cypress roof, for this structure which features a large triangular hollow beneath the apex of the roof which allows eco-friendly temperature control.

Cat: This cat, a work titled ‘Cat’ by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, is one of the permanent residents of Naoshima. Cat!

One Hundred Live and Die: Consider to be Nauman’s masterpiece, One Hundred flickers through its selection of sublime and mundane epithets as it bathes its home, in this case the Benesse House Museum, with an ethereal glow.

Inujima Seirensho Art Museum: Breathing life into the ruins of a copper refinery, Inujima Seirensho Art Museum uses “what exists to create what is to be”. It houses works by Yukinori Yanagi, which homage Yukio Mishima, in a structure reinvigorated by Hiroshi Sambuichi. As with much of Sambuichi’s work the design minimizes the edifice’s environmental impact.

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