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Japan's Art Islands: The Work of Tadao Ando in Naoshima

Japan's Art Islands: The Work of Tadao Ando in Naoshima

Few places in the world have so many cultural and artistic facilities as the islands of Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima, in Japan's Seto Inland Sea. Eighteen museums, galleries, and installations make up the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, a project idealized by billionaire businessman Soichiro Fukutake in the 1980s.

At the time, Fukutake invited none other than architect Tadao Ando to design the Benesse House Museum on the island of Naoshima, which went beyond an economic reboot to create a simpler, slower way of life - evidently for those who can afford it - far removed from the Japanese megacities.

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Ando, who was born in Osaka, where he established his office, went on to work with the Benesse group on other projects, such as the Chichu Art Museum and the Lee Ufan Museum, and today the site is filled with modern art greats, such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Cy Twombly.

Other world-renowned architects were also invited to contribute with their visions. Sou Fujimoto designed the Naoshima Pavilion on the island's coastline, a lightweight mesh-like steel structure shaped like a polyhedron, and Ryue Nishizawa designed the Teshima Art Museum, an impressively fluid building embedded in the landscape offering a sensory experience as a single piece of artwork - in this museum, there is nothing but bodies and nature subtly mediated by architecture.

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Rock Sculpture Garden. Image © Haruo Mikami

In a recent trip to Japan, Brazilian architecture photographer Haruo Mikami visited the Art Islands and shot some of the architectural masterpieces at the Benesse Art Site Naoshima. The following are five of Ando's projects that Mikami explored on the island of Naoshima: the Benesse House Hotel, the Benesse House Museum, the Chichu Art Museum, the Lee Ufan Museum, and the Rock Sculpture Garden.

Benesse House Hotel

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Benesse House Hotel. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Benesse House Hotel. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Benesse House Hotel. Image © Haruo Mikami

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Benesse House Museum

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Benesse House Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Benesse House Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Benesse House Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami

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Chichu Art Museum

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Chichu Art Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Chichu Art Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami

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Lee Ufan Museum

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Lee Ufan Museum. Image © Haruo Mikami

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Rock Sculpture Garden

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Rock Sculpture Garden. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Rock Sculpture Garden. Image © Haruo Mikami
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Rock Sculpture Garden. Image © Haruo Mikami

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Cite: Baratto, Romullo. "Japan's Art Islands: The Work of Tadao Ando in Naoshima" [O arquipélago das artes no Japão: obras de Tadao Ando em Naoshima ] 13 Jul 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Duduch, Tarsila) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/964675/japans-art-islands-the-work-of-tadao-ando-in-naoshima> ISSN 0719-8884
Rock Sculpture Garden. Image © Haruo Mikami

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