The paradise of art in Japan!

One of the largest art events in the world spread out over a sea and islands: Setouchi Triennale

Viewing works of art while traveling is a particularly memorable experience, and this is all the more true if it is done while surrounded by the beauty of nature. If you like art, Setouchi Triennale is for you – an event held on 12 islands and in two ports of the Seto Inland Sea, a scenic site of green islands in a calm blue ocean, also called the Japanese Mediterranean.
At Setouchi Triennale, visitors can view works by the world’s top artists, such as James Turrell, while taking a tour of unique islands and ports by ferry, including Teshima, with its green terraced rice fields and forests, Megijima, which is famous for beautiful beaches, and Ogijima, known as a habitat of fireflies. During the last exhibition held in 2010, nearly one million people visited. This time, about 210 groups of artists from all over the world will create presentations, and the exhibition will be divided among the spring, summer and autumn seasons.

ANDO MUSEUM (Photo:Yoshihiro Asada)

In Naoshima, a modern art mecca in which Benesse House, the Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum and other facilities are located, you can view many works of art simply by strolling around the island. It also features must-see locations including the “Art House Project” in which space itself is turned into a work of art by remodeling houses and the ANDO MUSEUM designed by Tadao Ando, a leading architect in Japan, preserving the exterior of a classic folk house, which opened in March of this year.

Inujima “Art House Project” S-Art House
Haruka Kojin “contact lens”
(photo: Takashi Homma)
“ANGER from the Bottom” Beat Takeshi x Kenji Yanobe (photo by: Nobutada Omote)

Each island has unique must-see spots; in the Inujima “Art House Project” in Inujima, the works of five artists are exhibited in a space designed by the architect Kazuyo Sejima under the art direction of the curator Yuko Hasegawa, including “S-Art House/ Contact lens” created by Haruka Kojin. In Teshima, the Teshima Yokoo House, in which artworks of the artist Tadanori Yokoo are on exhibition, will open in July. In Shodoshima, a collaborative work by Kenji Yanobe, a leading Japanese contemporary artist, and Beat Takeshi (Takeshi Kitano), a film director, titled “Anger from the Bottom”, is being displayed.

“The Light of Shodoshima” by Wen-Chih Wang

At this event, you can observe the heart of Japanese culture, with its aim of harmony with nature, through various works of art that incorporate the richness of nature into themselves, such as the “the Light of Shodoshima” by Wen-Chih Wang, which allows you to appreciate various forms of beauty in a space away from the bustle of everyday life.

Setouchi Triennale 2013 “An Art and Island Journey Through the Seasons on the Seto Inland Sea”

Venue:Naoshima, Teshima, Megijima, Ogijima, Shodoshima, Oshima, Shamijima*1, Ibujikima*2, Honjima*3, Takamishima*3, Awashima*3, and around Takamatsu Port in Kagawa Prefecture, around Uno Port in Inujima in Okayama Prefecture.
*1 spring season only/ *2 summer season only/ *3 autumn season only
Seasons:Spring: March 20 to April 21 (end)
Summer: July 20 to September 1
Autumn: October 5 to November 4
Telephone (Setouchi Triennale Executive Committee):087-813-2244

Enthusiastic events for enjoying ports and art and hot springs and art in various parts of Japan

In 2013, other enthusiastic events will also be held in various parts of Japan.

Kobe Biennale 2009 “Maritime Art” at Port of Kobe “KOBE Ring” by Jun Tsukawaki
Kobe Biennale 2011 Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition at the Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo

If you would like to enjoy a fusion of contemporary art and traditional Japanese art in one of the largest port cities in Japan, “Kobe Biennale 2013”, which will start from October 1st in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, is recommended. There will be contemporary art exhibitions that suit the subtitle, “Encounters with Art in the Port”, including the “Maritime Art” exhibition that will allow visitors to view works of art placed on wharves or breakwaters in the Port of Kobe from a cruise ship and the “Art in a Container” exhibition, in which works of art in various genres including 2D, 3D, and films will be displayed in dry containers. In addition, there will be competitions that allow visitors to enjoy traditional Japanese crafts, such as the “Contemporary ceramic art Competition”, which calls for ceramic works of art, including avant-garde works.

“Cycle of Memory – Hirozakari 2009” by Man-Young Jung
“Shima Akari Illumination” by Tetsuo Yamshige & local residents

An event that is gaining more and more popularity since its start in 2007 is “Nakanojo Biennale”, which will be held from September 13th in Nakanojo-machi, Gunma Prefecture, located about 140 km north of Tokyo. With the concept of “Art + Hometown + Hot Spring”, paintings, sculptures, installation arts and other works of art are exhibited in locations such as classic folk houses and a hot spring resort, with the aim of reviving the mountain village culture that has existed in Japanese life. After enjoying a fusion of idyllic landscapes including beautiful mountain villages or wooden school buildings and art, why don’t you relax in the Shima Onsen area, with its name meaning that it can cure 40,000 diseases?

– Encounters with Art in the Port – Kobe Biennale 2013

Venue:Various locations in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture (Meriken Park/ Port of Kobe Area, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art/ the Museum Road zone area, Sannomiya/ Motomachi area)
Period:October 1 to December 1, 2013
Telephone (The Organizing Committee for Kobe Biennale):078-322-6490

Nakanojo Biennale 2013

Venue:Various locations in Nakanojo-machi, Gunmma Prefecture (Nakanojo/ Isemachi, Isama, Shima Onsen, Sawatari, Kuresaka, Kuni)
Period:September 13 to October 14, 2013 (closed Thursdays)
Telephone: Nakanojo Town Office (Nakanojo Biennale Executive Committee)
0279-25-8500 (Weekdays)

Japanese garden sanctuary and experience-based art garden – enjoying not-so-ordinary art facilities

Adachi Museum “Dry Landscape Garden”

For those who wish to get in touch with traditional Japanese beauty, the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi-City, Shimane Prefecture is recommended. It is a notable site that has acquired three stars in the “Michelin Green Guide Japan”. In addition to exhibitions, the Japanese garden, which has gained international acclaim, such as achieving first place in the Japanese garden ranking of an American specialty journal for 10 consecutive years, is a must-see. The garden, with an area of approximately 165,000 m2, is divided into six areas according to theme, having a different appearance during each season. You can enjoy Japanese beauty including Japanese-style paintings by master artists of modern Japanese painting, such as Yokoyama Taikan, ceramic art, sculptures, pictures for children, and contemporary Japanese paintings.

“Critical Resemblance House”

A spot where you can enjoy unique contemporary art is the “Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro Park, Gifu” in Yoro-cho, Gifu Prefecture. It is an experience-based art garden designed by Shusaku Arakawa, a leading contemporary artist in Japan, and the poet Madeline Gins. There are 148 trails running through the lush green garden; in the “Critical Resemblance House” in particular, a reverse world is created by arranging objects including tables, bath tubs or beds in a maze-like building.

Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art

Similarly, the Nagi Museum of Contemporary Art in Okayama Prefecture also contains a work by these artists, “Ubiquitous Site, Nagi’s Ryoanji, Architectural Body”, a stone garden that looks like Ryoanji in Kyoto on the side of a huge cylindrical structure that visitors can walk through and view the artwork.

Adachi Museum
Address: 320, Furukawa-cho, Yasugi-city, Shimane
Access:Take the JR Sanin Main Line from Yonago Station to Yasugi Station. Twenty minutes by free shuttle bus.

Site of Reversible Destiny – Yoro Park, Gifu
Address:1298-2, Takabayashi, Yoro-cho, Yoro-gun, Gifu Prefecture
Telephone (Yoro Park):0584-32-0501
Access:Take the Tokaido Main Line from Gifu Station to Ogaki Station and switch to the Yoro Railway Yoro Line. Get off at Yoro Station and walk about 10 minutes.