Naoshima Chichu Art Museum and Environs

I caught the ferry to a sleepy fishing island called Naoshima which has become synonymous with contemporary art due to the creation of several art museums and galleries scattered over the island. The island caters for the well to do with a collection of boutique hotels (designed by Tadao Ando) set within the galleries.

Well I had to sleep somewhere…..

My view…

‘My gallery…’

The star attraction is Tadao Ando’s Chichu Art Museum which is set entirely below ground with all exhibits lit naturally via light voids. All exhibits are permanent which meant their galleries were tailor made- and the results are extraordinary.

Unfortunately photography inside the galleries was prohibited, below is an online picture of the museum.

Art was everywhere, not just in the galleries.

The village of Naoshima is also home to the Art House Project which is a collection of exhibits and installations set within traditional Japanese houses- some of which once stood deserted, and contemporary buildings. James Turrell’s ‘Back Side of the Moon’ lives within the below windowless Tadao Ando room.

A typical village street of traditional homes.

Some of which don’t always contain what you expect…

How to visit 

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To Naoshima Island:
From JR Okayama station in Okayama take the JR Uno line to Uno Satation, this takes just under an hour. On leaving the station go past the 7/11 to the Uno port terminal. Take the Skikoku Kisen Ferry to Naoshima Miyanoura Port. As I was staying at the Benesse Hotel they operated a pick up service from the port.

The island is not large and the main attractions is undoubtedly Tadao Ando’s Chichu Art Museum which is easily found. Maps are available on the island detailing other installations which are all easily accessible by foot. The Art House Project installations are within the town itself- each installation is set within an actual house which may take a little exploring to find, however this is part of the charm. A must visit in my opinion.