An art museum in harmony with nature
The museum was created in 2004 to represent Naoshima as a place to consider the relationship between nature and people. Inside the museum, only the works of Claude Monet, James Turrell and Walter De Maria are on display, and the facility was designed by world-famous architect Tadao Ando to match these works so that the museum itself is an art work. So that Naoshima’s beautiful landscape wouldn’t be harmed, almost all of the museum has been built underground to let in natural light, and throughout the journey of a day and the four seasons, the expressions of the art works and the space change second by second in what is a very unique museum.
A new venture designed for the space
The gallery that displays five exhibits of the “Water Lilies” series painted by the Impressionist Claude Monet in his later years doesn’t use any lighting equipment at all, only using natural light to illuminate the room and the works as a sublime expression of direction. It has all been planned to integrate the size of the gallery, the design, the space and Monet’s paintings. Also, by the passageway leading to Monet’s gallery, Monet’s garden by Giverny has been recreated with about 200 kinds of the actual flowers and water lilies cultivated by the artist himself planted there so that it can be enjoyed throughout the four seasons. The gallery devoted to the California-born Walter De Maria is a spherical room with a 2.2-meter diameter containing 27 wooden carvings covered in gold leaf; it’s an art space that resembles a temple and the entire space along with the art works were assembled under the direction of De Maria. As well, the only lighting is the natural light that comes in from the ceiling, and depending on the timing, the lighting of the room will change dramatically to evoke various expressions. For James Turrell, three of his representative works over the decades that actually use light itself are on display, and every Friday and Saturday only at sunset, there is a night program held where visitors can get a taste of a world that is different from that shown during the daytime. You will also want to drop by the café and museum shop from where you can get a beautiful view of the Seto Inland Sea.