Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Island of Modern Arts and Architectures

Last month, my father passed away. Never did I expect him to be gone so sudden. Old as he was, he still drove for himself or enjoyed playing Go(囲碁)or singing a song in karaoke at the gathering. On the previous day when he was found dead at home by a visiting care taker, I had visited him as usual. There seemed nothing unusual about him. 

It was a heart attack, however, his face was so calm and peaceful. The thing he saw last might have been my mother’s smile, who had died 14 months before.
I still can’t believe he is not here anymore but the thought that he is rest in peace with my mother helps me feel happy for them.

And then this month, my daughter gave birth to a baby boy. I feel life is passed down and continues. She and a baby will stay at my house for a while after they leave hospital tomorrow. I’m excited and thankful that a new life brings pleasure and liveliness again.

During this wonder of life and death spiral, I visited Naoshima, one of small islands in Inland Sea of Japan. One thing that makes it popular is a combination of quiet, beautiful seascape and modern arts based on the concept “coexistence of nature, architecture and art” in Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

I stayed at Benesse House Museumwhich is one of four accommodation facilities and the building itself is a museum designed by Tadao Ando.

Honestly speaking, I don't think I have an eye for arts and had wondered why modern arts and architectures in natural island? Besides, I had a preoccupied idea that modern art was something not easy to appreciate. I had expected that at least I would be able to enjoy seascape and seafood in the quiet surroundings. However, unexpectedly this time I came to like that strange but comfortable feeling I had in a different world far from everyday life.

There are several art museums in the site. Both inside and outside of the museums, the installation works in space and surroundings with not so many visitors because of off season gave me an opportunity to feel a sense of infinity, profundity and fluidity of nature and face to myself. 

This is a picture of Chichu Art Museum (underground museum so that it won't affect the appearance of the island) from the air by Iwan Baan. Pictures are not allowed inside. I especially was drawn by the works of James Turrell, titled Open Field where he presents light in itself as art.

In the site, you can come across various sculptures installed in the open air.


        At Naoshima port, this pumpkin made by Yayoi Kusama welcomed us visitors.

another pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama

La Conversation by Niki de Saint Phalla
art work by me? You can see Great Seto Bridge over there.

These birds are real.

                                 Tankers, ferries, fishing boats are coming and going.

It really was a good break for me. It was far more interesting and fascinating than I had expected it would be. I came to realize art works are to feel with our own association and imagination. When I found something touching at my heart in them, I was really into them.
Well, I shouldn't forget to say that the hotel meals were exquisitely good. 

I’m afraid I don’t have much time to spend at computer for a while but I’m enjoying visiting your posts from time to time.
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