A Creative Paradise: Japan’s Art Islands
Still on my Future Nostalgia tour, 2022 has been full-on, but I feel so lucky to have seen what feels like every corner of the world this year. After my time in Tokyo last month, I got to island-hop Japan’s art islands Naoshima, Inujima and Teshima, and can’t begin to describe the joy I felt, soaking up all the – what some call – ‘arty-pelago’ had to offer. Filled with surreal installations, cutting-edge museums, and architectural excellence, the amount of creativity on display there was immense, and I left feeling so inspired. If you’re ever there, these are the places to hit up.
- Benesse House Museum – integrating a museum with a hotel, this is an amazing place to stay on Naoshima.
- Valley Gallery – designed by Tadao Ando, this Naoshima geometric gem capitalises on its secluded setting and houses Yayoi Kusama’s incredible Narcissus Garden installation.
- Chichu Art Museum – literally meaning ‘art museum in the earth’, this Naoshima museum is built underground and is a work of art itself.
- Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Pumpkin – it is very cool to see the iconic installation in nature on Naoshima’s coast.
- Inujima Seirensho Art Museum – incorporating an art gallery into the ruins of a former copper refinery, this museum was built around the idea of ‘using what exists to create what is to be’ – and it’s just epic.
- Inujima Art House Project – a collection of galleries that transforms the town into a museum!
- Teshima Art Museum – this has the most striking architecture and was designed to be an artwork that interacts with its environment.
- Teshima Yokoo House – a collaboration between artist Tadanori Yokoo and architect Yuko Nagayama, they renovated an old private house to create a gallery like no other.