Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Rittou: Earth begins to freeze/ buckwheat kernels form (5 of 5)

November 18th, 2008


[click on image to play video]

The earth is not yet frozen, but the wind is certainly getting cold. Our adventure to Naoshima (on the Seto Inland Sea) presents us with one whole day of seeing some contemporary art in some unusal settings. Besides the Chichu Art Musuem, the Benesse Corporation has also established ongoing art projects in Homura, one of the two ports town on the island.

The Art House Project shows large scale installation works by both Japanese and international artists. Each of these artworks occupies the site of a house in village. These houses and/or land were acquired by the corporation for the purpose of creating more artworks. Some existing houses were restored, but others were built from scratch.

The scales of the works make them very immersive. Works, such as James Turrell’s, are very experiential, whilst others are more exploratory. Still others like Tatsuo Miyajima’s Sea of Time (1998) are simply contemplative. Pictured is one component of the work where a window of the house looking onto the street was modified and became a liquid crystal digital ‘clock’. One can easily sit and watch the non-synchronised number sequence ticking away all day long.

The location and installation of the artworks profoundly influence how the works are experienced. From the selection of the art sites to the purpose built architecture, everything is generally very considered to say the least. The confinment of the locations to an island itself presents an added (and perhaps unintended twist). As the island is not large and most visitors frequent the same venues, crossing paths with the same people is unavoidable. The result is a little like an episode of Miss Marple set on a James Bond island where art forms the main theme of the story.

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