Thursday, October 16, 2008
This past weekend Hans and I took a day trip to the artsy island of Naoshima. It's about an hour-long ferry ride across the Seto Inland Sea from Takamatsu. It's main attractions were contemporary art museums, a museum dedicated to the James Bond book The Man with the Red Tatoo, the Art House Project, and a recycling plant. I know a recycling plant doesn't sound so exciting, but this one boasts creative and artistic slag ceramic byproducts generated in the melting process of recycling industrial waste. Cool, huh? You can also make reservations to participate in slag pottery-making and painting classes at the ceramics studio. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to tour the recycling plant or ceramics studio. Maybe next time...
The Chichu Art Museum was my favorite. It features works by Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, James Turrell and Tadao Ando (the architect who designed the building). "Chichu" is a Japanese play on words meaning "underground." The entire museum is inside a rolling hill on the island, and all of the lighting within is natural. I was most impressed by the works of James Turrell. His works present light as the actual art, and he creates spaces in which to experience different aspects of light. My favorite work was "Open Sky," which was simply a room with a square hole in the ceiling. We sat in that room for quite some time, contemplating this fascinating piece. It took us a while to figure out we were staring at the actual sky! The design of the hole was an optical illusion, because we couldn't see its walls. It just goes to prove that the greatest works of art are still in nature, and while most artists spend their entire lives trying to imitate it, Turrell just said "why not let nature be your canvas?"
The Chichu Monet garden featured plants that inspired many of Monet's paintings, including his "Water Lily" series, which was on display.
For lunch we found this cool little vegan restaurant called "Aisunao." Their specialty is brown rice, which is VERY hard to find in Japan! The food was great. I especially enjoyed the vegan chocolate cake for dessert. Yummy!
As you can see, Hannah also had a lovely time. Here she is playing at the restaurant, and in her stroller with her "sail" up.
And, for a little treat we found these suspiciously shaped popsicles! And yes, they were frozen in mysterious rubber "balloons." We had great fun joking about them. Too bad I didn't try the peach flavored one. It was flesh colored. :)