Naoshima's art in the open-air 直島の屋外作品

  • Published on : 22/05/2019
  • by : J.L.
  • Rating :

Living with art in the Setouchi Island

Naoshima is the island of art par excellence. This new role in the world of contemporary art is encouraged by the Setouchi Triennale festival taking place in Naoshima and its surroundings. Many sculptures are exhibited there in the open air in a fabulous natural setting by renowned local and international artists, such as Yayoi Kusama, Shinro Otake, Walter de Maria, and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Also at the port, you will find the Naoshima Pavilion of the Japanese Sôsuke Fujimoto. A huge transparent metal structure in which children can frolic happily and which represents a floating island … on the waves of the Seto Inland Sea.

The American George Rickey has exhibited a kinetic sculpture that moves in the sea wind. Three large shiny metallic squares that reflect light, from the ground, from the sky, from the sea, from yourself!

Another American artist, Walter De Maria, master of Land Art, leaves the spectator free of his interpretation in front of two huge stone balls "Seen/unseen, Known/unknown". A window separates you from them but allows you to be in communion with them and with the nature reflected in them. A mysterious, beautiful, and contemplative work.

A French artist comes to join the party. Nikki de Saint Phalle, from the Nouveaux Réalistes group, shows here three sculptures of amusing and colorful characters and animals, as usual.

Karel Appel, the Dutch artist, raises a gigantic hyper-colored 3D cat, which goes very well with the adjoining works of Niki de Saint Phalle.

Oeuvres de Karel Appel & Niki de St Phalle

Works by Karel Appel "The Cat" & Niki de St Phalle

Jerome Laborde

Finally, back with a Japanese artist, photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. His "Time Exposed" series features snapshots of skylines taken around the world.

His images are exhibited in the Hotel Benesse, then spill out onto a terrace with tall walls raised by architect Tadao Ando, and then continue out onto the yellow cliffs breaking the beach.

From a long and frail pontoon, you can see these images like incongruous details in the landscape.

Oeuvre de Hiroshi Sugimoto

Artwork by Hiroshi Sugimoto, photo of a horizon line on the cliff.

Jerome Laborde

Address, timetable & access

  • Address

  • Timetable

    The island is accessible by ferry from the city of Takamatsu on Shikoku Island, the city of Uno from Honshu Island, from the nearby island of Shodoshima and even from the city of Kobe.

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