Benesse House ベネッセハウス
Museum and more
A fascinating museum found on the small island of Naoshima, in the heart of the Seto Inland Sea.
Designed by Tadao Ando, like Chichu Art Museum, the Benesse House museum brings together forty works including several created especially for the facility (like The Secret of The Sky by Kan Yasuda, huge stones set in an inner courtyard). Art can also be found in the hotel and restaurants that are also part of Benesse House.
From photographs of seascapes by Hiroshi Sugimoto displayed in an eccentric spherical room, the sculptures of Anthony Gormley or Niki de Saint Phalle that populate the gardens, to the hall of painters that includes works by Pollock and Cy Twombly, the art on display is incredibly varied.
Night at the museum
The museum is also a luxury hotel (about ¥ 25,000 per night. The museum sometimes opens its doors to guests after closing), an upscale restaurant that serves French-Japanese cuisine, and a souvenir shop.
It is a joy to walk in this complex where art is everywhere, hidden in the rocks or around the corner of a hotel hallway.
The museum consists of several buildings, so don't forget to also visit the Oval Room created by Tadao Ando.
Art in the open
The project, reconciling art and nature as envisioned by Tadao Ando, starts with an assortment of sculptures and photographs in the green space surrounding the museum.
Niki de Saint Phalle is a particular highlight, but you can also find photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, metal sculptures by Anthony Caro, George Rickey or the famous pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama, the artist known for her love of polka dots.