The Island of Teshima   豊島

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Where Art Thrives

Contemporary art is gradually invading all the islands of the Seto sea: the island of Teshima, east of Naoshima, is the latest focus of the Benesse Art Project.

Naoshima is known as the "pretty island", whereas Teshima is called "the prosperous island", because its inhabitants lived there in opulence for many year, thanks to the production of ornamental stones. Now rural and peaceful, it's the perfect place for exhibiting works according to the principles of the founder Naoshima Fukutake: the integration of art into nature.

The majority of visitors arrive by the port of Ieura, from where you can rent bikes or board a bus to one of the three exhibition venues of the island.

Art and architecture

In Ieura you will find Teshima Yokoo House, which houses the colorful and sometimes unexpected works of the painter Tadanori Yoko.

Another house is home to Il Vento, where the artist Tobias Rehberger had fun with the geometric lines found in Japanese architecture.

Unique sights

The Teshima Art Museum, created by Ryue Nishizawa, is a concrete dropletnestled atop a hill of rice terraces. This space is a more of a point of interest rather than a museum, since it houses only one unique work: Matrix, by the artist Rei Naito.

The atmosphere is constantly changing because of water and light, and is also under the influence of the outside natural environment. Silence and bare feet are required.

At the heart of the island

To the east lies Karato, where a matsuri is held every year at the end of October (somewhat unusual as festivals are usually held in the summer).

There you will find Archives of the Heart, a piece created by Christian Boltanski in partnership with Shima Kitchen, a piece consisting only of used doors and windows.

Further north, there is the Big Bambu facility, intermingling boat-shaped bamboo canes rising above the Teshima forest.

Similar to Naoshima, the works are arranged around nature, which makes for a rather interesting walk around the island. The island is also involved in the Setouchi Triennale, held every three years since 2010.

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