As intended by the artist and the architect who designed it, the Teshima Art Museum, a piece of architecture resembling a droplet of water, merges with the verdant hill overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. It is truly the one and only museum in the world where architectural beauty and exceptional art coincide.
The local residents made use of the occasion of the museum’s founding to work together to revitalize the rice terrace surrounding it. While walking among the native-grown weeds and grasses planted along the approach toward the museum entrance, you can enjoy scenic rice terraces and views of the Inland Sea.
Upon entering the installation’s “Bokei”, or “Matrix”, you will be immediately confronted with the extraordinary atmosphere that fills the dome. As there are no columns or walls, the space is reminiscent of the interior of a womb. It is Rei Naito’s first solo exhibition, a world-renowned contemporary artist who explores the mysteries of existence. The building is made of concrete and consists of a single open-plan room, 60 meters long, 40 meters wide and 4.5 meters high.
There are two large openings in the ceiling, exchanging air with the exterior of the museum, as if inhaling and exhaling, allowing light, wind and all the sounds of nature to flow inside.
Intriguingly, small water drops emerge from 168 two-millimeter holes in the floor’s surface. These droplets slowly move along the smooth curve of the ground, gathering and separating, reflecting natural light and thereby constantly changing in appearance, making their way to finally form a small spring in the room’s center. The movement of the water droplets is endless, resembling that of living matter. The water originates from the ground underneath Teshima. Visitors are free to enjoy the museum in their own way, sitting or lying about on the floor, feeling as though wrapped in a supernatural being that accepts every life of this world. The work has so much to offer that it bears repeat visits, for the museum is life itself, reflecting a nature that changes moment to moment, following the seasons, time and the weather.
The Teshima Art Museum is Naito’s masterpiece, representing an artistic nature that elicits astonishment and joy. The museum is utterly unique and beyond comparison, attracting visitors with its unpredictable nature. This exceptional space presents a philosophical aspect and offers guests an exploration of the eventuality of life. It allows for the recognition of the “anima” in one’s environment and deep within oneself. At the museum’s café and shop, designed by Ryue Nishizawa, you can enjoy dishes, sweets and beverages incorporating fresh local products. When it is nice outside, a perfect afternoon can be spent sitting around and relaxing on the lawn in front of the museum.
INFORMATION - TESHIMA ART MUSEUM
[Address] 607 Karato, Teshima, Tonosho-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa, 7614662 Japan
[English Website] http://benesse-artsite.jp/en/art/teshima-artmuseum.html
March 1 - September 30: 10:00 - 17:00 (Last admittance: 16:30).
October 1 - last day of February: 10:00 - 16:00 (Last admittance: 15:30).
Tuesdays (March 1 - November 30).
Tuesdays to Thursdays (December 1 - last day of February).
*Open on national holidays but closed the next day.
*Open on Tuesdays when Monday falls on a national holiday but closed on the next day.
[Admission] 1,540 yen
*free for children 15 years of age and under