Many people know Naoshima as the home of the iconic seafront pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama, but the entire island is something of an exhibit itself. The Japanese ‘art island’, as it’s often called, is one of a handful in the southern prefecture of Kagawa that are part of a large-scale contemporary art initiative started three decades ago. Naoshima, however, is the most famous island of the group and houses the most installations.
Now, however, there is even more art to see on the island with the addition of a new museum designed by celebrated architect Tadao Ando.
The museum, called Valley Gallery, is Ando’s ninth building on the island.
Valley Gallery, which opened on March 12, is situated across from the Lee Ufan Museum between Benesse House Museum and Chichu Art Museum. Like many of Ando’s works, the museum is made of concrete, with angular walls and a slit roof to let in natural light.
The new structure houses Yayoi Kusama's 'Narcissus Garden' installation, which has been a permanent feature of Benesse House since 2006, but was recently expanded to occupy spaces both inside and outside of Valley Gallery.
Similar adjustments have been made to Tsuyoshi Ozawa's 'Slag Buddha 88', which had also been a permanent feature of Benesse House since 2006.
But that’s not the only new addition to come to Naoshima in 2022 – the island also has a new exhibition space for Hiroshi Sugimoto’s works. The Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery Time Corridor is an extension of the Benesse House Park outdoor exhibition space, which already houses several of Sugimoto’s works. Among the new installations is Sugimoto’s ‘Mondrian’ glass teahouse, which has recently been moved to Naoshima as a permanent exhibit.
The opening of the new venues coincide with the 30th anniversary of Naoshima’s first art museum, the Benesse Art Museum, in 2022. For more information on Naoshima, see the Benesse Art Site website.
This article was published on November 11 2021 and updated on March 18 2022.
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